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,…….Says Chief Akerele Awoniyi is not a member of ODA executives

Date: July 22, 2023

In a statement issued and personally signed by Chief Femi Mokikan, the President-General of the Okun Development Association (ODA), the association has issued a firm warning to the public, especially to Okun sons and daughters residing both within the region and abroad, against any misuse of the ODA’s name for personal gains. The ODA makes it unequivocally clear that it holds no responsibility and will not accept any liability for actions taken by individuals falsely representing themselves as ODA representatives.

According to Chief Femi Mokikan, the recent incident involving Chief Amos Akere Owoniyi falsely claiming to represent the ODA during a visit to the SDP governorship candidate, Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka, has brought this matter to light.

Chief Femi Mokikan stated, “The ODA constitution does not recognize the existence of any position such as Chairman Lagos/South West, thus making it clear that there is no such role within the association’s governing document. Therefore, any engagements with Chief Akere or others claiming to represent the ODA, like Gen. Benjamin Segun Ipinyomi (rtd), are done solely at the risk of those involved.”

Expressing the association’s concern, Chief Femi Mokikan further mentioned, “Despite the association’s hope for an amicable resolution, Chief Amos Akere Owoniyi’s recent actions have left the ODA with no choice but to issue this warning. All efforts to encourage him to adhere to ethical standards have proven fruitless.”

Chief Femi Mokikan went on to highlight, “For more than two decades, Chief Akere Owoniyi has presented himself as the Chairman of ODA South West, leading to disruptions within the ODA’s operations and tarnishing the esteemed reputation of Okun nation. In this self-proclaimed capacity, he has engaged in activities that do not align with the overall interests of Okunland. This includes falsely representing the ODA while soliciting financial support and misusing funds without any accountability.”

Emphasizing the association’s stance, Chief Femi Mokikan remarked, “The ODA respects the rights of individuals to pursue legitimate livelihoods but strongly condemns any unauthorized exploitation of the ODA’s name for personal gains, as such actions are unacceptable to the honorable Okun community.”

Regarding the attempts to address the matter, Chief Femi Mokikan stated, “Despite numerous attempts, involving respected Okun personalities in Lagos, to discourage Chief Akere from these unscrupulous practices, he has remained defiant. The severity of the situation led the ODA to reluctantly involve some revered royal fathers in Okunland.”

Chief Femi Mokikan further emphasized, “Following the intervention of the royal fathers in 2022, Chief Akere eventually heeded their wise counsel and ceased the activities that the ODA had long raised concerns about. He relinquished his false claim to the unconstitutional and unrecognized South West ODA portfolio.”

Stressing the association’s legitimacy, Chief Femi Mokikan clarified, “The ODA reiterates that a Lagos branch, constitutionally established with a state executive led by Eng. Segun Anjorin, is the legitimate representation of all Okun districts in Lagos. The association categorically denies any connection to any group known as South West ODA.”

Concerned about recent events, Chief Femi Mokikan expressed, “Chief Akere’s recent actions, posing as an ODA representative while pledging support for a governorship candidate from another senatorial district, are not only puzzling but also severely detrimental to the Okun people and disrespectful towards our esteemed royal fathers.”

Addressing the association’s position on endorsements, Chief Femi Mokikan mentioned, “At a time when the Okun people are fervently praying for one of their own to become the next governor, Chief Akere’s actions raise questions about his true intentions.”

Highlighting the association’s values, Chief Femi Mokikan asserted, “While the ODA supports individuals’ rights to support and endorse candidates of their choice as individuals, any attempt to falsely represent the ODA without official authorization is disreputable and must be condemned.”

Regarding Chief Akere’s authority, Chief Femi Mokikan clarified, “It is crucial to emphasize that Chief Akere Owoniyi is not a member of the ODA’s national, state, or branch executive council or committee, and therefore, he lacks the authority to speak for or bind the ODA to any obligations.”

Concluding the statement, Chief Femi Mokikan urged, “The ODA hopes that the candidates visited by Chief Akere will discern the true value of the support they may receive from him. The ODA calls upon all well-meaning Okun men to unite in support of the association and our esteemed royal fathers by urging Chief Akere to permanently desist from misusing the ODA’s name for personal gain.”

Chief Femi Mokikan added, “The ODA sincerely hopes that Chief Akere’s actions will not compel the association to take further measures to protect its integrity and dignity. Enough is enough.”

By Editor

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