By our reporter
• As Ogbomoso Embraces Sunday Dare
Sunday Dare, a political frontliner from Ogbomoso, Oyo State, over the weekend declared that from now on Ogbomoso will no longer allow itself to be relegated in the political scheme of things at the state and federal levels.
He said “Oyo is on my mind. But it starts with Ogbomoso on my mind. Ogbomoso matters and as the scheming for 2019 heats up qualified Ogbomosho sons and daughters must strive to lead…”.
Dare, who is a former chief of staff and media adviser to national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, made this call at the commencement of his stakeholders’ consultations and awareness campaign in Ogbomoso ahead of the 2019 elections.
The tour which started as early as 8am on Saturday, 11th August, 2018, saw Dare visiting Orire, Ogo-Oluwa, Surulere , Ogbomoso North and Ogbomosho South local government areas.
Sunday Dare, through his political group/ Dare Support Group DSG, visited and consulted with APC party executives at both local and ward levels in all the five council areas.
At each stop, Dare was received warmly by the executive team of about 27 officers who were delighted about the visit.
Dare, who is an executive commissioner in charge of stakeholders’ management at the Nigeria Communication Commission, NCC, took time to explain his mission of political awareness, introducing himself and engaging them about his political plans and the political future of Ogbomoso.
The engagement was robust as several questions were fielded and answered by Dare.
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Comments were made about the need for the town to have a stronger lobby; a stronger voice and push at the state level and also at the federal.
All the party leaders were unanimous In their endorsement of Dare Akinlabi as their political representative for whatever position he wishes to contest.
At the first local government visited, the APC chairman of Orire local government headquartered in Ikoyi, Mr. Ganiyu Momodu after welcoming Dare warmly wondered aloud why it took him so long to show up actively on the political turf.
“We never knew we had a resourceful and qualified son of the soil like you. But It is not too late to start the work and we are solidly behind you.”
The Chairman of APC in Ogo-Oluwa LGA Mr. Olagunju Joel, commended Dare for identifying with his people, expressing joy at his resolve to participate actively in the politics of the State. At the Ogbomoso North LGA, the APC Chairman Bukola Badmus packed the room full of all party officials at the local government and ward levels and gave Dare a very enthusiastic welcome.
They were unsparing in their displeasure that Dare has been more involved in the politics and development of Lagos and Nigeria to the detriment of Ogbomoso his hometown.
However, they expressed optimism that now that he has come home positive developments will begin to unfold.
The people of Surulere local government complained of total neglect in terms of political appointments and development.
They were happy that Dare will be able to influence the powers that be to do something. The chairman, Timothy Taiwo, was excited by the visit of the group when he named Mr. Dare “Omowale” which means Our Son has returned home. The new name stuck and all through the tour he was addressed as Sunday Dare Akinlabi Omowale.
Dare at every stop and amidst shouts of “APC- change for better “ from party faithful introduced his credentials, speakkng about his political mission of development and waxes very strong about the significant role of ogbomoso in Oyo politics.
“Ogbomoso deserves more attention. More government presence. Ogbomosho needs industrialization. Political participation at all levels on a consistent basis will best actualize this,” Dare said.
The development of Ogbomoso according to him was paramount and there is no better time than now to stand up to be counted as a major stakeholder. If Oyo develops, Ogbomoso will also develops. Dare spoke to the party leaders about the overall development of the state.
The Oyo On my Mind, OMM, movement which is a guiding philosophy is aimed at galvanizing Oyo State citizens to think Oyo and be driven to contribute to its growth and development.
Many of the party leaders spoke in similar vein by first identifying with the idea of the overall development of Oyo State but harping on the need to have greater Ogbomoso participation at the centre. A deputy chairman of APC said “With our population and size Ogbomoso deserves more government patronage,” arguing that “Ogbomoso has a solid political history of contributing to the development of Oyo State.”
Dare’s warning that Ogbomoso will not play second fiddle any longer easily resonated with the party executives.
Dare later in the day met with the APC party zonal leaders, a council of 25 leaders cum elders led by Pa Mogaji Olorode. The meeting which was quite deliberative and more pointed focused on what the 2019 agenda of Ogbomoso should be. The major problems of lack of industrialization, graduate unemployment, underfunding of LAUTECH and general lack of empowerment dominated the meeting.
Dare responded to some of these issues and said he was certain that with greater quality representation from Ogbomoso, solutions will come.
On LAUTECH, he noted that behind the scene the two state governments have explored several options for a financial lifeline for the institution as far as asking the federal government for funds.
At night, over 65 Ward chairman also gathered at the private residence of Mr. Dare for a round of consultation and dinner.
It was clear from this tour and round of consultations that Ogbomoso was ready for Dare and his brand of Politcs. But above all, it revealed that Ogbomoso will not take the back seat in the 2019 political jostling.