The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) and Southwest Integration, Hon. Olanrewaju Sunmi Odesanya, has called on the two former Presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and that of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, to embrace President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, following the Supreme Court verdict on the Presidential election that affirmed the mandate of the President.
Sunmi, the immediate past State Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who expressed his dissatisfaction over the decision of the two opposition Presidential candidates to challenge the election of Tinubu, spoke with THE IMPACT at Igbogbo.
He also spoke about his new assignment as the Special Adviser on DAWN and Southwest Integration, stating that he will be working on creation of favourable awareness for the unit by sensitizing the residents on its objectives.
“Well, I have never doubted the sanctity of his mandate, ab initio, because I knew that Atiku and Obi actually approached the Election Petition Tribunal and the apex court based on hatred. I am disappointed in their legal teams having misinformed them. But for democracy to grow, they have the legal and the constitutional rights to espouse their rights which they have done, but it is more of a mockery of sportsmanship”, Hon. Sunmi said.
“I want to encourage them that they should summon courage and congratulate the man at the helm so that Nigeria will move forward in the national interest”, he charged.
Speaking on his new assignment, Sunmi said that DAWN is created to mobilise resources towards the development of the Southwest States, a job he pledged that the Lagos State Government is fully committed to.
“The acronym DAWN simply means Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, and there is a DAWN Commission in Ibadan at the 10th floor of the Cocoa House. We have a Director – General, Seye Oyeleye, a vibrant young man”, he said.
“I began to realise that the awareness of DAWN is low because not many people are aware of it. That, we will work on to actually get across to the populace on the meaning of DAWN and what it is all about.
“DAWN is to engage us; civic engagement, homeland and infrastructural renewal. Exactly 10 years ago, wise men and women were assembled and after much deliberation and conjugation, they came up with a blueprint on how the Southwest could integrate among ourselves to achieve a regional integration where we can have infrastructural renewal and development in all facets of human existence in Southwest.
“I have paid a visit to the DAWN Commission in Ibadan. I actually went by rail and it was fun. I had meetings with wonderful people there. As we forge ahead, we will be creating more awareness among our folks and critical stakeholders”, he said.
The Special Adviser also said that his office will be mobilizing critical stakeholders and empowering them.
“We will be focusing on the youths with exchange and empowerment programmes; the aged, traditional institutions and other segments”, he said.
“I am not saying DAWN will be responsible for building or construction of roads and rail lines, rather, it is a process, hence, I believe that we can get support from the government and international organisations as we move on”, he added.