President Muhammadu Buhari has paid heartfelt tribute to Professor Felicia Adebola Adedoyin, renowned professor of Education and composer of the National Pledge, saying her patriotic fervour will be remembered anytime the national pledge is recited.
President Buhari asserts that the thoughtful and solemn words of the National Pledge by the iconic composer, have become an invocation to every citizen of the country to serve our fatherland with faithfulness, loyalty and honesty.
This is coming after public outcry by sons and daughters of Saki in the Oke Ogun area of Oyo State calling for the immortalisation of their daughter.
Earlier, Saki First in a release by its founder and convener, Mr Adekunle Musediq Lawal decried the silence of the both governments since the announcement of her death.
The Late Adedoyin who was born on the 6th of November 1938 is the 2nd of 6 Children and a Princess from the Iji Ruling House of Saki. She died on Saturday May 1st after a brief illness.
Saki First urged the Oyo state government-led by Engineer Seyi Makinde to immortalise the Late Adedoyin in the state.
The group also called on sons and daughters of Saki especially political office holders to lend their voices irrespective of political or religious differences on the matter.
The group noted that although in 2005, she was given a national award, the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by the Federal government. It said this is not enough. It then called for her immortalisation by both the state and federal governments.
The statement read in part: “We received the news of the demise of our mother, princess and heroine, Professor (Mrs) Felicia Adebola Adedoyin of the Iji Ruling House of Saki with a rude shock.
“Late Adedoyin was the Author of Nigeria’s National Pledge which she wrote in the Daily Times in July 15, 1976, in an article titled ‘Loyalty to the Nation, Pledge’ which was shown to the then Head of State, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, who modified it and introduced it to the country during the formal launch of the Universal Free Primary Education (UPE) and decreed that all school children recite the national pledge in assembly.
“Indeed she was our heroine! Her contribution to her father’s land is an indelible mark. Hence, we want to use this golden opportunity to call on the Federal Government and state government to immortalise Professor Felicia Adebola Adedoyin.
“We are aware that in 2005, Prof Adeyoyin was given a national award, the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by the Federal Government but this is not enough. We want the Buhari-led Federal government to immortalise our heroine.
“Also, the Oyo state government-led by Engineer Seyi Makinde should also immortalise her by naming remarkable and laudable project(s) in the state in her name. This will make her name indelible just as what she contributed to the country remains indelible.
“We want to call on our lawmakers at the National Assembly – Senator AbdulFatai Buhari, Hon Olajide Olatubosun and at the State House of Assembly – Hon Femi Okedoyin Julius, to as a matter of urgency draw the attention of the parliament and the entire world to the demise of the author of Nigeria’s National Pledge, Professor Felicia Adedoyin.
“While calling on other well meaning Nigerians, we also call on other sons and daughters of Saki especially political office holders irrespective of political or religious differences to join the call for the immortalision of our daughter.”
Meanwhile, the President submits that Nigerians will continue to honour the memory of this legend who in 33 words gave us a timeless promise to keep for the nation.
President Buhari extends his commiseration to the Adedoyin family, friends and associates as well as the Government and people of Oyo State on the passing of the academic and writer, whose immense works will remain indelible in our minds.
He prays Almighty God to grant the departed eternal rest.