All is now set for the South West Development Stakeholders Forum (SWDSF) to host leading presidential candidates in Ibadan.
At the end its weekly meeting on January 1, SWDSF, representing over 30 grassroots South West interests and associations across party, religious and ethnic affiliations, disclosed that it had invited Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) to come and share their security and development plans for the South West region.
Also invited are Mr. Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC), Mr. Kolawole Abiola of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Prince Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The SWDSF include the Yoruba World Centre, ODUACCIMA, Egbe Omo Yoruba in North America, Professional Women’s Group, Yoruba Ko’ya Leadership & Training Foundation, Majeobaje, Oranmiyan Hunters Association, Farmers Groups, Town Development Unions, the Academia, Chambers of Commerce and Diaspora associations.
According to a statement by the SWDSF spokesperson, Alhaji Olalekan Ajia, the purpose of the parley is to find common ground between Presidential candidates manifestoes, their aspirations and development plans of the South West people of Nigeria as spelt out in the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), a non-partisan blueprint prepared jointly by all six Yoruba states, for the region’s security and socio-economic development.
Ajia said the event will hold on January 17 and 18 st Jogor Center, Ibadan.
“Certainly also the parley will increase voters’ understanding and turnout in the South West at the 2023 elections.
“Despite its historical trajectory as the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, its strategic political importance for a united, peaceful, and prosperous Nigeria, and huge potential in driving national growth and development, the South West has received little or no strategic consideration in the manifestoes of the various Presidential candidates.
“Beyond party affiliations, religious and ethnic disparities, the over 50 million people of the South West of Nigeria need to hear directly from the Presidential candidates how they will work with Yoruba people, and indeed all Nigerians living in the South West, to address issues of insecurity and worsening quality of life in the region.
“The South West Development Forum will be represented at the discussions by its leadership, Mr. Alao Adedayo (Chairman), Reverend Muyiwa Bamgbose (Secretary), Sir Gbenga Adebusuyi, Otunba Deji Osibogun, and Prince Kayode Adeyemi. Others are Senator Tokunbo Ogunbajo, Akinrogun Akintayo Akin-Deko, Dr. Yemi Adegoke, Mr. Ayo Oyerinde, Barrister Femi Oniyide, and Alhaji Olalekan Ajia,” the statement added.