A former Chief of Staff and Media Adviser to national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Mr Sunday Dare yesterday explained why he set up a foundation in honour of his late father- Daniel Ayoola Dare, DAD Foundation.
This is just as Dare, through the foundation, gave out N25, 000 each to traders at the popular Akande market, Ogbomoso, who lost properties to the inferno that engulfed the market few months ago.
The launch, which took place at Dare’s Ogbomoso house, attracted important personalities which included the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi who was represented by the Onjeru of Ijeru, Oba (Dr) Elijah Popoola; community, political and religious leaders as well as officials of the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, where Dare is an executive commissioner in charge of stakeholders’ management.
Dare, who spoke four languages- Yoruba, Hausa, English and French to the admiration of guests at the event, said the foundation was not a decoy to join politics. He added that it was out of the need to continue what his father was known for that motivated him.
According to the Ogbomoso-born renowned journalist, who was raised in Jos, Plateau State, “This morning, I drove myself around town. I was saddened by what I saw. There are lots to be done for our town and the state in general. It is time to rally round our people.”
“I can remember when my late father moved home from Jos and I moved to Lagos. He would finish the allowance meant for a month in a week. I was always complaining; that does this man think it is easy making money in Lagos. One day, I made a trip home; I enquired how he spends money I give him and he showed how he spends his money. And I was dazed to know that my father has been assisting people. Baba would give people more than what they needed. He died at 92, 9 years ago. My radiant mother here is 90.”
The elated initiator of the programme, who was flanked by his 90-year old ‘radiant’ mother and wife during the programme, apologised to those who were not able to reach him while he was with Tinubu, explaining that: “For the 7 years I used with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, I was unable to pick many calls. I worked everyday, every hour, every minutes. I received more than 270 calls per day. And you know what that means. Today is a day of thanks. I am grateful for the opportunity to give back, especially to my Ogbomoso people.”
On what the foundation seeks to achieve, Dare explained that ”by April, we will conduct eye test for between 700 and1000 people. They will be given free eye glasses. In June/July, 2018, with10 doctors from here and United States, a comprehensive health service will be carried out, starting from Ogbomoso, for 5 days. There will be referrals. So that Ogbomoso will not clap with one hand, the foundation will partner many indigenous associations. Charity, they say, begins at home; that is why we are starting with Ogbomoso.
“I may not be too rich but I am heavily networked. Working as a journalist for 27 years has attracted me to a lot of ppeople. And for most of those years, I have been involved in politics, though indirectly. I follow political events keenly.”
Late Pa Dare, in whose honour the foundation was set up, was Deacon of the Baptist Church of Nigeria for nearly 40 years in pastoral care and several administrative committees.
According to Dare, “His pastoral activities was said to have taken him as far as Jos, Plateau State, where he was highly regarded as a great philanthropist and an elderly clergyman. He never had much but he shared what he had gladly. Helping others not just in cash but in kind was an obligation and his faith reassured him it was the right thing to do. In his honour, to further propagate what he did while alive and what he taught all his offsprings, I introduce DAD Foundation.”
The foundation, will among other things, cater for the poor and needy and those in need of medical attention.
Dare listed other programmes as food support and maternal child care programmes.
Dare’s friends, community political leaders commended him for the gesture.
Speaking on behalf of Soun, Oba Elijah, who said he had been there three hours before the programme began, commended Dare for the gesture, disclosing that “there are many sons of the town who have denounced Ogbomoso. ”
A former chief of staff to former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, Dr. Saka Balogun, said indigenes of the town are everywhere- in Plateau State especially and Ghana, adding that “we should see ourselves as one.
According to him: “I was once in Argungu, Kebbi State, for a research. I saw the Emir of Gwandu. Ogbomoso is a composite community; many settlers came in but they met many indegenes and decided to settle here. I am a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, but I mix with everybody. This initiative by Sunday Dare is a laudable one.”
Speaking about Dare, Hon. Saheed Akinade-Fijabi, who represents Ibadan North West/ South West federal constituency in the House of Representatives, said he deserves to be honoured. He added that “though we are honourables, he has done some things that we are striving to emulate him. In every sense of it, he is an honourable in deed. All what you are aspiring for, you’ll get them. He speaks Hausa fluently that you’ll think he is from Maiduguri. He is a true son of Ogbomoso.
Honourable Olusegun Ogunwuyi, who represents Ogbomoso North, Ogbomoso South, Oriire federal constituency in the House of Representatives, said “I met him as a member of the House committee on telecommunications. When I introduced myself, he also said he is representing Ogbomoso. We laughed over it. Since then, we have been relating. Just like he was born in Jos, I was also not born in Ogbomoso too, but in Ikeja Barrack. We are like that in Ogbomoso.
Another federal lawmaker, Olusegun Odebunmi, who represents Ogo-Oluwa/Surulere federal constituency, said he was happy with the gesture, saying that he would be happy if Dare decides to join politics.
In her own remark, NCC’s director of legal service, Mrs Yetunde Akinloye noted that since Dare ”joined us about a year ago, he has changed many things. In the short time that he has joined us, he has made impact. I call him a slave driver. Anything he wants done, he will commit everything into it.”
Ogbomoso-born permanent secretary in the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, who represented the latter, Mr. Segun Adeleke, described Dare as a rare breed, saying that “he never met but took up my matter. He informed Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and that was all. He made a success of it. It was done.
Corroborating others, Oyo State commissioner for youth and sports, Barr. Abayomi Oke, who also hails from the town, remarked that “I have known him for long but I met with Mr Dare last year when Crown FC was playing an home game. He complained about the state of the stadium. He called later that he was going to renovate the changing room and entrance. Within two months, he fulfiled the promise.”
A former spokesperson to late former governor Lamidi Adesina, Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan eulogised his friend of 30 years for the initiative, adding that ”He is a capable journalist. He combines many things with journalism. In the late 80s and 90s, he was number one in Abuja. I’m not surprised with this because he has always been known for assisting the less-privileged.
Mrs Grace Funke Balogun, who is the the first daughter of the late Pa Dare described his ‘only’ brother as “a supportive brother to his siblings.”
Son of former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, Olamiju who is the caretaker chairman of Ogbomoso North local government as well was full of praises for the initiator, saying the time has come for those with the wherewithal to effect meaningful change to join politics.