The Yoruba Heritage International Limited, over the weekend, held its first annual lecture and awards, tagged Ondo State edition, amidst thrills and fanfare.
The award which was held at the Ondo State Property and Development Corporation (OSPDC) Multipurpose hall, Ijapo, Akure, Ondo State, had in attendance eminent Nigerian leaders in the political space and the industrial sector of the country such as the Governor of Ondo state and Host, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, Chief Olu Falae, Chairman of the event and one time Secretary to the Federal Government, Oba (Dr.) Frederick Obateru Akinruntan, Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, who doubles as the royal father of the event, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, Founder, Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, and Guest Speaker, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo, Chairman, Elizade Motors and Chief Segun Adegoke, a renowned lawyer and elder statesman who were all conferred with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the event.
While declaring the programme open, the Ondo State Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde said he perceived the programme to be grand, profound and mind-blowing in view of its focus and the caliber of people like prominent Yoruba leaders and those in government attracted to it.
He expressed his belief that the programme will help to further deepen Yoruba’s appreciation of the core values that the tribe stands for, saying it will also be an eye opener for evolving future leaders to be focused on more responsible and result oriented roles.
The Governor commended Yoruba Heritage International Limited and the financiers for the thoughtfulness, vision and resolve to acknowledge worthy awardees which included illustrious citizens of the Yorubas.
In his welcome address, the Aare, Yoruba Heritage International Limited, Omo’ba Segun Adesemoye said the programme was borne out of passion for cultural rebirth and value reorientation, traditional excellence, moral consciousness, regional cooperation and development, economic prosperity, identification and celebration of exceptional leadership, communal impact and altruistic service to the people.
He said young people must demand answers from their fathers and leaders on issues bothering on the past and how to channel a well planned future.
“As young people, we rightly desire to ask questions, demand explicit explanations from our fathers and leaders on issues bothering on the past and how we got to the present so that we can put heads and hearts together and collectively achieve a well planned and pre-determined future” Adesemoye said.
He called on Yorubas to heed the advice of the late Yoruba theatre icon, Hubert Ogunde, to determine the future of the collective existence of the race, noting the need to come together as a united people to chart a new course towards the development and the advancement of the Yoruba people.
Adesemoye, who said the Lecture is the most important part of the event is to provide opportunities for constructive and progesssive engagement between elder statesmen, leaders, policymakers and young people.
He said the awards was borne out of the need to identify and recognize leaders and elder statesmen that have distinguished themselves in their callings and made immeasurable impact on their people.
Chairman of the event and former secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae, in his remarks, said that he is in no doubt the programme will open a new chapter in history as another commendable effort to build a collective Yourba people.
While delivering his address, Chairman, Africa Dialogue Mission, and keynote speaker, who also emerged the Ondo State Man of the year, Barr. Adewole Adebayo, stressed the need to be interested in learning the Yoruba history to be able to appreciate its collective values as a Yourba people and the reason to protect it’s Heritage.
“Until we know our history, where we are coming from as a people, we won’t appreciate ourselves and our values. There is need to learning our history, to know how we are related to other tribes. That alone will make us understand that what we call tribe is only a matter of boundary. We are more related to one another than the geographical space between us” Adebayo said.
Founder, Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, and Guest speaker, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, who spoke on Regional Intergration: Securing Yoruba Cultural Heritage towards building bridges of opportunities, lamented on the agitation for regionalism, regional independence and regional autonomy that have engulfed the Nigerian space in recent times. He said it is a clear indication that the country is being run in a lopsided manner.
Fasheun called on the Federal government to endeavour to run an all inclusive government where every tribe is evenly represented as he charged the Yourba people to come together to design a way forward for the race.
Other categories of awards include Ondo State New Media Strategist of the year, Radio Station of the year, Creative Brand of the year, Teacher of the year, Tourism Icon of the year, Emerging Leader of the year, Ondo State Lawmaker of the year, Trailblazer of the year, Achiever of the year, and Oba of the year.______________________________________________
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