From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Ondo State government on Thursday honoured the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola with an award of excellence.
The award was presented to Aregbesola by the state Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu who was represented at the occasion held at the Ondo State cultural centre by his Chief of Staff, Chief Gbenga Ale.
Presenting the award to Aregbesola, Governor Akeredolu lauded the Minister’s efforts at promoting the culture of the Yoruba race, especially when he served as the Governor of Osun State between 2010 and 2018.
He said the belief of Aregbesola in cultural reinasence and his efforts at promoting the culture of the Yoruba race made him eminently qualified for the award.
Also, Akeredolu who is the chairman, South West Governors Forum, said the award presented to Aregbesola was premised on the elevation of the Yoruba anthem by the Aregbesola’s administration in Osun State, promotion of the Omoluabi ethos and equal recognition of the three major religions in the state during his administration as Governor of Osun State.
He charged the Minister not to relent in his efforts at promoting the Yoruba cultural values, just as he assured that Ondo State will ensure that the Yoruba culture is not at the background.
Speaking, Aregbesola, a two term Governor of Osun State described culture as the hallmark of human existence, saying knowledge, virtues and productivity clearly define culture.
Aregbesola who stressed the need for the development of Yoruba culture, said the Yoruba race is blessed with valuable culture and tradition.
The Minister who noted the high premium placed on Yoruba culture outside the shore of the country, said if the various cultural heritage and tourist centres in Yoruba land are well developed, they will be of tremendous economic benefits to the country.
To this end, Aregbesola made case for cultural reenactment, just as he urged the people to change their orientation and belief about cultural values and beliefs.
The former Osun State Governor called on Nigerians to add knowledge with God’s blessings in order to develop the cultural values embedded in the country.
Also, the Minister hailed the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu for his belief in Yoruba culture which culminated in the adoption of the Yoruba anthem as the state’s anthem.
Describing Akeredolu as a liberal person, Aregbesola said Ondo Governor has shown him love and enthusiasm, adding that the Governor is not antagonistic in any way.
He said “Governor Akeredolu is a liberal and understanding politician who believes in Yoruba nation. This is evident in the adoption of Yoruba anthem as the official anthem of the state. The Governor is a good am ambassador of the Yoruba race.”