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Pres. Tinubu Confers GCON On Awujale of Ijebuland At 90

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President Bola Tinubu on Friday, conferred on the Awujale of Ijebuland in Ogun State, Oba Sikiru Adetona, the second highest national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON) to mark the monarch’s 90th birthday.

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, represented by the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, said the monarch deserves the second highest honour in the land because of his contribution to nation-building and meritorious service to humanity.

Tinubu noted that the numerous contributions of Oba Adetona to national development, particularly in the education sector has expanded the sector to optimal delivery through various donations and endowments.

He described the monarch as forthright with exceptional character who stood his ground and confronted injustice in all ramifications, commending him for his role in ensuring the return of democratic governance in Nigeria.

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

“Because Kabiyesi Adetona has honored 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).

“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,” the president said.

In his remarks, Gov. 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.

According to the governor, 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 submitted.

Also speaking, the Pro-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Toyin Ashiru, said the establishment of the School of Governance is aimed at fostering dialogue among scholars, policy makers 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.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Ayodeji Agboola, said the Awujale has contributed to the development of the school through the donation of offices, lecture and seminar rooms, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Library.

He assured that the vision and mission of the school of Governance Studies would be vigorously pursued to make it a centre of excellence in good government and leadership in Nigeria and in the sub Saharan Africa.

In a lecture titled, “Changing Nigeria’s Governance Narrative,” the occupant of the Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Prof. Akinsola Agagu, said Nigeria since independence, has been grappling with democratic crisis, corruption, mismanagement, ineptitude, insecurity, among others, saying this has led to non achievement of dividends of independence in the country.

He attributed the deep root of the general governance and development crises in the country to absence of seamless intersection of democratic politics with democratic political and legal culture, emphasizing that the continued political crisis is due to flawed political culture which has reduced politics to a lawless and amoral vocation.

Agagu noted that to change the narrative and put the country in the right track, public spirited individuals at all facets of live are urgently needed, while patriotism, concern for the people, vision, honesty, transparency and accountability as well as impeccable character as exemplified by Oba Sikiru Adetona, should be the hall mark of those in position of leadership.

Responding, Oba Adetona appreciated the people for their support and for honouring him with their presence and prayed for peace in the families, state, and the country at large

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