Praises for Awujale as events for 90th birthday, 64th coronation anniversary begin

L-R: Olori Kemi Adetona; Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun; the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Alaiyeluwa Oba (Dr) Sikiru Adetona at the 90th birthday and 64th coronation anniversary thanksgiving of the Awujale at the Cathedral Church of Our Saviour, Ita-Olowajoda-Ijasi, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, on Sunday

By Nudoiba Ojen

It was accolades all the way for the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, at the Thanksgiving service ahead of his 90th birthday and the 64th coronation anniversary.

The monarch, who ascended the throne on April 2, 1960, six months before the country’s Independence from the United Kingdom and has spent 64 years on the throne, will clock 90 years on earth on Friday, 10th May, 2024.

Series of activities have been lined up for the celebrations with the grand finale holding on Saturday, May 11, 2024, at the Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu Ode with dignitaries including President Bola Tinubu; past presidents, governors, members of the diplomatic corps, business magnates, the creme of society, etc being expected.

At the Thanksgiving Service which held at the Cathedral Church of Our Saviour, Ita-Olowajoda-Ijasi, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, on Sunday, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun described Oba Adetona as a living legend and a phenomenon whose reign has been a monumental success and a pride to the entire Ijebuland and the state at large.

The governor said that the monarch represents the beauty and the candour of the ancestral heritage of the Ijebu people, emphasizing that his passion for governance and accessible commitment to education led him to institute the Oba Sikiru Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance in the Department of Political Science of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye.

“This initiative has led and given birth to the establishment of the world class Oba Sikiru Adetona School of Governance, the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“He championed the Ijebu Development Board on poverty eradication that has become a model in the entire country,” Abiodun said.

The governor said that efforts were in top gear to affiliate the Oba Sikiru Adetona College of Governance with the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, for the training of high ranking government officials.

He said Permanent Secretaries from the state would be the first to enrol to enable them benefit from the college, which is the brain child of the Awujale.

Prince Abiodun also said that he sought and got the approval of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to grant the College the full status of the campus of the NIPSS.

“I told Kabiyesi this morning that our Perm Secs will be the first set of students at that Oba Sikiru Adetona College of Governance, and they will be the first set to benefit from the Awujale’s initiative.

“I have further made a case to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to allow Baba’s school of Governance to become a campus of the NIPSS Kuru, a request that Mr President has graciously approved,” he stated.

In his sermon titled; “Serve the Lord with Gladness,” Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Revd Dr Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, described Oba Adetona as a unifier, a monarchical colossus and “a Solomon of our time,” who used the palace to unite all Ijebu sons and daughters irrespective of their political or religious linage.

The Awujale, the Most Revd Ademowo noted, is “a mentor, enabler, whose life is full of monumental achievements in his 64 years on the throne, saying he has touched many lives through endowment programmes”.

The cleric said God’s purpose for man was to serve Him unconditionally, noting that no man serves God faithfully without rewards.

Taking his text from Psalms 100 verse 2, the Most Revd Ademowo regretted, however, that though God put people in places of authority to serve, most Nigerians do not see themselves as servants once they assume leadership positions, calling for a change of heart to move the nation forward.

He called for national rebirth beginning from the family, saying this would reposition the country and bring back its lost glory.

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