By Chris Chimezie
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has been described as a detribalised Nigerian whose thoughts and actions are in consonance with national unity and development.
At the 2017 Lecture and Award Ceremony of the Epiphany Azinge Foundation held at the Musa Yaradua Centre, Abuja, Governor Akeredolu was honoured for his patriotic stance on Nigeria which his marriage to his Igbo wife symbolises.
Speaking on the theme ‘Nigeria In Search Of A Detribalised Race’, the Initiator of the Foundation, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), noted that Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, “is not only detribalised, but a complete Nigerian who represents sterling qualities that must be present in anyone aspiring to lead this country”
He noted how tough it must have been for Akeredolu to marry an Igbo wife.
“How challenging it must have been for you many years back to take an Igbo wife, replicated again by your son who also got married to an Igbo wife “.
“Your years as President of the Nigeria Bar Association undeniably was made lighter by your connections”.
Professor Epiphany Azinge, SAN, who was the former Director General of the Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, highlighted the objectives of Epiphany Azinge Foundation to include: “to engage in special legal research for positive development of Nigerian legal system and enthronement of ethical standards and values”.
He said the Foundation is also involved in promoting patriotism and nationalism through identifying and recongnising persons who have proven through their actions and records to be detribalized Nigerian and use them as examples to build unity and promote Nigerianism.
“We are using this Foundation to promote the art and culture of Nigeria and internationalize the customs and traditions of the people of Nigeria,as well as cultivate and inculcate the altruistic passion of volunteerism”, Professor Azinge asserted.
“The Epiphany Azinge Foundation is vigorously pursuing the promotion of work ethics in the public sector in Nigeria with a view to reinvigorating patriotic fervor, dignity of labour and hard work.”
While appreciating the noble objectives of the Foundation, Governor Akeredolu stressed his belief in the oneness and indivisibility of Nigeria are based on the fact that Nigerians have a lot to gain in the nation’s diversity.
He lauded the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC programme, which according to him provided the veritable opportunity for him to meet his heartthrob.
Arakunrin Akeredolu advised that all agitations be subsumed within the laws of the land.