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Fayemi names State Civic Centre after Awolowo

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Fayemi said the gesture is in commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the death of Awolowo

By Emma Ogbuehi

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Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has named the recently inaugurated ultra-modern Civic and Convention Centre, in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, after the late sage and former Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

The gesture, according to a release personally signed by Governor Fayemi in Ado-Ekiti on Monday, is in commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the death of the late Awolowo.

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The Civic and Convention centre, which was commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) on October 14, 2021, is now to be known as Obafemi Awolowo Civic Centre, Ado-Ekiti.

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The Governor’s statement reads:

“Today, as always, we remember and celebrate the life and legacy of the late Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Oyeniyi Awolowo, GCFR, who was a founding father of our great country Nigeria, frontline nationalist, former Premier of the defunct Western Region, former Federal Commissioner for Finance, and one of the founding fathers of the progressive movement in Nigeria.

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“In his lifetime, late Chief Awolowo demonstrated the finest ideals of the Yoruba Omoluabi in his personal life and public conduct, and bequeathed to us coming after him one of the greatest examples of a life of integrity, honour, and service.

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“His vision and central philosophy of ‘life more abundant, and freedom for all’ remains the foundation upon which the ideology and practice of the progressive movement in Nigeria and beyond continues to build, while his teachings and writings remain a guide for the many public servants to this day.

“The government and people of Ekiti State are proud to be associated with the legacy of our dear late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and on this occasion of the 35th Anniversary of his demise, I am pleased to announce that in our modest way to further immortalize our dear legend, we are naming the recently commissioned Civic Centre in the state capital Ado-Ekiti as the Obafemi Awolowo Civic Centre, from this day, Monday, May 9, 2022.

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“The Obafemi Awolowo Civic Centre from this day, shall be a memorial to all that her patron of blessed memory represents, and a reminder for us all to continue to strive to achieve the unfinished greatness that he lived for.

“May his memory remain blessed.”

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8789c35c-kayode-fayemi Fayemi names State Civic Centre after Awolowo
Gov. Fayemi

Responding to a comment by this reporter on the gesture being in line with the tendency by politicians to seek identification with established figures for political advantage, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Olayinka Oyebode, explained that Fayemi’s action was not borne out of desperation but in line with the tradition of the administration to accord respect to deserving heroes and heroines who rendered commendable services to humanity.

Oyebode argued, “The JKF (John Kayode Fayemi) administration has a rich history of honouring our heroes (dead or living) with gestures like this. And it has nothing to do with politics.

“On October 1 last year, as the state was marking its 25th anniversary, a newly built model college was named after Chief Deji Fasuan,the chairman of the Ekiti State Creation Committee, who clocked 90 same day. Other members of the committee got state awards.

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“A few months earlier, three newly constructed model colleges had been named after three prominent leaders- the late Senator Ayo Fasanmi; Prof Banji Akintoye and Prof David Oke. The trio of Fasanmi, Akintoye and Oke were Second Republic Federal lawmakers, who represented Ekiti areas of the old Ondo State.

“A university was also named after Amb Bamidele Olumilua in Ikere-Ekiti, his home town. General Adeyinka Adebayo has the Government House, Ado-Ekiti, named after him.

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“If all these heroes were honoured by Gov. Fayemi, honouring the great Awo with the newly inaugurated Civic and Convention centre on his 35th memorial anniversary should be seen in the light of this established tradition and not as a smart political move.

“This accounts for the reason Ekiti is known as the Land of Honour...we celebrate men and women of honour and we celebrate heroic deeds of our heroes and heroines”.

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Fayemi is the chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).

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