The umbrella body of all socio cultural groups of Igboho extraction, Ifelodun Omo Igboho has agreed to throw their weight behind Oyo state Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan.
The group gave their assurance when they paid a solidarity visit on Olaniyan at his private office, Ojoo, Ibadan over the weekend.
While speaking, the National President, Ifelodun Omo Igboho, Mr Badmus Imran Oloyoyo said the purpose of the visit was to tell the Deputy Governor that they are behind him and proud of him as a worthy ambassador of the town and the state as a whole due to his antecedents.
Other leaders of Ifelodun Omo Igboho who accompanied the National President include: Vice President, Mr Sekoni Jimoh; General Secretary, Balogun Suarau; Treasurer, Mr Oyewole Simeon; Former Vice President, Mr Adebunmi Abdulrasaq Omo Ayawo; Chairman Ifelodun Jakuta, Deacon Adepoju Solomon; Chairman Ifelodun Obaago, Prince Oyewole Imran among others.
Oloyoyo said “We are here to tell Deputy Governor of Oyo state, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan that we are following him to wherever he’s going to. If he looks back, he will see us that we are following him. That’s the aim and objective of our coming here.
“There is no other thing for all people in Igboho and indigenes than to follow our Baba to wherever he is going.
“He’s our father and also our son in Igboho. We must not underrate or underscore him because he’s our own.
“We heard that he has joined another political party, which is the All Progressives Congress (APC). As sons and kinsmen, we are here to show our love and support that we are behind him and in support of his political move and we will follow him. That’s why we came here.”
Apparently reacting to an earlier group in the town which claim that they are unaware of Olaniyan’s decision to dump the ruling People’s Democratic Party for the APC, the leader of the groups said as the apex socio-cultural organ in the land and region, the decision overrides whatever anyone else might have said on the issue.
“There are different kinds of people on the surface of the earth. We can’t all sleep and face our heads in the same direction. If some people are saying something different from what we said here, we don’t know the kind of position those ones hold in the community.
“But the position we are holding as the head and representatives of sons and daughters of Igboho land is above whatever positions they are holding. And we are saying categorically that we are following the Deputy Governor of Oyo state to wherever he’s going too.
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“I want to urge all sons and daughters of Igboho to support and follow him to wherever he’s going.”
Reacting to the visit, Olaniyan commended the groups for the show of solidarity, saying anyone who thinks he has not support from home does that to his own peril.
Olaniyan said “Well, generally Igboho people are very objective, that’s part of the problem some of us have, we say it as it’s.
“Some people somewhere want people to believe that the Deputy Governor is irrelevant even in his hometown. These people are the core body of Igboho. We call them Ifelodun Omo Igboho home and abroad, that’s the chairman, the vice chairman, the secretary and treasurer and leaders of other areas are here to pledge their loyalty and supports.
“I asked them if they see anything wrong in me dumping PDP for APC, which you have heard from them. They said that even if it’s not APC, it’s wherever I go they said they will follow me because they know the impact I have brought to them.
“I’m not somebody who doesn’t have value and impact at home. Even the impact I have in my town is bigger than myself. So nobody can just within two minutes or three minutes say Olaniyan isn’t not relevant at home. I know God has made me relevant in my town and nobody elsewhere can just come and rubbish me. It’s a matter of time.
“My goodwill message to sons and daughters of Igboho is that we should continue to be good ambassador of the town. If I’m not a good ambassador of the town, as at now the news and cries will be so much but we have a policy which is ‘we don’t loose our heads when others are loosing theirs’.”