Reason, President Tinubu Honoured Awujale with GCON title

Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona GCON

Details have emerged on the decision of President Bola Tinubu to honour the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona with the second highest National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON).

According to a State House press release on Friday, shared by presidential aide, Bayo Onanuga via the X platform, the President honoured the traditional ruler with the title because “Oba Adetona has honoured our country and humanity with his many years of meritorious service.”

As earlier reported by Naija News, the award was announced during the 90th birthday celebration of the first-class traditional ruler held on Friday in Ogun State.

President Tinubu was represented at the event by the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima.

The President conveyed that he had planned to personally attend the celebration but state duties made it impossible for him to be personally present.

Below is the full speech by Shettima, read at the event on behalf of President Tinubu.

“We are here today to celebrate and rejoice with an outstanding and extraordinary monarch on the occasion of his 90th birthday anniversary.

“It also gladdens my heart to see the Awujale in his full glory and majesty attain this important milestone.

“I had planned to personally attend this epoch-making event as a mark of honour to our reverred royal father. I returned from my travel abroad to be part of this celebration.

“However, the exigencies and demands of state duty have both conspired to make it practically impossible to be here.

“Earlier, I sent a personally-signed tribute to Kabiyesi Awujale, underscoring his transcendental and preeminent status as a royal father not just in our country, but also as one of the most adored around the world.

“Kabiyesi Adetona deserves all the accolades we can accord him because he earned them.

“In the last 64 years, Kabiyesi had served the people of Ijebuland with great wisdom and rare dedication. It is not surprising that his kingdom and people have continued to thrive.

“While we rejoice with Oba Adetona today, it is important to state that what we are celebrating is much more than this 90th birthday anniversary.

“In Oba Adetona, we are celebrating courage, dignity, honour and a life that is wholly committed to duty and service.

“In time of adversity, Oba Adetona showed strength and kingly character. He stood his ground and confronted injustice and oppression during our just struggle for the restoration of democratic rule in the land between 1993 and 1999. If democracy is blossoming in our country today, it is because patriarchs like Oba Adetona stood firmly on the side of the people.

“Motivated by higher and noble ideal to entrench democratic good governance in our country, Oba Adetona recognized the importance of expanding the frontier of knowledge with his endowment of a professorial chair at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye in Ogun State.

“It is appropriate that as part of activities marking this birthday anniversary, we are also inaugurating the Post-Graduate School on Policy and Governance Studies funded by Kabiyesi.

“Because Oba Adetona has honoured our country and humanity with his many years of meritorious service, I therefore, on this special occasion of his 90th birthday ceremony, confer on him the second highest National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON).

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“To ensure that the knowledge production and intellectual output of the Post-Graduate school benefit the entire country, the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos will be asked to take over the running and management of Oba Sikiru Adetona School of Governance Studies. This will be a fitting compliment to Kabiyesi’s educational legacy.

“I wish Kabiyesi Awujale more years of service to the people of Ijebuland and robust health on the throne.

“Many happy returns Kabiyesi.”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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