Foremost historian, Emeritus Professor Anthony Asiwaju and Chairman of Globacom Limited, Dr. Mike Adenuga have extolled the virtues of Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, Ogbagba II.
The duo eulogised the monarch on his 84th birthday and on the second anniversary of the Oba Sikiru Adetona Professorial Chair on Good Governance, endowed at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.
While Asiwaju described the professorial chair as first of its kind in Nigeria and Africa, Adenuga described Awujale as a monarch who speaks truth to power and works tirelessly for the enthronement of good governance in the country and “the oracle of Ijebuland, voice of the voiceless, epitome of moral authority, defender of peoples’ rights and exemplar of responsible governance.”
Adenuga congratulated the monarch and donated N20 million for the endowment “for the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge and generation of ideas for Nigeria’s development.”
In a goodwill message read on his behalf by Mr. Folu Aderibigbe, Adenuga said: “Anybody who knows our royal father very well would not be surprised that he endowed a professorial chair for good governance. Since infancy, our royal father has been deeply involved in the promotion of good governance in the country. In the over five decades that the Awujale has been on the throne of his forefathers, Ijebuland has witnessed phenomenal giant strides in all sectors of the economy.”
The Globacom chairman wished Awujale more fruitful years in the service of Ijebuland in particular, and Nigeria in general, and added that the endowed professorial chair lecture is already living up to its ideal of generating ideas for the enthronement of good governance and the building of an egalitarian society where no man will be oppressed.
Delivering the lecture, “Civil Society and Governance in Nigeria’s evolving democracy 1992-2018,” Professor Ayo Olukotun said a state could be challenged once it loses its moral authority and disagreed with the view that the civil society was dead. He averred that civil societies are rather, in a state of stupor, requiring general re-awakening and urged the society “to increasingly find ways of transcending the familiar divisiveness and centrifugal conflicts that bedevil the Nigerian polity.”
In his response, Oba Adetona thanked guests for honouring him but benoaned the shoddy treatment meted out to traditional rulers, and submitted that governments at all levels should consult more with traditional rulers to enthrone good governance.