Tinubu Confers GCON on Awujale at 90

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has conferred on the Awujale of Ijebuland Oba Sikiru Adetona, the second highest national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON), to mark the Oba’s 90th birthday celebration.

President Tinubu made the announcement at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, during the commissioning of the Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona School of Governance Studies and presentation of a book titled, “Reinventing Governance in Nigeria: The Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Model”, saying the School would be taken over and managed by the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru, Jos.

The President, who was represented by the Vice-President, Senator Kashim Shettima, noted the monarch’s numerous contributions to national development, particularly in the education sector, noting that Oba Sikiru had expanded the sector through various donations and endowments.

He described the monarch as forthright, with exceptional character, who stood his ground and confronted injustice in all ramifications, commending him for his role in ensuring the return of democracy in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, said Oba Adetona was 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, the monarch represents the beauty and the candour of the ancestral heritage of the Ijebu people, emphasising that his passion for governance and accessible commitment to education led him to institute the Oba Sikiru Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance in the Department of Political Science of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye.

“This initiative has led and given birth to the establishment of the world class Oba Sikiru Adetona School of Governance, the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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

Speaking, the Pro-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Toyin Ashiru, said the establishment of the School of Governance aimed at fostering dialogue among scholars, policy makers and practitioners on matters of governance, leadership and public service, adding that it would serve as a hub for research, knowledge sharing and capacity building, to equip people with needed skills for effective governance.

On his part, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Ayodeji Agboola, informed that the celebrant had contributed to the development of the school through donation of offices, lecture and seminar rooms, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Library, assuring that vision and mission of the school of Governance Studies would be vigorously pursued, to make it a centre of excellence in good government and leadership in Nigeria and in the Sub-Saharan Africa.

In a lecture titled, “Changing Nigeria’s Governance Narrative”, the occupant of the Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Prof. Akinsola Agagu, said Nigeria since independence, had been grappling with democratic crisis, corruption, mismanagement, ineptitude, insecurity, among others, which had led to non- achievement of dividends of independence in the country.

He attributed the deep root of the general governance and development crises in the country to absence of seamless intersection of democratic politics with democratic political and legal culture, emphasising that the continued political crisis was due to flawed political culture which had reduced politics to a lawless and amoral vocation.

Prof. Agagu opined that to change the narrative and put the country in the right track, public spirited individuals at all facets of life were urgently needed, while patriotism, concern for the people, vision, honesty, transparency and accountability, as well as impeccable character, as exemplified by Oba Sikiru Adetona, should be the hall mark of those in position of leadership.