Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has stated that his
administration will re-introduce the State Merit Award in honour of
Ekiti indigenes, who have distinguished themselves in various fields
of human endeavours.
The last Edition of the annual Ekiti State Merit Award took place in
2013, during Fayemi’s first term in office.
Speaking in Lagos at the Funeral Service for the late Lady Deborah
Jibowu, first Nigerian female University graduate in the Sciences, Dr.
Fayemi said the re-introduction of the awards will not only encourage
the younger generation to aspire for excellence but also provide them
with models of excellence to emulate.
The Governor described the late Lady Jibowu as an “exceptional Ekiti
daughter”, who dedicated her life to serving and imparting the younger
generation, adding that the deceased also bore “a giant shoulder upon
which many young men and women stood to find their paths.”
Fayemi said Lady Jibowu’s appointment into different commissions,
boards and councils bore well-expressed testimony to her high level of
integrity, adding that her death was a colossal loss to Ekiti State
He recalled Lady Jibowu’s investments in the education of the
girl-child as well as women empowerment, saying she would be
remembered as a woman who used her privileged background to provide
succour to many.
“Whereas the death of this exceptional daughter of Ekiti, an
extraordinary Nigerian and global icon at this time is painful, we
cannot but be grateful to God for an exemplary life she lived.
Brilliance and distinction dotted everything she did, either as a
student, mother, teacher, public servant, administrator, civil society
and gender advocate, woman of faith, community leader and stateswoman.
She was a paragon of excellence in all her endeavours”, the governor
Earlier in his sermon, the retired Provost of the Cathedral Church of
Christ, Marina, Lagos, Venerable (Dr.) Oluyinka Omololu, charged the
people to make always strive to make positive impact wherever they
find themselves as they would be remembered for this after their
Omololu whose sermon was from Matthew 25 verse 34 and titled ‘Making a
positive impact in the lives of others”, said humans should not only
focus their attention on their relationship with God but also on
fellow human beings.
The clergyman said the late Jibowu lived for others and made positive impact.
“When we show kindness to others, it is as if we are doing it for
Christ. Judgement will be premised on two things: our relationship
with God and what we do for others. Ministry is not for self but for
others. Every day is an opportunity to make positive impact in the
lives of others”, he said.
The late Lady Jibowu, who hailed from Ido Ile in Ekiti State, was the
first Nigerian female Science graduate, having graduated from the
University of Manchester, United kingdom in 1947.