Okitipupa, the headquarters of Okitipupa Local Government in Ondo South Senatorial District played host to Labor Party (LP) top shots, massive turnouts of members from all the six local government councils making up the South Senatorial District and political associates of Senator Boluwaji Kunlere on Saturday the 26th May 2012. The event was the maiden empowerment programme of the Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District in the upper chamber of the National Assembly and the venue was The Government Field Okitipupa. No sooner has the environmental sanitation of the last Saturday of the month in Ondo State ended than the people from other constituencies that made up the senatorial district began to troop into the venue of the epoch making empowerment programme.
On the government field, canopies erected differentiated the people of each local government from Oke-Igbo/Ile Oluji, Odigbo, Okitipupa, Irele, Ese-Odo to Ilaje local government. At the center of the field was a spectacle that will no doubt arrest the attention of any discerning observer; arranged in a fanciful order were a fleet of Nissan Primera Saloon cars, an array of “tear-rubber” Motorcycles, several number of Generators, Sewing Machines, Grinding Machines, Driers and Clippers. This beholding spectacle alone underscore the significance of the days event.
Within a short period, the venue of the event was filled to the brim with the lucky beneficiaries and their well wishers on one side and other bystanders who were expecting the arrival of the donor Senator and the Executive Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. When the Senator and his wife arrived, they were welcomed by the crowd who sang different cultural songs to praise and appreciate Senator Kunlere for his kind and caring heart gesture. Governor Mimiko arrived in a white coloured Coaster bus by 03:15 hours alongside his retinue of entourage and this signaled the official commencement of the empowerment programme.
While delivering his speech, Senator Boluwaji Kunlere gave thanks to God who had given him the opportunity to serve his people of Ondo South Senatorial District in the senate. He said, “Gulliver’s travels in his book, the land of Lilliput said the greatest offence in the land is ingratitude. It is on this strength that we give our gratitude to God and appreciation to all who have labored to make our victory at the poll a success.”
Kunlere maintained that what was being witnessed was the reality after just one year of intensive hard work and involving politicking at the Senate. He said it is a strong justification for his endless gratitude to God and appreciation to Mr. Governor, the Deputy, the Political leaders and the good people of Ondo South Senatorial District.
“Todays empowerment project is a reaffirmation of Mr. Governor's caring heart agenda to our people in Ondo south senatorial district. Mr. Governor, you would recall that you told us to go and work for our people and appreciate them. In line with this, we have incorporated our vision and mission to improve the lots of our people in Ondo south into Mr. Governors caring heart agenda," Kunlere stressed.
While he rejoiced with the beneficiaries, Senator Kunlere advised those who were yet to benefit in the empowerment not to despair because this was only the maiden edition as more is yet to come.
In his reaction, Group Captain Kunlere Rtd, a brother to the senator and a representative of the Kunlere family thanked the governor profusely for honoring the senator’s invitation as a special guest. While tracing Boluwaji Kunlere’s political antecedents, the retired group captain stressed that his brother had been through the thick and thin of politics but today, his steadfastness and altruistic loyalty has paid off. He promised the governor of his brothers unalloyed loyalty to the course of the Labor Party.
Earlier, Governor Mimiko had said in his speech that Senator Kunlere was a thorough bred politician whom the Ikales should be proud of at all times. “Bolu, you are a thoroughbred, steadfast and very loyal politician who has continued to blaze the trail for Ondo State in the Senate,” Mimiko enthused. The governor said just in one year, the senator has provided a contingency provision that were non existent in the many years that other people from the same zone had spent in the senate. Dr. Mimiko encouraged him to continue with the good work. After the governor’s speech, he was conducted round the empowerment items to be given out, which had already been shared on local government basis. The governor expressed his delight at the sight of the items the empowerment items distributed on the occasion were: eight cars (Nissan Primera), eighty-five motorcycles, fifty generating sets, sixty-six grinding machines and fifty clippers. Others were fifty pieces of sewing machines and forty two drier machines.
While the distribution of the empowerment materials was going on, the second segment of the day's programme, the much advertised decamping of some PDP and ACN stalwarts with their followers numbering over one thousand people commenced. Among the arrowheads of the decamping group were the Lisa of Ikoya, High Chief Poroye Ayerin, Chief Alonge, Chief Fagbounka and others. The Lisa of Ikoya while defecting to Labor Party maintained that Labor Party has shown by its positive contribution to the life of the people of Ondo State that it remains on ground as the party of the masses. He said he was joining Labour Party because of his positive conviction about the party. The leader of the party and the excutive Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, his deputy, Alhaji Alli Olanusi, Chairman Labour Party in Ondo State, Barr. Olu Ogidan, Chief of staff to the governor, Chief Ademujimi, “the Igwe of Idanre” among others accepted the defectors to Labour Party, assuring them of a good working relationship with other people in the party.
In his vote of thanks on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Chairman Labour Party of Ilaje Local Government, Mr. Soji Ayenuro thanked the governor, his deputy and other dignitaries from Akure for their presence and specially appreciated the good and timely gesture of Senator Boluwaji Kunlere for the people of Ondo South Senatorial District. Ayenuro prayed to God to continue to guide the senator in his legislative function.
Among the dignitaries at the empowerment programme were Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Governor of Ondo State, his deputy, Alhaji Alli Olanusi, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, Mrs Akinyelure, Barr. Ogidan, Labour Party Chairman, Ondo State, his deputy Chairman in Ondo South, Chief Peremini, Honourable commissioner for Education, Mr. Remi Olatubora, Hon. Commissioner for Enviroment, Barr. Sola Ebiseni, Hon Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Tayo Akinjomo. Mrs . Nike Ademujimi, Chairperson Ondo State Micro Credit Agency and Barr. Fola Amure, Chairman Teaching Service Commission.
Others were Hon. Oyebo Aladetan, Hon. Bamido, Hon. Yele Omogunwa, Dr Kehinde Adedeji, Dr Dapo Iwala, Chief Kola Ademujimi, Ambassador Rowland Omowa, Amb. Yossuf. Hon. Biodun Bakare. Chief Dele Akinyele and Mr. Eni Akinsola, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor.
The list also include Hon. Wale Ogunmade, Chairman, Okitipupa Local Government, Hon. Banji Okunomo, Chairman Ilaje Local Government, Hon. Akin Sowore, Chairman, Ese – Odo Local Government. Hon. Rapeal Nomiye, Member House of Representative, Baba Akinseye, Hon. Imisi Ogungbure, Tescom Commissioner, Hon. Soji Ayenuro and a host of others.