No fewer than 30 distinguished personalities were on Tuesday honoured with chieftaincy titles and merit awards by Erinmope community in Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara, the Nigeria News Agency reports.
The awardees received their paraphernalia of office, certificates and plaque at a ceremony marking the 30th year of coronation of Oba Julius Abiodun, the Elerin of Erinmope in Kwara.
NAN reports that the programme also included the launching of Erinmope N50 million appeal fund for building of an ultra-modern Erinmope palace.
The breakdown of the awards showed that 11 personalities bagged honorary chieftaincy titles, 11 received meritorious awards, while five others were posthumously awarded for their selflessness and commitment to the growth, progress and socio-economic development of the community.
Oba Julius Abiodun, the traditional ruler of Erinmope and Elerin of Erinmope, said that no communal commitment or service to humanity would ever go unrecognised and unappreciated by the community.
He said the awardees deserved the honours not because of their wealth, but based on their legacies, closeness to the people and contributions to the community within their capacities and resources.
“The community will continue to recognise diligence, commitment, perseverance, communal services, human capital development and other developmental efforts by groups and individuals.
“No efforts geared in this direction will ever go unrecognised and unappreciated.
“The major essence is to spur others with the wherewithal to join in the race toward transforming our community for the better.
“As community leaders we will never fail in our responsibility to give the necessary support and prayers to achieve the desired success,” he said.
Mr Kayode Alabi, Kwara State Deputy Governor, restated the government’s commitment toward promoting food production and reduce unemployment in the state.
Alabi, who was represented by Mr Raphael Adetiba, the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, said plans were on top gear to assist farmers with facilities and incentives as a way of improving production, yield and income.
He enjoined indogenes of Erinmope to contribute their quota toward the growth, progress and socioeconomic development of the community and the state in general.
Alhaji Azeez Amuda, the President, Erinmope Development Association (EDA), in his welcome address, said the awards were instituted to recognise diligence, dedication, commitment and self-help developmental efforts.
He congratulated the recipients for their positive impact and adding values to the living standard of the people of the community.
Amuda appealed to the state government under Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, to take advantage of the community’s mass fertile land toward developing the state’s agriculture sector.
“We have large land mass that is fertile for agriculture.
“Our local and state government in particular, should note this potentials,” he said.
The EDA president also appealed for more infrastructural development in the area, and called for an urgent solution to the perennial water scarcity being experienced by residents.
He promised that every donations toward the development of the community, especially the building of the ultra-modern palace, would be judiciously utilised.
Meanwhile, Chief Gbenga Makanjuola, who bagged the Chieftaincy title of Bamofin of Erinmope, described his recognition as a product of self determination and commitment to communal integration.
Makanjuola, a one-time deputy chief of staff to the former Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki, said the award would spur him to do more in ensuring the desired transformation at the grassroot.
Rev. James Adekeye, a meritorious award recipient, thanked the people of the community for the honour and promised to continue in the same spirit.
NAN also reports that the event was attended by some Kwara South traditional rulers, including Oba Samuel Dada, the Aloffa of Ilofa, and Chairman Oke-Ero Traditional Council, Oba Daniel Dada, Elegosi of Egosi Kingdom, Oba Michael Adeyemi, Elekan of Ekan, and Odogun of Ilale, Oba Simeon Aina.
Edited by: Emmanuel Okara/Muhammad Suleiman Tola