Ekiti 2022: Ooni of Ife canvasses support for Oyebanji

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From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has charged everyone connected with the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado Ekiti, who desires the best for the 40-year-old institution to support one of its old students and former Secretary to the State Government, Hon Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, to win the June 18 gubernatorial election in Ekiti State.

Oyebanji who is the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for the June election graduated from the university in 1987 and later took up a lecturing job there before his foray into politics. He was until recently a member of the University Council.

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Speaking in his capacity as Life Patron of the EKSU Alumni Association at the 40 Years Anniversary Dinner and Award, in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, Oba Ogunwusi said considering Oyebanji’s pedigree and contributions to EKSU as an alumnus, former lecturer as well as his contribution to the state in general, he was convinced that the APC standard bearer remains a good choice for the number one position.

The Ooni, who was represented at the event by Alara Odaye of Ara Land, Ife, Oba Adebisi Segun Layade, congratulated all the stakeholders of the University, especially the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Edward Olanipekun, for their efforts, over the years, to make sure the institution remains a university of choice in Nigeria.

‘As someone who is familiar with the history of Ekiti State as a lover of education, I am not surprised about the feat the Ekiti State University has achieved over the years. Today, I am bold to say anywhere that I’m related to one of the best universities in the country. To this end, I congratulate our young and dynamic Vice-Chancellor, Prof Olanipekun, for his quality leadership which is daily germinating in the lives of the products of the school and I appreciate, sincerely, members of the alumni association, for always looking back and willing to contribute their quota,’ the Ooni said.

Speaking further, Oba Ogunwusi described the emergence of Oyebanji in the political scene as God’s design to perfect the good work he had started at EKSU and called on the entire university community and the alumni association to see Oyebanji’s candidacy as their project and work tirelessly to see him crowned as Ekiti State Governor, come October 2022.

‘When I first heard about Hon. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, my first attraction to him was the fact that he attended and had lectured at our university. Going further, I discovered he has done a lot towards the development of Ekiti, including serving as Chief of Staff to a former governor and two-term commissioner under Dr Kayode Fayemi and later as Secretary to the State Government. To me, his emergence on the Ekiti political scene is not by accident, it’s timely as God wants to use him to perfect his job in the growth trajectory of the 40-year-old school. I charge everybody, who is connected to EKSU, one way or the other to support Oyebanji because I see him as God’s sent at this time to our great institution.’

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The monarch also invited Oyebanji to the podium for royal blessing and prayed for his success at the June 18 poll.

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Earlier at the event, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Olanipekun, who spoke glowingly about Governor Kayode Fayemi’s erudition and commitment to the institution, also called on all members of the alumni association and the university community, to bury their political differences and adopt Oyebanji, a former student of the institution, as their sole candidate in the forthcoming guber election.

Prof Olanipekun said, ‘first, let me commend the visitor to the University, our hard-working governor, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, for his commitment to making EKSU become the best it can be in Nigeria.

Governor Fayemi is not only investing in the university, he’s daily following our progress and suggesting various ways to lift the school. Having said this, I want to call on us all, those who want the best and further development in the school to bury our various political differences and adopt one of us, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, as our own sole candidate for the June 18 gubernatorial election.

‘With Oyebanji as governor of Ekiti State, I believe and I’m convinced that the future is bright for our school because he is a committed alumnus of the institution.’

At the event, Oyebanji, together with Prof Bamitale Omole, Chairman Governing Council of the University; and the two Deputy Vice-Chancellors – Prof Patrick Tedela and Prof Adewale Olajide – were honoured with the Distinguished Service Award of the alumni association.

Speaking on behalf of the awardees, Oyebanji commended the Engr Dipo Bamisaye-led alumni association for the efforts being made daily to attract development to EKSU and appreciated the association for considering him worthy of the award.

‘Today is important to me because I’m being honoured in my own home. It’s often said that a prophet doesn’t get recognition in his home but I’m happy that today’s event has negated that saying. I commend the leadership of our association, especially our Global President, Engr Bamisaye, for the effort they have put in taking us thus far. I appreciate the VC for his purposeful leadership and I promise to always be a good ambassador of our great institution,’ Oyebanji said.

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