Dr. Charles Akinola unveiling programme for the event

By Sunday Oguntuyi Osogbo

As part of activities lined up to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the creation of Osun State, the government has unveiled plans to honour 28 distinguished and prominent stakeholders of the state.

This was disclosed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor Gboyega Oyetola, Dr. Charles Akinola, while addressing journalists at a press conference on Wednesday, on the imperatives of the anniversary celebration.

According to Akinola, the celebration, which began last week with the Governor featuring on special TV and Radio interview sessions, will on Thursday, September 9, feature an anniversary colloquium fielding high-profile resource persons like Chief Bisi Akande (former Governor, Osun State), Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar (Sultan of Sokoto), Dr. Reuben Abati (former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity), Dr Yemi Farounbi (former Nigerian Ambassador to the Phillipines), among others.

According to Akinola, the anniversary colloquium will be a hybrid event, organised both in the physical and virtual spheres, adding that the decision was necessary because of the peculiarity of the season.

“This is an anniversary worth celebrating because of the illustrious struggles and successes the state has recorded in its journey, and also an opportunity to catalogue milestones recorded in the journey so far.

“The objective of the colloquium, among others, is to discuss the developmental strides in the State of Osun since creation, the roles played by actors till date, key lessons and suggestions for attaining greater heights,” he said.

Akinola added that the anniversary colloquium will be followed by a State Banquet and Award ceremony at a date to be determined, for some distinguished citizens in recognition of exceptional productivity and significant contributions to the social and economic development of the State and humanity in general.

The awardee, totalling 28 distinguished citizens under four broad categories, were selected by a Jury, on the basis of their service to Osun and contribution to the global and local society.

“Both indigenes and non-indigenes who have contributed to the development of Osun were meticulously selected, and there is no restriction to age, gender, religion, ethnicity or tribe.

“It is our conviction that this will serve as inspiration to others to contribute to the progress of the State”, Akinola said.

The honourees, under the Osun Lifetime Achievement Award, include: Chief Bisi Akande (former Governor, Osun State), Pastor Enoch Adeboye (General Overseer, RCCG worldwide), Sheikh Abdur’rasheed Hadiyatulla (President, Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria), and General Ipoola Alani Akinrinnade, rtd. (former Chief of Army Staff, Nigeria from October 1979 to April 1980, and then Chief of Defence Staff until 1981 during the Nigerian Second Republic).

Others in the lifetime achievement category are: Asiwaju Hammed Omidiran, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, Prince Tunde Ponle, Professor Olu Aina, Chief Akinwande Akinola, Engr. Joanah Olu Maduka, and Chief Dr. Benjamin Adigun.

The state, under the Legacy Award category, also recognised Dr. (Mrs) Folorunsho Alakija (Chancellor, Osun State University and dynamic philanthropist), and Madam Susan Wenger (a culture and tourism icon).

The Osun Merit Award honourees include: Emeritus Prof. Ademola Oyejide, Chief Nike Okundaye, Professor Oye Gureje, Professor Isaac Adewole, and Mallam Yusuf Ali, SAN.

The Osun Distinguished Citizens Award honourees include: Pastor Matthew Asimolowo, Alagba Yemi Elebuibon, Brigadier General Leo Segun Ajiborisha (retired), Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, Asiwaju Khamis Olatunde Badmus, Prince Lawal Obelawo, Chief Moses Inaolaji Aboaba, Mr. Adewale Adeyemo, Mr. Kola Adeniji, and Mr. Mike Awoyinfa.