Oyo State Governor,Seyi Makinde has conferred Justice of the Peace awards on 400 distinguished citizens, including the deputy governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Lawal, Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, the Special Adviser on Political Matters, Babs Oduyoye, and 397 others.
The award was given to the recipients on Wednesday, in Ibadan, by the governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, BayoLawal.
The honour which extends to royal fathers, Muslim leaders, and noteworthy stakeholders, also featured an award in appreciation of their public services in the state.
According to reports, this is the first of its kind in Oyo State when a good number of people are appreciated with JP awards.
While extending his congratulations to the recipients, Makindeemphasised the symbolic nature of the event and its importance, pointing out that justice and peace are the cornerstones of democracy and good governance, and that they unquestionably reflect the values which his administration upholds.
The governor called on the newly inducted JPs to use their power to curb crimes in the state.
He stated that without peace, there can be no peace and without peace, there will be no society which has made the government think it fit to partner with men and women of honour across the state in its efforts to bring the dividends of democracy closer to the people.
“About 400 men and women have been identified as keepers of peace and they are being commissioned to assist in sustaining peace in their respective communities.
“Historically, the conferment of noble men with the title ‘JUSTICE’ of PEACE’ emanated from England around the 11th Century, when it became imperative for the king to appoint men, then known as “Keepers of Peace” to ward off disorderly association within localities and also help in enforcing some laws. With time, they were required to be men of reputation and appointed to preside over felonies alongside other men who are learned in the law.
The governor, who maintained that people who don’t know their functions often misbehave as they don’t know the limit, beginning of their powers, and the end of their powers, quickly referred them to page 14 of their quotes which speaks about the function and duties and page 35 which tells about the code of conduct and peace.
“Your duties as a Justice of the Peace must be performed with utmost care because you are now a partner on governance with the state government in your various communities. You are being empowered to provide specified administrative and judicial functions which form part of everyday living and which may not be readily accessible in your communities. Therefore, to whom much is given, much is expected. Your activities in your communities should bring respite.