The Palm Tree Where Ironsi, Fajuyi Were Killed • Oyo Govt To Immortalise Them

The government of Oyo State has taken a giant stride
at expanding the frontiers of historical tourism in the state as it has
set in motion all machinery needed for the transformation of the spot
where a former Nigeria’s Head of State, late Aguiyi Ironsi and the then
Military Governor of Western Region, Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi were
murdered into a memorial park.

The Oyo State Governor,
Senator Abiola Ajimobi mobilised and galvanised all parties and
stakeholders whose input and presence of minds are needed at ensuring
the project see the light to site inspection ceremony on Wednesday 28
March, 2017.

According to the Oyo State Commissioner for
Information, Culture and Tourism, Prince Toye Arulogun “the Governor,
Senator Abiola Ajimobi emphatically urged us to ensure the consultation
and participation of all perceived stakeholders in this project viz;
the Military, the families of the deceased officers, the museums and
monuments, House of Assembly, Aguyi Ironsi–Fajuyi Foundation and the
Lalupon Community”

Adhering strictly to the directive, Prince
Arulogun made sure that representatives of all the appointed
stakeholders were present including Ambassador Thomas Aguyi–Ironsi, who
represented the Ironsi family, Agbaakin of Ibadan land. Oloye Lekan
Alabi who represented the Adekunle Fajuyi Foundation, Honourable Niyi
Adeoye, Chairman, Oyo State House of Assembly Tourism Committe and
members of the committe, Mr O Olorunipa, Curator, Ibadan National
Commission for Museum and Monuments, Dr Basher Olarewaju, Permanent
Secretary, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and the full
representation of Onilalupon–In– Council and members of the community.

Revealing
the essence of the day, Prince Arulogun pointed out ‘Today marks
another milestone in the lubrication of the chord of unity and
brotherhood between the western part of the nation and the Eastern side
of the country. It is the continuation of the brotherly love exhibited
by the late Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi who was the Governor of Western
Region to his boss, the then Head of State, General Aguyi Ironsi who was
about to be killed while the latter was on an official duty to the
region by insisting that, the murderers must kill him alongside his
guests.”

The Commissioner said “This rare show of love, care and
affection which led to Colonel Fajuyi paying supreme price has not only
saved the two ethnic nationalities from eternal contempt of distrust
and loss of confidence, but has substantially helped to cement the
trans – ethnic relationship and confidence building between the two
groups”.

Prince Arulogun said “Thus, history beckons on the Oyo
State government not only to keep the record of what happened 50 years
ago on the shelves of library and academic vaults, but to step up at
enhancing the exact spot where the event took place not only as a point
of historical reference, but also to showcase to this generation and
generation yet unborn the site where the West – East brotherhood was
consummated and planted.”

He revealed “According to Governor
Ajimobi who said that we are duty bound to showcase the spot where
gallantry was displayed by Nigerian military officers, where loyalty was
showcased at its best and where trust was brazenly extolled not minding
paying with their souls. This is the reason why we are here today”.

Prince
Arulogun informed “To show that God Almighty sanctioned and approved
the planting of a memorial garden here on the plot , we gathered
that all attempts at selling the land was never successful . Also , the
indelible blood stains and the bullet holes which are visible on the
palm tree which stands like a colossus after 50 years are all
testimonies of the goodness of today’s event.”

Prince Arulogun
who commended all the stakeholders for the attendance specially lauded
the owners of the plots of land where the army officers were murdered
“not only for offering the land to the government with little
compensation, but for not insisting on selling the land at all cost”.

The park and garden, prince Arulogun revealed “is an emphasis on peace, unity and oneness of the nation”

Reinforcing
the above Oloye Lekan Alabi who commended Senator Ajimobi for doing
that which is good at the sight of the Lord and welcomed by the spirit
of the people said that generations yet unborn will not forget this act
in a hurry”.

“It is heart warming that senator Ajimobi is not
only immortalising these heroes here, but sowing the seed of
trans-generational historical knowledge as many children will not only
be aware of the characters of the dead heroes, but also read about
their values which they exhibited and represented”

Oloye Alabi said that, he would adequately communicate the proceeding of the day to the Fajuyi family.

With
emotion laden voice, Ambassador Aguyi –Ironsi said he was short of word
to convey the gratitude of the Aguyi -Ironsi family to the Governor of
Oyo State and the people the State who deemed it necessary to establish
the Ironsi – Fajuyi Memorial Garden Park.

Ambassador Aguyi Ironsi
while speaking demanded for a bottle of water which he poured on the
ground “I hereby offer my dead father a drink before I take a sip on
the ground on which he was killed for peace, unity and togetherness of
Nigeria”.

He thanked the good people of Lalupon ‘for their love
for the dead heroes and the willingness at releasing the plots of land
for the project”.

The Curator of Ibadan Museum, Mr Olorunipa
called on the community to be more hospitable, friendly, warm and ready
to welcome visitors and investors as they have never seen before
urging that Lalupon would soon be a tourist town to behold.

Speaking
for the community, Chief Oribayo Okeyode commended Governor Ajimobi for
his developmental strides and sense of gratitude particularly his
decision to immortalise the dead heroes by building a tourism park in
their community.

He assured the government and the families of
the dead heroes of the protection of visitors and the structures that
would be put in place.

After the speeches, Prince Arulogun led
the visitors and guests on inspection of the Palm tree which harbours
some bullet holes and blood stains of the dead heroes.

http://tribuneonlineng.com/behold-palm-tree-ironsi-fajuyi-killed-%e2%80%a2-oyo-govt-set-immortalise/

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