By Abdulateef Bamgbose
Award-winning development and accountability journalist, Mr. Taiwo Hassan Adebayo was on Saturday, May 20, 2023 elected as Chairman of the Oyo Global Forum.
The emergence of the new executive followed a painstaking election midwifed by the Engr. Dr. Ajibola Tijjani-led Electoral Committee and conducted online among members of the Forum from around the world.
The OGF is a body founded over a decade ago to assemble professionals who are sons and daughters of the Oyo Federal Constituency comprising Atiba, Afijio, Oyo East and Oyo West Local Government Areas.
The newly elected chairman who is a two-time winner of DAME and Wole Soyinka Investigative Awards, had during his campaign pledged to ensure the registration of OGF as a not-for-profit to formalise its governance, deepen a culture of accountability, and place the Forum in a position to attract donor funding.
He further pledged to create a database of Oyo professionals across all sectors at home and abroad to serve various purposes of networking and opportunities for young Oyo people seeking employment and to give mentorship access to young people.
Adebayo also said the Forum would reinvigorate civic advocacies and engagements that will help the people to hold the government and all its agencies to account among others promised.
He added that the executive will re-think and re-work the delivery of OGF’s programmes such as the Enterprise Bootcamp and the Olu Afolabi Roundtable to ensure they set a system of tracking and achieving real impacts, especially in the lives and businesses of young people that gather annually for the Bootcamp.
The investigative journalist also pledged that the new executive would mobilise resources to help the disadvantaged in Oyo communities in the areas of periodic health outreach for early detection and possible prevention of some critical ailments and create a new ‘Catch-Them-Young; system that attracts and incentivises young talents across secondary schools.
Other elected executive members include Mr. Akinjide Ajisafe, a United Kingdom-based Fire, Health and Safety Consultant, Vice Chairman (Diaspora) and Mr. Remi Adebayo, Executive Secretary, Accountable Leadership for Better Nigeria Initiative (ALBNI) and Editor of Abuja City Journal who emerged as General Secretary.
Others are Ibikunle Oyewale Titus, a Civil servant with Oyo State Government – Financial Secretary; Mr. Mojeed Olayiwola Agboola, an Abuja based Animal Scientist- Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, Federal Ministry of Agric, Abuja who will serve the OGF as Public Relation and Community Mobilization Secretary.
Also, Mr. Olalekan Olaore, an Audit Manager, BDO UK emerged as Internal Auditor; Mr. Òkìkíadé Adewale Adewuyi, an Oyo based soccer coach, teacher and political scientist/analyst, Assistant General Secretary; while a lecturer with the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Mr. Ogunleye Shamshudeen Ayotunde, is saddled with Security, Health and Safety as Secretary.
Another lecturer, Ms Eniola Morufat Azeez who teaches Biology at the state-funded Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo is OGF’s Education and Children Affairs Secretary, while Mr. Saheed Alabi Agboluaje, a young chemist and Personal Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of Atiba University, Oyo was elected as Youth Affairs Secretary.
On his part, the elected General Secretary, Mr. Remi Adebayo assured of his readiness to work diligently with the team to build bridges, open new opportunities, and expand on robust engagements with stakeholders and relevant authorities that have bearing with the policy and direction of the OGF.
Reacting to the outcome of the exercise on Sunday, the newly elected OGF Chairman described the victory as a duty to meet the expectations of the forum with utmost sense of duty and dedication.
“On our part, it’s a duty to meet these expectations with an utmost sense of duty and dedication, thereby helping to deliver a civic instrumentality for mobilising the community for common good and upholding the accountability and responsibility of the authorities to our people,” the Chairman-elect said.
Meanwhile, eminent members of the organization have started sending congratulatory messages to the newly elected executive; among them is the founding chairman of the OGF, Prof. Seun Kolade.
Prof Kolade, who recently joined Sheffield Hallam University as a full professor of Entrepreneurship and Digital Transformation said the group look forward to supporting the new leadership as OGF moves forward to consolidate on the gains of yesteryears, whilst also bringing new ideas and innovative programmes to the table.
He assured of OGF support “as we walk this path together in a united spirit of solidarity and focused commitment to our shared goals.”
OGF Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Sulleiman Adediran who is a retired university don and now development consultant, congratulated the entire OGF Family for conducting a successful election and wished the in-coming OGF Exco a successful tenure.
Similarly, the immediate past chairman of the forum who is also Member-elect Oyo East/Oyo West State Constituency, Mr. Rahaman Olorunpoto expressed confidence that OGF will produce greater results under Mr. Adebayo’s leadership, saying “we are blessed to have you as our chairman.”