Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, conferred the prestigious Ekiti ‘Oni Uyi’ Awards on 36 indigenes and residents, who have distinguished themselves in areas of endeavours and contributed to the development of the state.
The honours award, which is the second edition, kick-started activities marking the 26th anniversary of the creation of the state as well as the valedictory and inauguration ceremonies for the outgoing and incoming administrations.
Fayemi disclosed that this was in line with the 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 Ekiti people.
At the glamorous event, Dr Fayemi conferred the highest honour, Ekiti Exceptional Achievers (EEA), on seven former deputy governors, (four of whom served under Ayodele Fayose), as “Builders of Ekiti State”. Five prominent leaders, who were 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 former deputy governors are: Dr. Sikiru Tae Lawal, Prof Modupe Adelabu, Abiodun Aluko, a surveyor; Senator Abiodun Olujimi, Chief Adebisi Omoyeni, Prof Kolapo Olusola-Eleka and the late Mrs. Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka, who was honoured post humously.
The prominent leaders, who received the EEA award are: the Eye Sorun of Ado- Ekiti, Olori Abosede Adejugbe; an educationist, Chief J. A. A. Alibaloye; a former sole administrator of Ekiti Central Local Government, Mr. Jonathan Adeyemi; the late Chief George Adefemi; and Prince Alonge Gabriel.
Member of Ekiti Exceptional Achievers (MEEA) award was also conferred on 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).
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.
Governor Fayemi in his remarks during the award presentation, explained that the award was done to preserve the pristine principles of diligence, hard work, honesty and integrity that the recipients had demonstrated in their service and commitment to the State.
Fayemi, who noted that the erstwhile edition of the honours’ award held during the first term of his administration in 2012 received wide acclamation as the best model to celebrate exceptional personalities in the state, said the legal backing given to the award would ensure its sustainability by subsequent administration.
According to the Governor, the maiden edition was designed to celebrate those who played critical roles in the state creation movement whom he described as the architect and builders of the state.