* Honour propels me to do more for my community, state – Gen. Adetayo
The day was Saturday, 22nd July 2023 and the location was the palace of the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti in the heart of Ilawe Ekiti, Ekiti Southwest Local Government area of Ekiti State.
It was a double celebration at the event to celebrate homecoming for one of the illustrious sons of Ilawe Ekiti, Major General Odunayo Adeyemi Adetayo, who retired recently from the Nigerian Army after serving the country meritoriously for 38 years.
The occasion also witnessed the conferment of a war chieftaincy on the retired army general to honour him for his immeasurable contributions to the development of the country, Ilawe Ekiti and assistance to uncountable indigenes.
The traditional ruler, the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Ajibade Adebanji Alabi, who described Gen Adetayo as “a pillar of support for Ilawe Ekiti”, conferred on him, the title of Jagungbayi (someone who fights wars to get honour) of Ilawe Ekiti, while his wife, Latoya Esther Adetayo, received the title of Yeye Jagungbayi of Ilawe Ekiti.
Traditional hunters, who were around in their numbers, with firing of gunshots and cannons, formally received the retired general into the town and palace after serving his fatherland with garlands and retired honourably.
Adetayo’s old school mates, colleagues and friends joined the Alawe and his Olori, Abimbola Alabi; Ilawe traditional chiefs; and sons and daughters of the community to celebrate the man described as a great asset to the community, Ekiti State, Nigerian military and Nigeria as a whole.
Pupils of Oniwe Comprehensive High School, Ilawe Ekiti, which recently took possession of a block of five classrooms from Gen. Adetayo, were also at hand to appreciate the benefactor and as well entertain the gathering to native Ekiti songs and dance.
Royal presence at the event included the Attah of Ayede Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Orisagbemi; and the Onisin of Isinbode Ekiti, Oba Adesoji Akinyemi.
A secondary school mate and member of Aquinas College Akure Old Students’ Association, Otunba Sola Adewumi, who gave a glowing testimonial on Adetayo, described the honoree as “humble, gentle, caring and a liver of Ilawe community”.
Also speaking, the retired general’s friend and notable Ilawe indigene, Abiodun Alabi, who is a Deputy Inspector General of Police, said, “General Adetayo is someone one can be proud of. He is dependable and reliable”
A colleague in the military, Rear Admiral Adebari, described the retired general as “straight forward and committed, saying, “He came to the military, he saw and he conquered. He is a dependable man. Please hold him with the two hands that the military has held him in the last 38 years”
An elated Oba Alabi, while reeling out reasons for the honour to the retired army general and his wife, said it was in view of his meritorious service to the country and the community, lauding him for distinguishing himself for the advancement and socio-economic development of Ilawe-Ekiti in various segments.
The traditional ruler, who said Adetayo’s footprints were all over the town, said, “He has done a lot for our community and even the country looking at his 38 years in the Nigerian Army. He served the country well and we are proud of him.
“Now that he is returning home after his service, we decided to honor him with the title as a result of his exemplary conduct. Few years ago, we discussed the need for the palace here to have an office for the monarch and he agreed to do it for us. In less than three months he built a befitting and well-equipped office complex for us. That is what I am using now.
“Few weeks ago, we commissioned a block of five classrooms that he constructed and handed over to the Oniwe Comprehensive High School; he facilitated the provision of the only functional event centre in Ilawe Ekiti and as well has been helping our sons and daughters to secure employment across different offices in the country,” he said.
A fulfilled General Adetayo praised the Alawe and the entire Ilawe Ekiti community for the honour bestowed on him following his 38 years and two months service to the nation in the military.
Adetayo said, “It is good to return home after service. Today marks a unique event. It is a double celebration – homecoming and conferment of chieftaincy on me and my wife. I am happy.
“I have always been committed to the development of the community, and with my retirement and this title, I will do more to take Ilawe-Ekiti to greater heights”.
The event thereafter shifted to Adedoyin Events Centre, where the Yeyegbayi, Chief Mrs Esther Adetayo, treated guests to her expertise in culinary arts as guests were treated to sumptuous meals and drinks.
Guests at the occasions included Tolu Osinowo; Mr Remi Ajidahun; Dr and Mrs Bayo Adewumi; Olusola Adewumi; Segun Awoniyi; Tunji Ayeni; Niyi Ogunbode; Major Sunday Akinyemi; Mr Remi Ajidahun; Hon Tony Adaramodu; Hon Yemisi Ayokunle; Prof. Jide Oladele and Prof. Dayo Akomolede.
Members of Aquinas College Akure Old Students’ Association and Ilawe Improvement Union and as well other development groups and bodies were in attendance to be part of the memorable event.