The Osun Government on Thursday honoured 11 eminent personalities, including a former Governor, Chief Adebisi Akande and Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God with life achievement awards.
They were honoured along with others at the 30th Anniversary Banquet and Awards ceremony in Osogbo, organised to celebrate the creation of the state.
At the event, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, urged the state citizens to pull their collective strength to work, irrespective of their political differences and sentiments, for a greater tomorrow.
Oyetola said: “We are here today because you all provided direction and showed distinct leadership in a manner that has earned our state its deserved recognition and reputation over the years. We are grateful to you all.
“This banquet and awards is designed to recognise and celebrate our distinguished citizens and friends of the state, whose phenomenal contributions in the various fields of endeavour have made Osun proud and have helped to build the Osun of our founding fathers’ dream.
“They are eminent individuals whose contributions and legacies have inspired our people, especially our youths, to believe in our dear state and continue to fly its flag high.
“Twenty-eight people have received awards in four categories at this event as follows: 11 recipients of Lifetime Achievement Award,; 10 recipients of Osun Distinguished Citizen Award, and two recipients of Legacy Award, while five persons got the Osun Merit Award,” the governor said.
Also, the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, commended the state government on the awards, describing it as a welcome development.
Adeyemi III said the award by the Osun government to Adeboye, Akande and others has the potential to ignite high hopes and hunger for diligence and excellence in the youth.
Other eminent personalities honoured include: Sheikh Abdur’rasheed Hadiyatulla President, Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria; Retired Gen. Ipoola Akinrinnade, a former Chief of Army Staff; Asiwaju Hammed Omidiran and Hassan Sunmonu.
They are Prince Tunde Ponle; Prof. Olu Aina, Chief Akinwande Akinola; Joanah Maduka and Chief (Dr) Benjamin Adigun.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other eminent personalities were also honoured under the Distinguished Citizens, Legacy and Merit Awards.
Enminent personalities under the distinguished Citizens Awards included: Pastor Matthew Asimolowo; Alagba Yemi Elebuibon, Retired Brig.-Gen. Leo Segun Ajiborisha; Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN); Asiwaju Olatunde Badmus; Prince Lawal Obelawo; Chief Moses Inaolaji Aboaba; Mr Adewale Adeyemo; Mr Kola Adeniji and Mr Mike Awoyinfa.
Under the Legacy Award category were Dr (Mrs) Folorunsho Alakija (Chancellor, Osun State University and Madam Susan Wenger, a Culture and Tourism icon.
The Merit Award honourees included Emeritus Prof. Ademola Oyejide; Chief Nike Okundaye; Prof. Oye Gureje; Prof. Isaac Adewole, a former Minister of Health and Malam Yusuf Ali (SAN).
Dignitaries at the event were: Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo; Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, a former Governor of Oyo State; Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Ogun Governor; Sunday Dare, Minister of Youths and Sports, traditional rulers, among others.
NAN reports that Osun was carved out of the old Oyo State on Aug. 27, 1991 by the then Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.