President Tinubu confers GCON on Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Adetona

President Bola Tinubu, on Friday, conferred the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) on the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, to mark the traditional ruler’s 90th birthday celebration.

Tinubu made the announcement during the inauguration of the Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona School of Governance Studies at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye.

The President, represented by the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, said Awujale deserved the second highest honour in the land because of his contribution to nation building and humanity.

He explained that the numerous contributions of the royal father to national development, particularly in the education sector, had expanded the sector to optimal delivery through various donations and endowments.

He described the traditional ruler as forthright with exceptional character who stood his ground and confronted injustice in all ramifications.

He commended him for his role in ensuring the return of democratic governance in Nigeria.

Tinubu explained that 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.

“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 the Niger (GCON).

“The National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, will be asked to take over the running and management of the Oba Sikiru Adetona School of Governance Studies,” Tinubu said.

Earlier, Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun described Mr Adetona as a living legend and a phenomenon whose reign had been a monumental success and a pride to the entire Ijebuland and the state at large.

According to the governor, Awujale represents the beauty and candour of the ancestral heritage of the Ijebu people.

“He championed the Ijebu Development Board on poverty eradication that has become a model in the entire country,” Abiodun said.

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Ayodeji Agboola, said that the Awujale had contributed to the development of the school through donation of infrastructural facilities.

The vice chancellor said the donation of the multi-billion naira Oba Sikiru Adetona School of Governance with state-of-the-art facilities would forever remain an enduring legacy toward entrenchment of good governance.

The event also featured a book presentation: “Reinventing Governance in Nigeria: The Oba (Dr) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Model” as well as the Oba Sikiru Annual Professorial Chair Lecture delivered by Prof. Akinsola Agagu.

Mr Agagu spoke on “Changing Nigeria’s Governance Narratives”.

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

The programme had in attendance former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his wife, Bola Obasanjo, Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun and Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Others are former governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, former governors of Ogun, Olusegun Osoba, Gbenga Daniel and Ibikunle Amosun, among others.