In a groundbreaking event, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, granted the distinguished title of Gbobaniyi of Ijebuland to Nasir El-Rufai, the former Governor of Kaduna State. This momentous occasion signifies a remarkable milestone, as El-Rufai becomes the first individual from outside the South West region to receive a chieftaincy title from the esteemed Awujale during his nearly 64-year reign.
The installation ceremony unfolded on Saturday, December 16, 2023, as announced by Nasir El-Rufai on his social media platform the preceding night. Expressing his joy and appreciation for the bestowed honor, El-Rufai disclosed that the Awujale also conferred two chieftaincy titles upon Otunba Jimi Lawal, a trusted associate and confidante, as well as his wife Maryam Lawal.
In a tweet, El-Rufai shared, “I am pleased to announce that on Saturday, the 16th of December 2023, His Royal Majesty Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the Paramount Ruler and Awujale of Ijebuland, will honor my brother and confidante Otunba Jimi Lawal with two chieftaincy titles for his contributions to the Ijebu Kingdom and Nigeria, along with his wife Maryam Lawal.”
El-Rufai expressed gratitude for the distinction of being recognized as the Gbobaniyi of Ijebuland, breaking new ground as the first Nigerian from outside the South West to receive such an honor during the extensive reign of the Awujale. He conveyed appreciation to the Awujale for the acknowledgment and extended thanks to those who conveyed well wishes for this auspicious occasion.
This chieftaincy title, beyond honoring individuals, symbolizes a connection between diverse cultures and regions in Nigeria, reflecting the strength of the cultural ties that bind the nation’s varied communities. The ceremony underscores El-Rufai’s noteworthy contributions and impact beyond his native region, fostering unity and cultural appreciation.