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Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State conferred the prestigious Ekiti ‘Oni Uyi’ Awards on 36 indigenes and residents in Ado Ekiti on Sunday. The awards were given in recognition of their outstanding achievements in various fields and contributions to the development of the state.

Governor Fayemi stated that the conferment of the awards was in accordance with the provisions of Ekiti State Honours Roll Law, No. 41 of 2019. It aligns with the state government’s efforts to promote the ethos and values associated with the people of Ekiti.

All Nigeria Latest News reports that the honours award which is the second edition, kick started activities marking the 26th anniversary of the creation of the state as well as the valedictory and inauguration ceremonies for the outgoing and incoming administrations.

During the event, Governor Fayemi bestowed the highest honour, Ekiti Exceptional Achievers (EEA), upon seven former deputy governors of the state, including four who served under Governor Ayodele Fayose. They were recognized as “Builders of Ekiti State.” Additionally, five prominent leaders who played a crucial role in advocating for the creation of the state were honored with the EEA distinction for their roles as the “Architects of the State.”

The former deputy governors are: Dr Sikiru Tae Lawal; Prof Modupe Adelabu; Surveyor Abiodun Aluko; Senator Abiodun Olujimi; Chief Adebisi Omoyeni; Prof Kolapo Olusola-Eleka and the late Mrs Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka, who was honoured post humously.

The prominent leaders who bagged the EEA award are: the Eye Sorun of Ado Ekiti, Olori Abosede Adejugbe; an educationist, Chief J A A Alibaloye; a former Sole Administrator Ekiti Central Local Government, Mr Jonathan Adeyemi; Late Chief George Adefemi; and Prince Alonge Gabriel.

Member of Ekiti Exceptional Achievers (MEEA) award, was also conferred on legal luminary and former Secretary General, Nigeria Bar Association, Dele Adesina, SAN; and Bishop of Ekiti Catholic Diocese, Rev Felix Ajakaiye, while six former Heads of Service were also awarded Members of Ekiti Meritorious Service (MEMS).

While former Heads of Service in the State, Elder Olusegun Bankole; Mr Olufemi Adewumi; Sir Olubunmi Famosaya; Dr Olugbenga Faseluka; Mr Ayodeji Ajayi and Mrs Peju Babafemi received Members of Ekiti Meritorious Service (MEMS) award.

Others who were honoured include International Table Tennis Super star, Miss Tosin Oribamise; foremost Juju Musician, “King” Femi Ariyo; President Mohammadu Buhari’s Chief Official Photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo, a former Tutor -General, Mrs Rhoda Ojo; a bronze Medalist of National Royal Mathematics competition (2021) Ikeoluwa Okunola; a medical doctor turned Agriculture Entrepreneur, Dr Temitope Aroge and a popular Yam farmer, Awe Thomas Odunayo.

According to Governor Fayemi, the legal backing given to the honours award was part of the legacy his administration is bequeathing to succeeding administrations to ensure its sustainability in the State.

He noted that those honoured were chosen from different socio-economic sectors of the State without bias to encourage the virtues of diligence, hard work, honesty, and integrity.

The Governor added that every Ekiti Citizen and friends of the state who had distinguished themselves in their various endeavour are entitled to be selected and considered for the award.

“It is no longer news that our mantra for this second term in office is restoring those values which make us unique as Ekiti people and in the pursuant of this we resuscitated the honours roll and awards. To this end the Ekiti State honours roll law No 41 of 2020 was enacted to give legal backing to the award and to institutionalize it permanently for subsequent administration.

The awards are non partisan and every Ekiti Citizen and friends of Ekiti who had distinguished themselves in various field of endeavours are qualified to be so honored” He said

Responding on behalf of the awardee a former Head of Service in the State, Mr Olufemi Adewumi, lauded Governor Fayemi and the government of the State for considering the recipients for the awards in recognition of their service to humanity and the State.

A major highlight of the event was a panel discussion on the progress of the State with four of the awardees: Olori Abosede Adejugbe, Former Head of Service, Elder Samuel Bankole, Former Deputy Governor, Prof Modupe Adelabu and Dr Temitope Aroge as discussants.

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