A developmental and political group recently formed in Igbogbo, De Vanguard, has restated that its aims and objectives are to mobilize residents of Igbogbo community towards developments.
It stated that it intend to achieve this by encouraging active political engagements of its members and other members of the community in the two dominant political parties – All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This position was made known at a parley with members of the press within the community at the Adeboruwa Pavilion in Igbogbo on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
The Vice President/Director of Programme of the De Vanguard, Mr Hameed Aroyewun, in his address, stated that the group was established to mobilize full political engagements by enlightening members of the community that developments can only be achieved if they are involved in how they are being governed.
“Our aim is to ensure that youths are mobilized for full political participation because we believe that you cannot properly develop the community without engaging in how government is formed and show interest in how you are being governed”, Aroyewun said.
“We cannot be complaining from outside that those governing us are not performing. We must participate and engage those that are making the decisions that affect our daily existence.
“This is why we came together to form an organization and platform for community and political engagements, and reach out to our people and urge them to participate in politics and other activities that would bring development to our community.
“The aims and objectives of De – Vanguard is centerd around the development of the community and our individual selves, pure and simple”, he emphasised.
He said that the new group is fast growing and gaining popularity while those who believe in its objectives are joining as members.
“Although, the group is still a nascent one but we are growing at a very fast pace. As we speak, we have over 400 members and we are still growing”.
The Vice President, who stated that the group has consulted widely, explained that part of the products of their consultations with political, traditional and other stakeholders within Igbogbo and the larger Ikorodu Kingdom, is that their members should be allowed to identify with APC and PDP as the two leading political parties.
“We have met with political actors and stakeholders to let them know what we are all about.
“In the process of our political engagements and mobilizations, we decided to align ourselves with the two leading political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and we are encouraging our members to identify and actively engage with them”, Aroyewun said.
“We are gradually changing the narrative in Igbogbo, because we have realised that you cannot stay outside and be complaining that those incharge are not doing it well.
“We are recruiting every day, meeting people and consulting far and wide with stakeholders in the community, those in the private sector and community developers”.
Aroyewun charged members of the media to assist lgbogbo community in propagating the positive values that many of the youths in the community are adding to the society and humanity in general.
“We have prominent Igbogbo youths that have made us proud at the Divisional, State, national and international levels. There are Igbogbo youths like Adeseye Ogunlewe (Junior) who had made the nation proud in sports, Jelili Ogunmiyiwa is a FIFA badge Referee who had referred great matches and one of the best graduating law students is from Igbogbo”, he said.
“These are positive parts of igbogbo that we need to propagate properly.
While calling on the government to do more in the area of engaging the youths, Aroyewun also revealed that the group has programmes aimed at positively engaging the youths.
“As a group, we have a lot of programmes aimed at engaging our youths but the government must take the responsibility of continually engaging our youths. This is the reality. If we want to change the narrative, we must engage our youths and reorientate them”.
Mr Tolu Faniyi, De Vanguard President, also stated that the need for political power and influence to bring about development necessitated the formation of the group.
“Every society needs political power and influence to be better developed. That is why we have decided to join politics because the end result is to achieve developments in all ramifications – economically, infrastructure wise and in many other ways”.
He stated that they are out to complement existing structures such as political and traditional settings and others.
“We plan to compliment existing efforts in the community because there is no way we can make any headway without involving those that have been doing it. We are basically going to be complimenting their efforts and eventually take the baton from them and continue where they stop.
“This does not mean that we are going to fight anybody or judge any party, rather, we are going to be working with existing structures”, he clarified.
“We have consulted and consultations are still ongoing within Igbogbo and Ikorodu Division as a whole for the stakeholders to know what we stand for, which is community development through active participation in politics”.
He further explained reasons for adopting the two leading political parties as platforms for the group’s operations.
“We are encouraging our members to join the two leading political parties in Ikorodu, Lagos State and indeed, Nigeria, and if tomorrow, APGA and ZLP or any other party emerges as a dominant, we shall review our policy direction.
“We are also asking our members to be active in their various parties by attending meetings, contributing and engaging people without fighting. We want our people to engage in healthy engagements and be tolerant of others’ views.
“In the course of our activities, we are going to be engaging our media organizations from time – to – time, because we cannot accomplish this task alone”.
According to De Vanguard Vice President, membership of the group is open to anyone that believes in its aims and objectives.
“Membership is not restricted and the issue of indigeneship does not arise. Once you are a resident and you feel that our objectives suit your interest, you are free to join”, De Vanguard Vice President/Director of Organisation said.
“Our roads are bad and not only the indigenes that are plying them. We just want to drive developments in our community and develop ourselves too. There is no truth in the rumour that De Vanguard is restricted to indigenes”, he further clarified.
“We have many people that are not indigenes but are members of the group and are participating actively. Our membership is not even restricted to youths alone. We need everybody to achieve the set objectives which are centred around development”.
Also speaking at the parley, Barr. Gbemileke Bakare, the group’s General Secretary, while stating that Igbogbo is blessed with many active and focused youths, added that many of them have been saddled with responsibilities of protecting community properties which are still intact till date.
He said that young ones in the community need good leadership to lead them in the right direction as well as good governance to properly engage the youths and make them channel their strength into more productive ventures.
“It is not all the youths in Igbogbo that are engaging in selling of lands and other social vices. Igbogbo youths have been saddled with great responsibilities of monitoring public assets, monitoring developments and safeguarding public properties like the stadium, Igbogbo Health Centres, Police Post and other projects.
“It is just quite unfortunate that due to lack of leadership and governance in our community, there have been setbacks.
Barr. Bakare also added that part of the group’s plans is to engage youths, change their orientation and develop their consciousness.
“It is also part of the group’s aims to propagate order and assist in monitoring public properties and we are going to be doing that officially as a recognized entity.
“There will be changes in the attitudes of our youths henceforth because we have been sensitizing them. Our youths are now politically conscious”.