The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has congratulated the first civilian Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, who turns 60 years old on Sunday.
Dr Fayemi, a former Governor of Ekiti State, in a birthday message described Otunba Adebayo as a humble and compassionate leader, a through bred Omoluabi, who combines good breeding, nobility, decency and commitment to excellence, in personal, business and political life.
The Minister described who himself as a beneficiary of Otunba Adebayo’s generosity of spirit and mentorship, recalled how the first civilian governor of Ekiti State, encouraged him to run for the governorship of the state and supported him through the race as well as the administration he led between 2010 and 2014.
Describing Otunba Adebayo as a friend, brother and mentor with whom he has a unique and interesting relationship, Dr Fayemi said the former governor is a detribalised Nigerian, a bridge builder, who is good at honouring friendship.
Fayemi said: “Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo is my Egbon, leader and predecessor in office and a man that I have been privileged to know as a friend, ally, mentor and confidante.
“His enduring legacy of a peaceful and tranquil state has made him such a moral force with an undeniable weight of authority in the affairs of Ekiti State politics, and indeed progressive politics at the national level.
“When he left Government House, Ado-Ekiti, in 2003 he was only 45 years old – still young enough to have been afflicted by the existential challenge that drives people into post-office despair and desperation for political relevance. Instead, he did what does not come naturally to many in the political class – he moved on.
“ His trajectory after office has since revealed a man of many parts. He is as comfortable in the precincts of politics as he is in the boardrooms of big business. The term “detribalized Nigerian” is such a cliché in Nigeria but it may be justly applied to Otunba Adebayo who has friends and associates from across the length and breadth of the country.
“My family and I join millions other admirers of this great man, who wears humility like a garment, in wishing him a happy 60th birthday celebration. We pray that God grants him many more healthy and impactful years in the service of humanity.”, the statement added.