The atmosphere of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was electrified on Sunday July 23, 2023, as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort, Chief Dotun Sanusi, was awarded the highly referred Knight of John Wesley (KJW), by the Methodist Church Nigeria.
The knighthood was conferred on the billionaire businessman on behalf of the church by the Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev’d Oliver Ali Aba, during a special service of recognition for him and other awardees, held at the Wesley Methodist Cathedral, Elekuro, Ibadan.
A man, who has been given a knighthood can put ‘Sir’ in front of his name. The female equivalent is ‘Dame’. It is conferred on people that have been found worthy, both in character and Christian discipline.
Also, the awardees mut have put to use their God-given talents, time, and resources to promote God’s work in their various communities, churches, the nation, and the world at large. They are people that have left indelible impressions of their contributions and achievements as timeless legacy in the collective memory of the people of God.
Methodist Church of Nigeria awarded the knight of John Wesley(KJW), Knight of Charles Wesley (KCW), as well as Order, and Member of the Order of the Wesleys titles to several deserving individuals.
Apart from Dotun Sanusi, eminent Nigerians that were also honoured on the occasion, included wife of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde; a former Head of Service in Ogun State, Princess Iyabode Orebowale Odulate, who is the current Commissioner in charge of Ogun and Lagos State in the Federal Civil Service Commission; President of Methodist Men’s Fellowship, Ibadan Diocese, Dr. Motunrayo Oladele Ajao; and 104 others.
The Bishop, Diocese of Owerri of the church in Imo State, Right Rev’d Dennis Mark, in his sermon entitled: ‘Reward for Good Work is More Work’, commended Chief Dotun Sanusi and other awardees for their immense contributions to the growth and development of the church, Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large.
He, however, enjoined them to do more for kingdom business and the progress of the society. He emphasised why the awardees must provide good leadership anywhere they found themselves and use their position to the glory of God.
Mark also charged all and sundry that whatever they have done, doing, and will still do for God would not be in vain, adding that the time of rewards would come. He noted that people should always remember that there is God and there is eternity, saying it is more beneficial for people to impact on their society and should not lose the focus of heaven.
The conferment of the knighthood on Sanusi, was followed by a grand reception for the award at Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort in Akanran, Ona Ara Local Government Area of the state. People from all walks of life gathered on the centre to celebrate Sir Dotun Sanusi, who studied petroleum engineering in the University of Ibadan.
Speaking on the occasion, Sir Dotun Sanusi appreciated the Methodist Church Nigeria for the recognition, saying the wealth in his possession was given to him by God, and he would continue to be a channel of blessing to people, communities, especially the underprivileged in the society.
Eminent personalities that spoke on the occasion, included wife of the honouree, Mrs Joyce Sanusi who has also been conferred with the title of ‘Lady’ by the church; the President-General, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Barrister Niyi Ajewole; the pioneer Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Research, Innovation, and Strategic Partnerships at the University of Ibadan between 2017 and 2021, Prof Nike Adeyemo; the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ibadan Central Hospital (ICH)/Academy Suites, Dr. Abib Olamitoye; and the Ayingun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Chief Ademola Odunade, who represented Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II.
The list also comprised the Chairman of Ibadan Council of Mogajis, Chief Asimiyu Ariori; and Baale of Ekotedo, Elder Taiye Ayorinde, who is the Chairman of Ibadan Baales (village heads); and a member of House of Representatives, representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa federal constituency, Hon. Shina Oyedeji, amongst others.
The representative of Olubadan, Odunade, noted that Sanusi’s philanthropic gesture is second to none, saying: “Sir Dotun Sanusi is not a politician, but he has been helping humanity. We are even looking for him to contact God for him to accept to become governor. He is the type that we need”
Ajewole, in his goodwill message, described Sanusi as an illustrious son of Ibadan, said: “I have seen some things that impressed me about Sir Dotun Sanusi. When I got to Wesley Methodist Cathedral, were the knighthood was conferred on him, I was given a brochure. In it, I saw that he has never worked as a civil or public servant. He has been in private business. He has never held any political office in his life.
“Two, the church said every awardee must not be member of secret cult. He was asked if he is a member of any secret cult, and his response was no. The Church followed up by saying the award could be withdrawn if any of the awardees is found to be a member of secret cult. Four, he is a very humble and kind person. He has been using his personal resources to uplift humanity.”
Dr. Abib Olamitoye, the former President, Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association (ICOMAA) Worldwide, said: “I joined all well-meaning people to say Sir Dotun Sanusi is a jolly good fellow. We pray that God will continue to protect and bless you… October 17, 2023 is his birthday; we shall be here again to celebrate him.”
The Director of Department of State Security (DSS) in Oyo State, Mr. John Magrima who spoke on behalf of security agencies as a special guest of honour, commended Sanusi for his support for all the security agencies in the state. He added that his support has led to a significant improvement in the security architecture of the state.