Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, has showered encomiums on the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, as the monarch marked his 75th birthday on Monday.
Egbeyemi extolled the virtues of Oba Adejugbe commending him for the pivotal roles played by the royal father in the creation of Ekiti State and development of Ado-Ekiti since he ascended the throne thirty years ago.
The Deputy Governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Odunayo Ogunmola, described the Ewi as a beacon of light, an embodiment of God’s grace and mercy, an epitome of humility, a lover of peace, a bridge-builder and a king who exhibits the fear of God.
Egbeyemi hailed Oba Adejugbe for dedicating his life to peace, progress, prosperity and development of Ado-Ekiti which he noted had grown in leaps and bounds during his reign.
The Deputy Governor had earlier in the day joined other traditional rulers, political leaders, clergymen and prominent Ado-Ekiti indigenes at a special birthday service in honour of the Ewi at the palace multipurpose hall which was presided over by the Anglican Archbishop of Ondo Province and Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, the Most Rev. Christopher Omotunde.
Egbeyemi noted that the Ewi had selflessly served Ekiti State which he championed its creation saying Ado-Ekiti was lucky to have him as the king with the city enjoying the status of a state capital, economic nerve centre, tourist destination, an education hub and cultural centre of note.
He said: ‘Kabiyesi, God is worthy of praises for giving you this opportunity to witness and celebrate this landmark birthday in joy, good health and fulfilment in appreciation of the unprecedented development witnessed in your domain since your ascension to the throne.
‘Your role as s peacemaker and a giver of priceless advice to the government at critical times is also recognised.
‘This government led by His Excellency, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, in which I, a son of Ado-Ekiti, is serving as the Deputy Governor, has benefited from the wisdom God has endowed you with and we will continue to be grateful for this.
“You are a beacon of light, a shining star, an embodiment of God’s grace and mercy, an epitome of humility, a man of character, a lover of peace, a bridge-builder and a king who exhibits fear of God. Long shall you continue to reign on the throne of your forbears.’
Also speaking at the birthday celebration at the palace, Egbeyemi urged all Ado-Ekiti sons and daughters to join hands with their Oba to take the city to greater heights.
He said the birthday offered the monarch an opportunity to count his blessings and to rededicate his life for peace and progress of the kingdom, Ekiti State and Nigeria as a whole.
Omotunde, in his sermon at the birthday service, said God has given the Ewi an uncommon grace which must be reciprocated with more service to God and humanity.
The archbishop who commended the monarch for his humility and for not allowing royalty to enter his head said Oba Adejugbe’s character has earned him more honour and respect.
Omotunde counselled the celebrant to always be guided by fear of God in taking decisions saying “anybody who does not fear God is a great fool.”
He also reminded the audience to use the occasion of the Oba’s birthday to ponder on life after death stressing that everybody shall give an account of himself to God.
The high point of the event was the cutting of the birthday cake by the celebrant, Oba Adejugbe, who was joined by his wives and other dignitaries to perform the task.
The service was attended by former Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; the Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti, Oba Adejimi Adu; the Elemure of Emure Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo; the Apalufin of Aisegba Ekiti, Oba Solomon Omotoyinbo, represented by his wife, Olori Funke; retired Anglican Archbishop of Ondo Province/Bishop of Ekiti, the Most Rev. Samuel Abe; retired Bishop of Akure Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Michael Ipinmoye; Vice-Chancellor, Ekiti State University, Prof. Edward Olanipekun, among others.