Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi on Sunday in Ado Ekiti presented the prestigious Ekiti ‘Oni Uyi’ Awards to seven former Deputy Governors, 29 indigenous and residents who have distinguished themselves in different areas of endeavor and contributed to the development of the State.
The seven former deputy governors of the state, four of whom served under Governor Ayodele Fayose including Surveyor Abiodun Aluko, Chief Adebisi Omoyeni, Senator Biodun Olujimi, and Professor Kolapo Olusola-Eleka were conferred the highest honour Ekiti Exceptional Achievers (EEA) in recognition of their roles as “Builders of Ekiti State”.
Other former deputy governors conferred the highest honour Ekiti Exceptional Achievers (EEA) in recognition of their roles as “Builders of Ekiti State” includes Dr. Sikiru Tae Lawal; Professor Modupe Adelabu; and the late Mrs. Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka, who was honoured posthumously.
This, he said was in line with provisions of Ekiti State Honours Roll Law, No 41 of 2019, and part of the move by the state government to promote the ethos and values associated with the Ekiti people.
The honours award, which is the second edition, kick-started activities marking the 26th anniversary of the state’s creation and the valedictory and inauguration ceremonies for the outgoing and incoming administrations.
Five prominent leaders in the vanguard of the struggle for the creation of the state were also awarded the EEA honour in recognition of their roles as “Architects of the State”.
The prominent leaders who bagged the EEA award are the Eye Sorun of Ado Ekiti, Olori Abosede Adejugbe; an educationist, Chief J A A Alibaloye; a former Sole Administrator Ekiti Central Local Government, Mr. Jonathan Adeyemi; Late Chief George Adefemi; and Prince Alonge Gabriel.
Member of Ekiti Exceptional Achievers (MEEA) award, was also conferred on a legal luminary and former Secretary General, Nigeria Bar Association, Dele Adesina, SAN; and Bishop of Ekiti Catholic Diocese, Rev Felix Ajakaiye, while six former Heads of Service were also awarded Members of Ekiti Meritorious Service (MEMS).
While former Heads of Service in the State, Elder Olusegun Bankole; Mr. Olufemi Adewumi; Sir Olubunmi Famosaya; Dr. Olugbenga Faseluka; Mr. Ayodeji Ajayi, and Mrs. Peju Babafemi received Members of Ekiti Meritorious Service (MEMS) award.
Others who were honoured include International Table Tennis Superstar, Miss Tosin Oribamise; foremost Juju Musician, “King” Femi Ariyo; President Mohammadu Buhari’s Chief Official Photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo, a former Tutor-General, Mrs. Rhoda Ojo; a bronze Medalist of National Royal Mathematics competition (2021) Ikeoluwa Okunola; a medical doctor turned Agriculture Entrepreneur, Dr. Temitope Aroge and a popular Yam farmer, Awe Thomas Odunayo.
According to Governor Fayemi, the legal backing given to the honours award was part of the legacy his administration is bequeathing to succeeding administrations to ensure its sustainability in the State.
He noted that those honoured were chosen from different socio-economic sectors of the State without bias to encourage the virtues of diligence, hard work, honesty, and integrity.
The Governor added that every Ekiti citizen and friend of the state who had distinguished themselves in their various endeavors is entitled to be selected and considered for the award.
“It is no longer news that our mantra for this second term in office is restoring those values which make us unique as Ekiti people and in the pursuant of this we resuscitated the honours roll and awards.
“To this end, the Ekiti State honours roll law No 41 of 2020 was enacted to give legal backing to the award and to institutionalize it permanently for subsequent administration.
The awards are non-partisan and every Ekiti Citizen and friends of Ekiti who had distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavours are qualified to be so honoured” He said
Responding on behalf of the awardee a former Head of Service in the State, Mr. Olufemi Adewumi, lauded Governor Fayemi and the government of the State for considering the recipients for the awards in recognition of their service to humanity and the State.
A significant highlight of the event was a panel discussion on the progress of the State with four of the awardees: Olori Abosede Adejugbe, Former Head of Service, Elder Samuel Bankole, Former Deputy Governor, Prof Modupe Adelabu, and Dr Temitope Aroge as discussants.