Omu ward was the first port of call as the APM campaign team journeyed round the remaining eight wards in Odogbolu local government. Omu is a community populated by students who trooped out to declare their supports for Akinlade. The president of the Tai Solarin College of Education SUG, Comrade Azeez Qosim said the students have endorsed Akinlade. He said: “We will vote, mobilise, canvass and support Triple A. A vote for Triple A is a vote for progress, its a vote for continuity, a vote for sustaining the mission to rebuild Ogun state.” Ijaw communities were also all out to join forces with the APM; they promised to vote for Akinlade and Dayo Adeneye. They were led by their Chairman, Dr Sylvester Idiarhi. Speaking, Akinlade appealed to those who were in church at the time he entered the community. He said he came earlier so that he could have time to cover all the remaining eight wards. “We will construct our roads, our schools and bring the dividends of democracy to all and sundry. “We will provide jobs for all. We will build the people. Please vote for the APM to enjoy good governance. “Egbas are with us, Yewas and Aworis are with us, Remos are ready to vote for the APM. Please the good people of Omu and Odogbolu in general, don’t be left out. Give me the moral justifications to do more for you when I become the governor. It shall be well with you” Akinlade said.
We proceeded Jobore – Ibido – Ikise ward and the reception was very warm and colourful. The poeple of the community which contained Hausas and Ijaws were excited to identify with us. Baales, Chiefs and different associations all came to support. A mother was excited that she brought her few days old kid to Akinlade to welcome him. Alh Ade Oguntola, the ward chairman assured that APM would get block vote from the ward as they have greatly mobilised supports for the party. Akinlade promised massive employments, he added that each local government would recieve dividends of democracy while pleading that the people vote for him and D1. “It is the government of the people, we want to convert Ogun state to a huge construction site. Our youth, elders, women, everyone will benefit from our guvernment. We’ll bring development to all and sundry. We have it all planned out and we will execute, all we need from you is your votes.”Akinlade said.
The people of Ala-Igbile ward welcomed the APM campaign team with songs and drums. It was a rousing welcome for the APM campaign team as an Akewi and his group singpraised Akinlade and his running mate, Adepeju Adebajo. Ala-Igbile accommodates Ijaws, Calabars, Igedes and others. The good people of Ala-Igbile promised to deliver the ward for the APM. Triple A said this coming election would be used to teach those who stole his mandate in the APC a lesson. He promised to hit the ground running once elected by allocating funds for the development of rural communities. He said the man who they stole his mandate for could not go ward to ward, unless someone from Abuja comes to Ogun State to take him round the town. He said those going about telling people that they would use federal might are shameless. He recalled that a sitting President lost his election, despite all the powers he had then. “This is Ogun State. Nobody can rig our election again. Your votes will count by God’s grace. “In just five weeks of APM in the state, they are already jittery. It is you the people. “You are my source of inspiration. When I see you I feel charged up. Eniyan laso mi. I’m very grateful.” “I will come back to say thank you and we shall all rejoice together.” He said.
Our next stop was Ogbo-Ijagun ward. A ward very close to Tai solarin University of Education, and thus explains why we had a lot of students present. Our state Assembly for Ijebu-Ode constituency, Hon Tola Banjo also joined us at the ward. The ward chairman, Hon Adeola Ogunbanwo confirmed the readiness of the ward to deliver massive votes for APM in the coming polls. SUG President of TASUED, Adeboun Olamide said the students are solidly behind Akinlade and D1 but pleaded that the student community must not be forgotten when Akinlade emerges. He emphasised: “Education should remain your priority.” In his words Akinlade said: “I can assure you I will do the needful. I went to LASU, I understand what the challenges are. We’re going to sit down with all the students unions of our schools in Ogun state after out ward to ward campaign and we’ll discuss the way forward.” Akinlade charged the people to vote and stand by their votes while alarting them about the ploy of ‘those who stole his mandate’ to rig. He charged the people to be violent free while promising the Baales that they would be integral part of his government. He said the Baales and Kings would be the Chief Security Officers of their communities.
Moraika-Ita Epo Ward is the 5th ward visited today by the APM campaign team. Religious leaders in the ward prayed for the team to record landslide victory in the polls. Elders of the community also graced the occasion, with assurances that Akinlade would be voted as the next governor of Ogun State come May 2nd. There was a short stage play by indigenes of the area to entertain the campaign team. The Triple A Media Team learnt that Moraika-Ita EPO is the ward that determines the votes in Odogbolu. Akinlade announced that the APM would troop out enmasse to welcome President Buhari to Abeokuta on Thursday. He said it would be announced on radio and television; repeating that Buhari does not need an APC candidate to win in Ogun State. The highlight of happenings at Moraika-Ita Epo Ward is the defection of at least 100 PDP members to the APM. Akinlade assured the defectors that they would not regret joining the APM; adding that the APM is ready to accommodate everybody.
We paid a courtesy call on the Alaye of Odogbolu, Oba Adedeji Onagoruwa. The monarch received us in the midst of 7 other Kings. They are the Owa of Okun Owa, Oba G. A Abiodun; the Olowu-iji of Odolowu, Oba Olusegun Abajo; the Obiri of Idobiri Aiyepe, Oba Adebisi Olubanjo; the Alakan of Ilakan Aiyepe, Oba M. D Oseni; the Alaye Aba of Aba Aiyepe, Oba R. A Raji Sulaimon; the Akalako of Ago Aiyepe, Oba I. A Gbadebo and the Olowu of Odolowu Aiyepe, Oba Ademola Shobowale. The Kings took turn to pray for Akinlade and his team while assuring that APM will emerge victorious in the coming polls. Akinlade appreciated them while promising to always seek their wise counsel when elected governor of the state. He reiterated his commitment his commitment to open up all the rural communities and make them economically viable. Just as we were leaving the palace, a group of Igbos in the community approached Akinlade, chanting solidarity songs, claiming Akinlade as their son and making vows to ensure his emergence as the next governor of Ogun State.
The good people of Ayepe ward came out in their numbers to welcome Prince Adekunle Akinlade, singing and dancing. In his speech, Akinlade told the people that no ward in Ogun would be left behind in his rural renewal drive. He said jobs would be awarded to indigenes of each ward, “saying no outsider will take over what belongs to you.” “I’ve said it and we will do it, we’ll provide 25,000 jobs within the first 2 years of our administration. It is not rocket science. We’ll do it.” Akinlade said. With this, Akinlade said people would be empowered and poverty would be sent out of Ogun State forever. Triple A appreciated the people for their enormous supports. He said he understands their challenges and would address them one by one. He prayed for the people and their children, while urging them to vote for the APM.
Another grand reception at Odogbolu ward I. Hundreds of the people of the community and different groups had assembled at the meeting point awaiting our arrival. They all pledged their unflinching loyalty to the Allied Peoples Movement. Akinlade appreciated the people for their patience and the warm welcome extended to him, he said the coming election is a future defining one and thereby charged the people to not allow expansionist to mortgage Ogun state. “We’re going to create 25,000 jobs in our first two years, it is not magic. 15,000 of the jobs will be agriculture related jobs, another 5,000 we will create in the area of industries, in the area of ICT we will create another 5,000.”Akinlade explained. “Either you’re educated or not educated, this government is your government, we will create these jobs. We will create opportunities for everyone to thrive.” he added. He reiterated his resolve to develop all and sundry while pleading that the people vote for him and D1.
Okun Owa ward was the movement’s first stop in Odogbolu. We had a very warm reception in the ward as thousands of our supporters were on ground to support and show solidarity. The Hausa community, Igbos, tailor association and many other interest groups all identified with us. We were to the APM House of Assembly candidate, for Odogbolu state constituency, Dayo Adeneye (D1). The Mayegun of Odo Olowu Okunowa, Chief Ademola Okeowo spoke extensively on the people’s readiness to vote for Akinlade and APM candidates, he said Akinlade was at home adding that he was confident that Akinlade would win the governorship seat of the state by March. Akinlade was full of gratitude to the people, he appealed to them to vote for him and the APM candidates for the state Assembly as it would ensure the smooth running of his administration. He promised to come back to the wards to appreciate them as soon as he becomes governor-elect. Another APM state assembly candidate, Hon Tola Banjo was also present to show solidarity.
Imodi was the next ward to receive the APM campaign train. Akinlade’s arrival into Imodi was as if he was entering his hometown in Agosasa. Hordes of crowd thronged the ancient town to welcome the campaign team. It was like someone coming back from Mecca. Akinlade, who was elated by the turnout of the people appreciated them for the show of love. He thanked the chiefs and elders of the community for honouring him with their presence. This he said he would never take for granted. Akinlade maintained that communities under Imodi Ward, as well as other rural communities in the entire Ogun State would witness massively transformation under his watch as governor of Ogun State. He said those who stole his mandate did so because they said he was not from a wealthy background, neither was he from one if the well-known urban communities in Ogun State. He said a vote for him is a vote to tell the powers that be that anybody, no matter who gave birth to him, can be anything in life. He appealed to the people to get their PVCs to vote against the oppresssors and those trying to steal Ogun State’s wealth. Akinlade urged them not to give their PVCs to anybody. He said some politicians are already planning to rig the votes. “It won’t work.” he said. The APM candidate for Odogbolu State Constituency, world famous Dayo Adeneye D1, also spoke to his people in Ijebu dialect, urging them to support and vote for the APM in the forthcoming general elections.
We proceeded to Imosan ward and was grandly welcomed into the ward a large number of our party loyalist. The APM anthem was on the lips of both young and old. Akinlade had to address a crowd of children who camped by the roadside chanting the APM slogan and other solidarity songs. Several Baales and Chiefs were on hand to receive us and pledge their total support for Akinlade and D1. There was even a live band for the entertainment of the crowd. Akinlade reiterated his commitment to continue with the 25-years development blueprint of Ogun State which was started by Gov Amosun in 2011. He said the first phase which Amosun did was urban renewal and that he would continue with the rural renewal. He charged the youth to shun violence while promising massive employments for them. He said his administration would be a People-oriented one. The Baale general of Imosan said his people were ready to ensure Akinlade’s emergence but pleaded that their roads should be renovated and that the he should come to their aids against land grabbers when he becomes the governor. Akinlade promised to construct their roads, he said he would make Ago Iwoye – Imosan Road a priority as soon as he emerges. Mrs Adepeju Adebajo appreciated the people for the gesture while assuring them that her administration, when voted in would bring ease to all and sundry.
We had a brief stop at the Ejirin Road chapter of the Plank Sellers Association in Ijebu-Ode. Leaders and members of the association were excited to identify with Akinlade and the APM team. They promised to vote for him and give him the necessary supports. Akinlade appreciated them while promising to never disappoint them.
The campaign train paid homage to the Dagburewe of Idowa, Oba Yinusa Oladele Adekoya. The monarch received us in his palace amidst 7 other monarchs of the area. Oba Yinusa lauded the success of the Amosun’s administration while adding that he was confident that Akinlade would equal Amosun’s achievement if not better it. He said he had seen the effort Akinlade and his team have put into the campaign and that Akinlade would reap gainfully from all his effort. “Our governor, Amosun has done extremely well and we have no doubt that you’ll equal his feat if not surpass it.”the monarch posited. All the monarchs present prayed for the success of Akinlade and all APM candidates in the coming polls while assuring massive supports for the Allied Peoples Movement. Akinlade promised to never disappoint them and always seek their wise counsel from time to time.
The crowd that welcomed Akinlade and his APM team to Ibefun Ward was an attestation to the fact that the assembly candidate, Dayo Adeneye D1 is a grassroots mobiliser. Ibefun is Dayo Adeneye’s Ward and the Triple A Media Team confirmed he’s truly loved by his people. It cannot be gainsaid that the APM would record landslide victory in Odogbolu local government, with what we’ve been seeing in the various wards visited so far. The joyous Dayo Adeneye said his people would give the APM 100% votes. Akinlade, in his usual character, lauded the loyalty of the people to the APM. He assured them of good governance under APM; saying “I will run a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” Akinlade emphasised that his government would empower the youth and women. The people assured Akinlade of massive votes in the general elections.
Another grand welcome from the people of Ilado ward. Drums kept rolling, several solidarity songs were sang. The people said they voted in the October 2nd primary elections of the APC before their will was subverted and that they would even vote more in the coming polls. They had waited hours for the campaign train to arrive and Akinlade appreciated them for their resolve, promising better governance. In his word, Triple A said: “This administration coming, my administration by God’s grace would be your government. It would be for the people of Ogun State. Those that stole the mandate you freely gave me, they won’t come and meet you ward to ward. They’re only interested in rigging election and mortgaging Ogun state, don’t allow them.” Akinlade who reiterated his commitment to create up to 25,000 jobs in his first two years in office, promised that all the wards would bebefit from the jobs we would create.
It’s 8:23pm, yet the good people of Idowa Ward stood still to receive the APM campaign train. You know, some people won’t even see anybody with them during the day; but even at night, our people remain steadfast. It is the work of God Himself. The crowd we met at Idowa were enormous. Like I said, this can only be God. Akinlade, in his words, said Ogun would be a better place for all under his watch. He urged the people to turn out en masse to vote for the APM and defend their votes. Dayo Adeneye also appreciated the people for standing by him as indigenes of Odogbolu local government. Adeneye said those who stole mandates in the APC have failed already.
Although it was dark before we got to Ososa but the reception we got from the people of the ward who had gathered at the St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, was nothing short of amazing and colourful. The poeple came all out in their numbers to pay allegiance to the Allied Peoples Movement. The cheers were loud, the people were happy to see him. They said they’ve seen him in posters, they’ve watched and heard him speak on television but were still very excited to see the man to propel the wheel of Ogun State in the next dispensation. Akinlade said he was overwhelmed and thanked the poeple for the support shown. He recounted what transpired in APC, how the will of the people was subverted, he then urged the people to make sure the injustice does not stand. He urged them to vote for him and the APM candidate for the state Assembly – D1. He promised to never be an ingrate. Meanwhile a former secretary of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the ward led over 200 others in defecting to APM. The secretary who spoke on behalf of others said they were convinced that APM is the winning party and that they were ready to fully mobilise and work for the emergence of Akinlade and D1. They were welcomed into the party with open arms by Hon Adekunle Akinlade and his running mate, Mrs Adepeju Adebajo.
Odogbolu ward II was the venue of the grand rally in the local government and we witnessed a massive turn out of party’s faithfuls. Several displays from different organised groups with most of them carrying placards with inscription such as “TRIPLE A IS A VISIONARY LEADER, TRIPLE A, A MAN AMONG MEN.”etc What was witnessed in Odogbolu is an attestation that the sea is clear for the APM ship to sail in Odogbolu. Akinlade joined the people in dancing to victory songs by a live band present. Akinlade appreciated the people saying he was confident of victory in coming election with what he had seen in Odogbolu. He reeled out his development plans for Ogun State while charging the youth to shun violence and learn entrepreneur skills instead. He said none of the zone in the state would be marginalised as he would run an all inclusive government. Otunba Adeneye also appreciated his people for coming all out to show support for APM, he pleaded that they vote for APM and stand by their votes to avoid rigging.