Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has urged the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin to leverage on his influence in the military institutions to foster and mentor young officers who might be looking up to him for guidance and mentorship.
The Governor gave the charge in Ado-Ekiti Saturday night during a State reception held in honour of the former Chief of Defence Staff who hails from Ode- Ekiti in Gboyin Local Government area of the state.
Encomium poured in torrents for the former CDS at the colourful reception attended by, representatives of the Service Chiefs, former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd); Major General Funso Owonibi, Major General Lasisi Adegboye, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2nd Division Nigeria Army, Major General Gold Chibuisi, members of the NDA 25th Regular Course and their spouses, serving and retired military officers as well as heads of security agencies in Ekiti State.
Governor Fayemi, who joined others to extol the virtues of the retired General described him as God-fearing, honourable, and man of integrity who would rather offend man than jeopardize the kind of professionalism expected of him as Chief of Defence Staff.
General Olonisakin, according to Governor Fayemi spent five years and 277 days as Chief of Defence Staff making him the second longest serving Chief of Defence Staff after Lt. General Domkat Bali who spent six years and nine days as CDS between 1984 to 1990.
The Governor, who explained that President Mohammadu Buhari was extremely proud of the retired General’s professionalism in the military, said his ears were filled with attestations of prominent Nigerians of Ggeneral Olonisakin’s spartan and incorruptible lifestyle both within and outside the military.
Dr Fayemi, also commended him for his role in the decision of the Military to set up a Nigeria 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 Nigeria Air Force.
“General Olonisakin is a pride to us in Ekiti because of his avouch 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.” He said.
General Olonisakin, in his response appreciated God for sparing his life in his 45 years career in the military and returning him home without blemish. He said his appointment came at the most challenging period of Nigeria history.
The retired General commended President Buhari and Governor Fayemi for their support during his serving period as the Chief of Defence Staff.
Others at the event which was spiced with cultural performance from Ekiti State Performing Arts Company, included members of the State House Assembly led by the Speaker, Hon Funminiyi Afuye; members of the State Executive Council, Chairman of traditional council/Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, Olode of Ode Ekiti, Oba Samuel Aderiye and other top government functionaries.