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Awujale @ 80: Oba Rekindles Hope On Ijebu State Creation

By Emmanuel Ajibulu
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A world press conference organized by Ijebu Renaissance Group held on Tuesday 22nd April, 2014, this is part of the activities scheduled to celebrate the longest-reigning monarch, His Royal Highness, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, Ogbagba II, the Awujale of Ijebu land.

The event was specifically designed to honour the monarch's 80th birthday as well as his 54th year anniversary of accession to the throne. The octogenarian, Oba Adetona used the occasion on Tuesday during the question and answer session with media practitioners to commemorate his 80th birthday celebration in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. He reassured all Ijebu indigenes both at home and in diaspora that Ijebu State will be created in his life time. Narrating the history of Ijebu land, he pointed that it was one of the provinces of the old Western Region in those days. 'I'm optimistic that Ijebu State will be created in my life time.'

'Ijebu State is a viable vision and we would surely achieve it. Our demands are historical, justiceable and overdue. These demands are simply hinged on the need for equity, justice and speedy development for our hardworking and productive people.' He stated.

On the issue of corruption which is seemingly the bane of Nigeria's development and growth, Oba Adetona said, ''corruption has become part of our life in this country, from our leaders and even the Obas are not left out, there is corruption everywhere. It is the greatest problem facing us as a country, and we have to overcome it to move forward. People should refrain from being corrupt. If we as the people change, our leaders or anybody coming to corrupt us will also change,' he said.

While reacting to the perceived disunity among Ijebu monarchs, the paramount ruler openly dispelled such hoax and maintained that there is mutual relationship, cordiality and friendship between him and other monarchs in Ijebuland. He also said activities marking his anniversary couldn't have been made possible without the support he is consistently receiving from them.

Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the sub-planning committee for the monarch's commemorative ceremony who doubles as stakeholder of Ijebu Renaissance Group, Chief Adetokunbo Fassy-Yusuff, in his opening speech said the six-day event will witness many activities including a special thanksgiving service at the Cathedral of Church of Saviour in Ijebu Ode on Sunday, 4th of May 2014.

On Tuesday, 6th May, there will be a colloqulum on the Ijebu mission and the presentation of a book title 'Coffee: Table Book & Awujale'. On 7th May there will be the final edition of the Oba Adetona Football competition at the Otunba Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu Ode.

He further stated that 8th of May; there will be a grand reception at Oba Sikiru Adetona Golden Jubilee Centre; whilst the grand finale will ultimately hold on 10th of May with a grand launch of the book at the Marquee, Otunba Dipo Dina International Stadium, opposite the Oba's palace.

Chief Fassy-Yusuff described Awujale as the longest reigning monarch in Nigeria. In his words, 'the 80th birthday anniversary of this living legend and charismatic monarch provides us with an exceptional opportunity to construct the person Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona who was born as Prince Sikiru Olukayode Adetona to the 'Anikilaya Ogbagba, royal family of Ijebu Ode. His father was Prince Rufai Adetona of Imupa area of Ijebu Ode.'

He also described Awujale as a nationalist, who is devotedly committed to the Nigerian State. 'He is indeed a patriot; he has built bridges across River Niger and River Benue. He admonishes his people to be thoroughbred. He, however, defined himself. No wonder the Ijebu people have not only comport themselves wherever they are but it is on record that neither inter nor intra ethnic clash nor religious insurgency has been recorded in Ijebu land since he ascended the throne in 1960.' Chief Fassy-Yusuff affirmed.

Chairman Sub-Planning Com'tee Mr Biodun Shobanjo, HRH, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona & Vice Chairman Sub-Planning Committee, Chief Fassy Yussuf, At The World Press Conference In Honour Of HRH's 80th Birth