L-R: Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Ekiti State, Maj. Sunday Akintade (Rtd); Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe; Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ekiti State, Mr. Augustine Obiekwe; Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sotonye Wakama; Garrision Commander, 19th Battalion, Nigeria Army, Okitipupa, Col. Saidu Aduku; and Governor Kayode Fayemi, during the 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, in Ado-Ekiti… on Wednesday.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has called on the Federal Government to accord more posthumous recognition to the slain Governor of old Western Region, Col. Adekunle Fajuyi; saying that he paid the sacrifice that held the country together till today.
Speaking at the 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day held at the Fajuyi Memorial Park in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, southwest Nigeria, the Governor noted that if Fajuyi had not sacrificed himself during the mutiny, there could have been ethnic distrust that might have torn the nation apart since the visiting Head of State Lt. General Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi, an Ibo, was assassinated in the West.
Dr. Fayemi added that Fajuyi had the choice of abandoning his boss and visitor but showed courage, hospitality and honesty which Ekiti people are known for, and chose to die with Aguiyi-Ironsi and protected the unity of Nigeria.
He stressed that the nations has not done enough to honour the late Fajuyi for protecting the nation.
Fayemi said: “If there was one Nigerian who demonstrated valour, courage, commitment for this country to remain united, it was Col. Francis Adekunle Fajuyi and he had also in doing that demonstrated what it means to be an Ekiti man, that will always stand by the truth and protect the people who we see as our own, that’s why we are hospitable people.
“Remember, Fajuyi was receiving the visiting Head of State when that tragic incident occurred. He could have disappeared but stayed with the Head of State and insisted that he had a duty to protect him, and if he could not protect him, his own life should be sacrificed for the country to be protected. We haven’t done enough to honour Fajuyi and now that the nation is having its centenary celebration, it is proper for Nigerians to honour the man who made us to remain one till today”.
While saying that the Remembrance Day celebration is a sober reflection in honour of fallen heroes who had protected the nation by sacrificing their lives to ensure a peaceful society, the Governor warned against tilting the nation towards conflict, saying that progress and development can only thrive when peace and security reign.
Also speaking, Col. Seidu Aduku of the 19 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Okitipupa, noted that the various state governments are meeting the needs of the families of the fallen heroes, saying that this will therefore encourage patriotism among the members of the Armed Forces.
Governor Fayemi, Col. Aduku, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Sotonye Wakama, the state Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr Augustine Obiekwe, chairman of the Nigerian Legion in the State, Major Sunday Akintade (rtd) and the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe laid wreaths in honour of the fallen heroes, at an event attended by the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly, Chief Adetunji Orisalade, members of the state executive council and well wishers.