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Tinubu confers Nigeria’s second-highest national honour on Awujale

The Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, on Friday, conferred the country’s second-highest national honour, Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON), on the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, to mark his 90th birthday celebration.

Penpushing reports that Tinubu made the announcement at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, during the commissioning of the Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona School of Governance Studies and the presentation of a book, titled, “Reinventing Governance in Nigeria: The Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Model.”

The President, who was represented by his Vice, Kashim Shettima, emphasized that the renowned traditional ruler deserved the second highest honour in the land because of his contribution to nation-building and meritorious service to humanity.

Penpushing further reports that he pointed out that the numerous contributions of the 90-year-old royal father to national development, particularly in the education sector, had expanded the sector for optimal delivery through various donations and endowments.

The President described the Awujale of Ijebuland as a forthright and exceptional character who stood his ground and confronted injustice in all ramifications, and equally commended him for his role in ensuring the return of democratic governance in Nigeria.

Penpushing also reports that Tinubu speaking on the Oba Sikiru Adetona School of Governance Studies said it would be taken over and managed by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos.

‘Because Kabiyesi Adetona has honoured our country and humanity with his many years of meritorious service, I, therefore, on this occasion of his 90th birthday ceremony, confer on him the second highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON)’, he stated.

Penpushing reports that Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun in his remarks, described Awujale 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 pointed out that the royal father represents the beauty and the candour of the ancestral heritage of the Ijebu people, adding 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 also championed the Ijebu Development Board on poverty eradication that has become a model in the entire country’, Abiodun added.

Penpushing further reports that the Pro-Chancellor of the University, Prof Toyin Ashiru, in his own contributions explained that the establishment of the School of Governance was aimed at fostering dialogue among scholars, policymakers and practitioners on matters of governance, leadership and public service, adding that it would serve as a hub for research, knowledge sharing and capacity building to equip people with needed skills for effective governance.

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Ayodeji Agboola, in his remarks noted that the monarch had contributed to the development of the school through the donation of offices, lecture and seminar rooms, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) materials and Library.

Penpushing also reports that Agboola gave assurance that the vision and mission of the School of Governance Studies would be pursued to make it a centre of excellence in good government and leadership in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

The occupant of the Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance, OOU, Prof Akinsola Agagu in a lecture titled, ’Changing Nigeria’s Governance Narrative’ noted that since independence, Nigeria has grappled with democratic crisis, corruption, mismanagement, ineptitude, and insecurity, among others.

Penpushing reports that Agagu, however, observed that the situation led to the non-achievement of dividends of independence in the country, attributing the governance and development crises in the country to the absence of a seamless intersection of democratic politics and legal culture.

The Professor emphasised that the continuous political crisis was due to the flawed culture, thereby reducing politics to a lawless and amoral vocation, explaining that to change the narrative and put the country on the right track, public-spirited individuals in all facets of life were urgently needed.

Penpushing further reports that he emphasized that patriotism, concern for the people, vision, honesty, transparency and accountability as well as impeccable character, as exemplified by the monarch, should be the hallmark of those in positions of leadership.

The Awujale and Paramount of Ijebuland in his response expressed appreciation to the people for their support and for honouring him with their presence and prayed for peace in the families, state, and the country.

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