The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, was on Sunday honoured with the Fellows Award of the Ibadan Foundation for his contribution to the socio-economic development of the city and the state.
The immediate past President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Nike Akande, who was the chairman on the occasion, was also recognised by the foundation President, Bayo Alugbin. Other recipients of the award are Bashorun of Ibadan land, Chief Kola Daisi, Oladimeji Otiti, Bovas Petroleum, the late Timothy Dairo and the late Emmanuel Osunkunle, who were given posthumous awards.
At the event were Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, who is the Balogun of Ibadan land; the Chairman of Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Ibadan, Dr. Lekan Are; his wife, Olabisi; the Chairman, Punch Nigeria Limited, Wale Aboderin, who was a special guest; Mrs. Akande’s husband, Adebayo, President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Remi Soladoye; and others.
In his speech, Alugbin said the foundation was setting up a trust fund to ensure the uninterrupted funding of its scholarship scheme and other projects, adding that the recipients of the awards were eminently qualified for the honour.
The Punch quoted Are, who is the patron of the foundation, as describing the group as special because it was the only organisation that had monarchs as its members in Ibadan land.
“Former Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Samuel Odulana, was given the award not because he was a king but because he was worthy of the honour. He was always punctual to meetings and events. Oba Olakulehin is another member who cherished punctuality. The young ones must learn from the elders’ attitude,” said Are.
In his response, Ajimobi, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Olalekan Alli, said the award was special because it came a day after the governor celebrated his 68th birthday.
He also used the opportunity to speak about some of the policies of the state government.
Ajimobi said, “The governor believes in lifting the status and culture of Ibadan; the modernisation in respect of traditional institution in the city in a manner that fits the stakeholders is one of them. The Olubadan is now His Imperial Majesty.
“There are a few of that status in Nigeria. When the Oluwo of Iwo came to meet the governor, he came with 11 Iwo monarchs. Why could we not modernise our own traditional system?” said the SSG, who added that the state government recognised the contribution of the foundation to the development of the state.”