By Michael Adesanya
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has described the Alake of Egbaland Oba Aremu Gbadebo as a leader whose virtues transcend his community while his support for arts, culture and education ensure the preservation of Yoruba heritage for generations yet unborn.
Speaking at the Thanksgiving service to mark the Alake’s 80th birthday held at the Cathedral of St. Peters, Ake, Abeokuta, President Tinubu said Oba Gbadebo’s eight decades of leadership has been a testimony of unwavering commitment to the welfare of his people and the nation at large.
Represented by the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun President Tinubu said: “As his Royal Majesty reaches this remarkable milestone, we are reminded not only of his dedication to Nigeria, but also his warm, humility and generosity.
“He has been a shining example of leadership that extends beyond his community, emphasizing the importance of compassion and service to all Nigerians.”
Oba Gbadebo, the President emphasized is a symbol of unity that foster a sense of belonging among his people, observing that the occasion is an opportunity to pay tribute to an enduring legacy of a sovereign whose reign is marked by wisdom, compassion and service to his people.
On his part, Governor Abiodun noted that attaining the age of 80 in good health and many noteworthy feats worthy of admiration could be attributed to divine favour.
He pointed out that the monarch has impacted lives in various ways through his humanitarian services.
Governor Abiodun: “Kabiyesi, I am indeed thrilled and sincerely grateful for the unwavering support and guidance that our administration has received from you over the years, especially your open and unequivocal support to our second term in office.
“Without mincing words, it is expedient to state that Egbaland is blessed to have you as an exemplary monarch, and we are delighted to be associated with the successes you have recorded in the last 38 years of your reign on the throne of your ancestors.”
While wishing the Alake a grand birthday, the governor prayed God to grant the monarch more fruitful years in good health and sound mind to continue to be a source of inspiration to his people in particular, the State and the nation in general.
In his sermon at the occasion, the Archbishop, Metropolitan and former Primate of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), The Most Revd. Peter Akinola decried the prevalent of wickedness in the Nigeria, saying corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of the society.
The Archbishop said for Nigeria to experience new lease of life, the leaders needed to govern with the fear of God and make the welfare of the citizens their priority, instead of lining their pockets with the nation’s Commonwealth.
The Most Revd. Akinola urged Oba Aremu Gbadebo to get closer to God at this point of his life and serve Him diligently, calling on his children and his subjects to always support the monarch with their prayers.
The Thanksgiving service was attended by former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former Governor of the State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, former deputy governor’s, serving and former State and National Assembly members, Egba Traditional Chiefs, Clergymen, captain of industries, among others.