The ebullient Chief Press Secretary to the Ooni of Ife, Comrade Moses Olafare, the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fimihan Adeoye and Prof. A.M.A Imevbore, Chairman Governing Council, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, (JABU) were on Sunday honoured with the South-West Excellence Awards.
The Representative of the Ooni of Ife at the event High Chief Adebowale Olafare JP accompanied by the Traditional Secretary, Idowu Salami and SA on Youth Development, Olamide Awosunle described the colourful ceremony which took place at the Conference Centre in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife as a unique event, saying all the awardees were worthy of the honour bestowed on them. He urged those who contested the throne with Ooni Ogunwusi to join hands with him in moving Ile-Ife forward.
“This a unique event, things like this should always happen in our state. Kabiyesi Ooni’risa is a moving training of peace, unity and progress who is being appreciated all over the world. God has chosen him for us and we really enjoying his performances. Thanks to all those contestants who have joined hands with him while I urge the few remaining ones do so before it’s too late. No amount of mischievous and malicious incitement can pull him down”. Highchief Laadin said.
Delivering his lecture, the Guest speaker Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, Commissioner of Police, Osun state Command spoke extensively on security consciousness titled “SECURITY” He charged citizens of the state to be security conscious and gave tips on how to ensure a peaceful environment devoid of security threats, saying security is a collective responsibility.
Mr. Honey Olawale, Senior Project co-ordinator, South-West Nigeria Excellence Award said the awards given to deserving individuals were not monetised but given based on empirical facts available after thorough checks on the recipients individually.
“We are not selling these awards. We are only doing this as part of our contributions to the Nigerian society because if we encourage those who are doing well in their various endeavors, they will be motivated to do more while others know they are been watched, they will also do their best to be recognized, and the society will be better for it”. he said.
The Ooni’s Spokesman Yera Moses Olafare appreciated God Almighty, Ooni Ogunwusi, his wife, Martha journalists and staff of Palace Directorate of Media thanking for their support that has taken him thus far.
I give glory to Almighty God for today and for the journey of my life so far.
I remain endlessly thankful to the one only Arole Oduduwa, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II for the opportunity he has given me to serve my fatherland.
“This award is not only in recognition of my efforts, I think it is more in recognition of the good work Baba Ooni has been doing in the last two years. If he had not given me the opportunity to manage his publicity, I don’t know how I would have been considered for an award. If kabiyesi has not been performing this creditably, what would I have reporting about him? His goodwill undoubtedly makes my job easy. Am just like a marketer who is lucky to have good products to sell”. Olafare said.
He, however, thanked the board of South-West Nigeria Excellence Awards for the honour done him, and dedicated the award to his family who bears the brunt of his work; his Media staff in office and all the Journalists the country who have made his work effective.
“I have to first dedicate this award to all the journalists who have been our partners in progress especially for their love for the king and for always treating me as a colleague that must be supported even in spite of my shortcomings. Am greatly indebted to the Nigerian Press.
I don’t do it alone, my staff have been up and doing, and it’s been a collective responsibility. The award belongs to them too.
“It is a sacrilege to ignore my loving wife and kids who are actually the victims of my long absence at home in the line of my official duty. My parents too, I thank them for their prayers. You all own this award”.
Speaking with journalists after the programme, a Philanthropist, Bimbo Ajilesoro of Ajilesoro Foundation and Ooni’s Traditional Secretary, Idowu Salami described Moses Olafare as a worthy ambassador of Yoruba race who has an unparalleled record as far as royal publicity is concerned in Nigeria.
“The truth is that, “Mr Gargantuan” deserves this award. He has successfully registered his name in the minds of millions of Nigerians for this royal publicity he has been doing for the House of Oduduwa. I have at times heard people wondering whether he is the only royal press secretary in Nigeria”. Ajilesoro said
Idowu Salami said “Kabiyesi Ooni’risa loves him, that is why he named him ‘GARGANTUAN’, we love him at the palace, the people of Ile-Ife love him and he has a huge number of fans both in Nigeria and in Diaspora”.
The Commissioner of Police received the security award of excellence while Professor A.M.A Imevbore, an erudite scholar who attained professorial chair in 1971, was honored for his roles in the educational sector.
The other recipients of the South West Excellence Awards(Osun Edition) were the State Chairman of Accord Party, Hon. Segun Fanibe (philanthropy and charity), the ace gospel singer, Evangelist Toyosi Akinya(spiritual music), Former Commissioner Culture and Tourism in the State, Alhaji Sikiru Ayedun (descent politics), The Obanla of Ijesaland, Highchief Oyekanmi Ogedemgbe(peace initiatives) Dr. Segun Julius Oyedele and others.