A new brand of political campaigners, Eko Volunteer Campaign Group (EVCG), took Lagos by storm last week in the heat of the just concluded Presidential/NASS elections. Our News Editor, SEGUN ADIO was there and reports.
Eko Volunteer Campaign Group they call themselves, but the group, in their thousands, took Lagos metropolis by storm last week with their brand of mass mobilisation. Friday, April 3, 2015 witnessed heavy downpour across the state but members of the group defied the torrential rains to preach their message to residents of the state.
Several thousands of resident in Ajeromi/Ifelodun and Lagos Island were the next to benefit from the largesse of the group in those two days. Men, women, young and old as well as the aged thronged different places where the group campaigned to receive their own ‘cake,’ as several items were freely distributed from door to door.
Led by its leaders Alhaji Ganiyu Badmus and Director-General, Akeem Apatira, members of the group turned their rally to a carnival of a sort. The Eko Volunteer Campaign Group may have gradually changed the way politics is played not only in Lagos, but in the entire country.
The group, a non-governmental organisation, had its mandate to bring smiles to faces of the less privileged in the state.
Since inception, it has enhanced the financial and social capacities of many Lagosians with the provision of basic amenities and essential commodities to the needy.
Items like writing books, clothing, foodstuffs, machines were distributed to residents in the areas visited.
Although the group is an offshoot of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, its leaders are firmly rooted in grassroots mobilisation and development. To this end, the Eko Volunteer Campaign Group (EVCG) used the occasions to campaign for continuity in the state.
Speaking with Daily Times, Alhaji Badmus, a foremost grassroots mobiliser, revealed that the group had been moved by the pitiable condition of the needy in the society which the state government had labour hard to up lift.
According to Badmus, “As a group, the EVCG was envisioned to be a non-governmental organisation aimed at partnering with the state government to make life better for the people.
“With this mandate, the group has continuously engineered developmental programmes which were used to enhance and empower the less privileged. Today, we are seeing campaign for continuity in the state because we were witnesses to the development which has taken place in the state in the last 16 years. That is what we want to continue,” he said.
During their house to house distribution of items to residents of Ajeromi/Ifelodun and Lagos Island, the group canvassed for votes for the APC gubernatorial candidate.
Akeem Apatira, EVCG Director General, when asked of the motivation behind the group’s activities and their source of revenue, said the group did not depend for subvention from the state government but motivated by members’ voluntary contributions to carry out its tasks.
According to Apatira, “We are solely concerned in sensitising people on the need to be governed well. We are of the belief that our people deserve better treatment from politicians especially those at the federal level. That is why we are out on the streets to educate Lagosians on the need to vote in a leader that would end their sufferings. That is why we believe that the APC candidate is a better choice for the people of the state.”
Apatira also said that when voted to power, the group would be a strong mouth piece of the people with a view to fulfilling the electoral promises made to them.
Some beneficiaries who spoke with the Daily Times expressed their appreciation to the group for identifying with them and bringing essential commodities to their doorsteps.
Semiu Laofe, a resident of Bamgbose on Lagos Island, who claimed to have benefited rom the group’s largesse in the past, said he was humbled at the humility of leaders of the group who brought gifts and essential commodities to their door steps. In the words of Laofe, “These people have done the needful by coming out of their offices to the streets to identify with the less privileged. I have been a beneficiary from their programmes before and I know the group really meant well for the people.”