Seun Kolade, a United Kingdom-based university teacher, and a PREMIUM TIMES Journalist, Hassan Adebayo, are parts of the new leaders of Oyo Global Forum, OGF, elected through a 24-hour electronic voting window that ended on Sunday.
OGF is the worldwide network of Oyo professionals committed to progress, justice, peace and freedom in Oyo.
Mr. Kolade was elected Chairman, while Mr. Adebayo, with professional certificates in investigative reporting from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, was elected General Secretary.
Mr. Kolade holds Ph.D. in International Development and is an academic with the University of Wolverhampton in the UK.
For the positions of Vice Chairmen, Diaspora and Nigeria, Bimbo Adeleke, a management consultant with Accenture UK and doctoral researcher at the University of Salford; and Olorunpoto Rahaman, who heads Ibadan-based business and entrepreneurship development firm, ROC, respectively emerged.
Ajibola Tijani, also a Ph.D. holder and engineer based in Birmingham; Steve Okediji, an Abuja-based Geologist; and Mohammed Olanrewaju, a banker, were elected Finance Director, Assistant General Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
Abifoluwa Olorode and Ibukun Ogunsina were elected Women Leader and the Director of Publicity and Community Mobilisation respectively.
“We have work to do,” said Mr. Kolade in his acceptance speech after results were announced by the Sherrif Onisile-led electoral committee. “The challenges before us are great, but the opportunities are greater still, and we must mobilise our resources to surmount the challenges and take the opportunities.”
He said attention would be given to collaboration with the Oyo branch of the Nigeria Bar Association to institutionalise legal aid to victims of abuses in Oyo.
“We also want to focus attention on implementing our ideas for youth development, for interventions in our public education system, and for support for small-holder farmers, among others.”
In his remarks, Mr. Adebayo, said: “OGF as a civic group intercedes between government establishments and our people with a view to resolving matters in favour of the latter and, more importantly, in line with ideals of fairness and justice.”
A member of OGF and former Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Kehinde Ayoola, noted “specially” the efforts of the Electoral Committee.
“Beyond OYO, you have shown us that electronic voting is possible. We should keep pushing for this even at national level,” Mr. Ayoola said.
Among other civic efforts, OGF spearheaded the December-January Save Oyo campaign aimed at tackling menace of violent gangs who made living and trading for people an exercise in difficulty; and gave deep wells to various rural communities which hitherto lacked access to safe water.
Its leaders have met Oyo State Governor, twice – in Manchester, 2012, and Ibadan, 2014 – on different aspects of Oyo development and peace, notably the township dual carriage road construction and herdsmen menace at Fashola and Sooku villages.