De Vanguard Is Out To Partner, Not To Confront Anybody, Any Group

Kunle Adelabu

Mr Tolulope Faniyi, President, De Vanguard (middle), Mr Hameed Aroyewun, Vice President/Director of Programmes (3rd left), Barr. Gbemileke Bakare, General Secretary (2nd left), Mr Mutiu Ogunyemi, Director of Finance (left), Ms Tayo Shotomiwa, Director of Women Affair (3rd right), Mr Yinka Ogunlaja, Chairman, Advisory committee and Mr Oke Toheeb, Assistant Secretary at De Vanguardat the briefing in Igbogbo.

Chieftains of the Igbogbo – based Development Vanguard, also known as De Vanguard, have clarified that the nascent group is not out to antagonize anybody or any group, rather, the group came into existence to complement already existing efforts to ensure that there is development in the community.

They made the clarification at a press briefing held at the Adeboruwa Pavilion in Igbogbo area of Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Ikorodu Division of Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria.

The President of the De Vanguard, Mr Tolulope Faniyi, speaking at the briefing, said that it would be a waste of time for the group to set out to fight anybody or group when there are a lot of things that can be achieved in the community with the assistance of other stakeholders.

He assured that the group will continue to work in conjunction with the local government administration and others to ensure that Igbogbo’s potentials are fully maximized.

“It is going to be a sheer waste of time for us championing the cause of development to be at loggerhead with the number one person in our community who is equally a youth. It doesn’t make any sense.

“This group is not created to fight anybody or the government. Our group was formed to support the government and the community in the area of development”, Faniyi clarified.

 “We have a lot of our members working with the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA chairman at the present. Mr Jelili Ogunmuyiwa, Comrade Jelili Ogunmuyiwa, Mr TySleek Odusanya are among many others that are working with him while our members are also critical part of his administration and the council”.

 Mr Hameed Aroyewun, the Vice President and Director of Programmes of De Vanguard, while corroborating the statements of the group’s President, emphasized that they will not hesitate to call the attention of the council and other stakeholders in the community when things are not going right.

“This group was not formed to antagonize anybody or any group and it will not be for that. Fortunately for us, the present Council Chairman, Comrade Sesan Daini, is a youth like us and we have been engaging him on developmental issues”, he said.

He stated that the group is working as a unit within the community to drive developments.

Aroyewun stated further that as part of its effort to work in tandem with the existing structures, De Vanguard has resolved not to make any categorical position on the Ikorodu Sub – Division Master Plan despite having come up with their positions but agreed with the Council Chairman’s position that their positions should be merged with that of the community in a document that will be submitted to the government as the council’s position.

“We were still with Chairman at the Council Secretariat few days ago to talk about the Ikorodu Sub – Region Master Plan.

“This group is not too comfortable with what is being displayed at the Council to describe the whole of Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area. We want to make our inputs into the proposed plans. We have met with the Chairman and Councilors in this regard.

“We have raised a committee to compile our concerns, especially our displeasures over what we saw in the proposal. We have our positions but we want to align ourselves with the community’s position.

“We are on the same page and not out to oppose anybody. All we want is to drive developments. It doesn’t mean that we will not disagree. If the chairman is not doing what is right, it is our responsibility to call his attention to that”.

 He said that youths in Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA are concerned about how those in their generation are making use of the opportunities given to them to lead so as to justify the agitation that youths should be given opportunity to take charge of critical aspects of the community.

“The entire political functionaries in Igbogbo are our friends because most of them are youths. We are proud of the council Chairman and we will continue to engage him. We are only urging him to do more. More is expected of him as a youth”, he said.

“As elders usually tell us, this is the time for the youths and now that we have gotten what we have been yearning for, they expect us to use it very well. At the end of the day, we don’t want the elders to abuse us that we did not use the opportunity given to us very well. This is the reason why we are engaging them”, he clarified.

 “In the course of doing this, we will disagree which is normal but our objective is development”.

Mr Yinka Ogunlaja, Chairman, Board of Trustees, De Vanguard, in his own remarks, stated:

“We are not operating to militate or fight against anybody but to complement. We have submitted to the position of the Local Government Chairman on the Ikorodu Master Plan that a stakeholders’ meeting should be called to enable us discuss our observations and displeasures and put them in a document that will be sent to the government”.

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