Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, last Sunday called on the federal government to immortalise a former Military Governor of Old Western Nigeria, the Late Lt Col. Adekunle Fajuyi, for his exceptional courageous and selfless act, and for paying the supreme sacrifice for the unity of the country.
Governor Oyebanji made the call at the Muson Centre in Lagos last Sunday evening during a command performance of Fajuyi For Nigeria, a stage play re-enacting the heroic deed of the late military governor.
The governor, who had earlier made the call during a similar performance of the play in Ado-Ekiti last month as part of activities marking his first year in office, said the heroic deed of the late Col Fajuyi is an enduring legacy of patriotism, heroism, and sacrifice that should be celebrated by all Nigerians.
Oyebanji said a federal government’s honour and recognition for the late hero would serve as a symbol of unity to inspire future generations, adding that Fajuyi’s name deserves to be etched in the annals of Nigerian history.
The governor said the late Fajuyi, a native of Ado Ekiti, was best known for his act of selflessness during the Nigerian counter-coup of 1966 when he chose to protect the then Head of State, Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi, at the cost of his own life.
He opined that the history of the late Fajuyi would continue to inspire and encourage Nigerians to do what is right always no matter the situation, and to be men and women of integrity, imbibe moral values of consistent commitment to their place of birth, and exhibit the highest level of patriotism to the country.
Oyebanji, however, said the Government of Ekiti State would continue to celebrate the late hero and support his family, adding that the state government would rebuild his burial place at Fajuyi Park, Ado Ekiti, and elevate it to the status of a national monument.
He, therefore, called on the federal government to immediately consider naming a national monument after Col Fajuyi to honour him perpetually and further preserve his memory.
“On behalf of the people of Ekiti State and the people of Nigeria, Francis Adekunle Fajuyi died for, and as your governor, I hereby demand that one national monument be immediately named after him to honour him perpetually and further preserve his memory. Also, a posthumous national award be conferred on him, and his family should benefit some annual financial assistance from the Nigeria Army,” the governor asserted.
A major highlight of the command performance witnessed by members of the Fajuyi and General Aguyi Ironsi family members was when the first sons of the slain military officers were invited to the stage for the proverbial handshake across the Niger.
A pall of silence descended on the Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre, venue of the performance the moment the two men shook hands and embraced each other.