The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi held a grand state reception on Saturday night in honour of the retirement of the Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin.
In a statement issued on Sunday by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Kayode Fayemi, Olayinka Oyebode, said his principal thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the “great honour’’ done to Ekiti by appointing an indigene as CDS as well as appointing Mr Olonisakin as an ambassador.
The governor, who joined others to extol the virtues of the retired four-star general described him as God-fearing, honourable and a man of integrity who would “rather offend man than compromise his position as the CDS.”
According to the governor, Mr Olonisakin is the second longest serving CDS after the late Lt.- Gen. Domkat Bali.
Fayemi, who explained that the president was extremely proud of the retired general’s professionalism, noted that many prominent Nigerians have commended his Spartan and incorruptible lifestyle both within and outside the military.
The governor, in the statement, also praised Olonisakin for influencing the setting up of the Nigerian Defence Communication Satellite Centre in Ekiti, and his help in the actualisation of the Ekiti Cargo Airport which when completed would host a tactical Command component of the Nigerian Air Force.
“Gen. Olonisakin is a pride to us in Ekiti because of his avowed integrity, his dedication, honesty, professionalism and absolute loyalty to his country.
“As I said, I have listened to several testimonies about his character, about his competence, his compassion and exploit as an officer and as a gentleman,” the governor was quoted as saying in the statement.
In his remarks, Mr Olonisakin, thanked God for sparing his life in his 45-year career in the military and returning him home without any blemish, adding that his appointment came at the most challenging period of Nigeria’s history.
The retired General commended President Buhari and Governor Fayemi for their support while serving as the CDS.
Among those present at the state dinner were representatives of Service Chiefs, former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu ; Maj.-Gen. Funso Owonibi, Maj.-Gen. Lasisi Adegboye and General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Gold Chibuisi.
Others were members of the NDA 25th Regular Course and their spouses, serving and retired military officers as well as heads of security agencies in Ekiti.
Also in attendance were members of the State House Assembly led by the Speaker, Funminiyi Afuye; members of the State Executive Council, Chairman of the State Traditional Council and the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, Olode of Ode-Ekiti, Oba Samuel Aderiye and other top government functionaries.