Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu,SAN, has been conferred with the National Honour Award of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
President Muhammadu Buhari conferred the award on the Governor at International Conference Centre,Abuja on Tuesday.
His Chief Press Secretary, Olabode Richard, in a statement, wrote, “Since Nigeria returned to the fourth republic in 1999, the dearth of courageous leadership has been its conspicuous bane. This contributed significantly to the array of challenges confronting the nation till date.
“It is not unusual to see putative leaders shy away from taking categorical decisions at critical, crucial moments. Leaderships, more often than not, become mundane and can hardly inspire the people. Worse still, the quality of leadership at the various levels of governance has steadily nosedived.
“Candour, competence and courage are scarce qualities in today’s Nigerian leaders. To find in a leader the combination of competence, character and courage is increasingly difficult – a sad reality of our time.
“It is in the face of this harsh reality that Ondo State presents an oasis. Its Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, is redefining leadership and reinforcing the hope of the people.
“He has become an opened book on vibrant leadership in a clime sorely bereft of his brand. He displays courage and competence in a fashion yet unmatched by leaders on equal rung with him.
“His stance and efforts on Security, Rotational Presidency, Restructuring of the Country amidst other crucial national issues, have attested to his passion for service and vision for his people.
“His interventions are loaded in varied degress of impacts. He has proven to be the defender of the people. No wonder some now refer to him as the Lion of West. When he speaks, his voice roars across the nation.
“Leadership is a serious business. It requires selflessness and sincerity. Governor Akeredolu has matched courage with competence laced with candour and character. He is never afraid to take decisions in the face of daunting challenges.
“Contrary to the seemingly general opinion that Aketi is only a Southwest leader, his acts have proven to be nationalistic and his person as one who shares an incurable believe in the workability of the Nigerian Project. He does so with an astounding devotion to the welfare and security of the people. He is an unyielding voice in the affairs of the nation.
“His role in the establishment of the Amotekun Corps in the Southwest will remain a reference point for genuine leadership in the annals of the country.
“He spearheaded the creation of Amotekun at a time when the stakes were high for him. Even when many feared that his role might cost him his re-election, Governor Akeredolu was ready to sacrifice anything for the safety of his people.
Aketi’s unfeigned stance on restructuring has continued to resonate with the current reality across the country. His voice is loud enough on the need to return power to the south in the spirit of equity and fairness. He is, indeed, a passionate leader with an alluring vision for a prosperous nation.
“Aside his constant interventions on national issues, back at home, Governor Akeredolu is busy making waves and recording giant strides in Infrastructure, Healthcare, Agriculture, Education, Science and Technology among several others.
“The Akeredolu administration, in the last five years, has completed 274.11km of roads across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State while 120km are ongoing across the three senatorial districts. He is building the first of its kind teaching hospital in the state. His Midas touch reflects across all sectors of the state.
“Today, we celebrate this enigma whose journey in life has been enveloped in God’s unending grace and mercy. A man whose vision and passion are all about the people and the nation. A bridge builder. A detribalised Nigerian. Bold, blunt and courageous. A leader for all seasons.
“I join well-meaning Nigerians and his teeming admirers across the globe to celebrate and congratulate our dear Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on this well deserved honour.
“This National Award is not only apt, but a graphic acknowledgement of Governor Akeredolu’s standing as the voice for the voiceless Nigerians and his continued selfless services to humanity and the nation.”