The Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has bagged another award, as the best Governor of the year 2021, by a Yoruba Newspaper, “Iwe Irohin Yoruba Tooto.”
The award which was presented to him by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu was held at the Nigeria Institute of Journalism, Lagos State.
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was represented by the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Otunba Wale Akinlosotu, while Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was represented by the Permanent Secretary of Lagos State’s Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr Olusina Thorpe.
Responding to the award, on behalf of Governor Akeredolu, the Commissioner, Otunba Wale Akinlosotu, described it as a testimony to the good performance of the Governor who had left no stone unturned in ensuring that the state is in the forefront of developmental projects through his REDEEMED agenda.
He stressed that the Governor understood the warnings and signs that always herald attacks on people by outsiders, hence the need to champion the cause for adequate protection of lives and property of the people.
“I’m not surprised about this award and the encomiums showered on our amiable Governor by the dignitaries and all present here today, they are testaments to his obvious credible performance.
“He is being praised for establishing Amotekun, and if you look at the South West today, Amotekun is doing wonderfully well. It is laudable that Mr Governor is being appreciated not only for adequate security of lives and property of Yoruba race, but for propagating the culture of the land. He is a true cultural ambassador who is also resolute to move Ondo state forward in all spheres.
“We are always very proud of him and his achievements. He is doing us proud as a people and state. He is a good ambassador of not just the state but the whole Yoruba race as being attested to today. And that is a good example for all to emulate. He has been distinguished for exhibiting the laudable omoluabi character notable of a true son of Yoruba people, the award means a lot to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN” he reacted.
The Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Newspaper, Mr Oyekunle Babarinde, said Governor Akeredolu was selected for the award, due to his immesurable contribution to the security of lives and property through the championing and establishment of the South West Security Network codenamed Amotekun, across states in the South West.
He said, aside from being proud to express himself in Yoruba language wherever he goes, Governor Akeredolu was the only Governor in the South West that adopted Yoruba language for his campaign jingle during his re-election bid.
He said the Governor among other achievements had distinguished himself through courage and fervent love for the race, even when such had nearly cost him, his re-election into office.
During a lecture presentation, the Guest Lecturer and Gbonka of Aare Ona Kankafo, Mogaji Gboyega Adejumo, opined that all must go back to Agriculture which was the race cherished occupation, that was instrumental to numerous developmental projects by past leaders of the race.
According to him, Yoruba people must shun enmity and bitterness towards one another, stressing that it was high time all united for a common course.
He praised Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for exhibiting the true character of a genuine Yoruba son known to be ‘Omoluabi’ through his stauch support for the unity, progress and development of the land.
He advocated for restruturing of the country which he said was not an attempt to divide or weaken the country but to rather strengthen it for equity and accelerated development.
“We need to go back to the standard that our fore-fathers followed and developed the land. It was the money from agriculture that Awolowo used to build a very solid Cocoa House in Ibadan and other industries he and other leaders establised at that time.”
The Lecturer also traced the existence of Yoruba race to about 15,000 years ago, arguing that there was the need to correct many unfolding historical version of Yoruba existence.
“I also want to correct the notion that Yoruba race came from Larubawa, this is far from the truth as Yoruba can said to be in existence even before Mecca as a scientific research conducted on the relics of people found in Isharun tourists Cave of Ashes in Ondo state showed that the people had Yoruba DNA and had lived about 15,000 years ago which I doubt, if Mecca was in existence then,” he argued.
The events also witnessed the unveiling and launching of two Yoruba books authored by the newspaper publisher, namely, “itan Yoruba Tooto” and “onka Yoruba.” in which the former was aimed at rewriting the wrong narratives in Yoruba historical versions.
The book contained the complete history of notable ancient towns in Yoruba land that included Akure, Ondo, Abeokuta, Ijebu, Ilesa, Ijebu-Ijesa among others.
Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ondo State.