The Baales in Egbaland, Ogun State, have thrown their weights behind the governorship ambition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirant, Segun Sowunmi.
They took the decision through a voice vote after Sowunmi addressed them during a consultation meeting in Abeokuta over his gubernatorial bid.
The Baales said Sowunmi understands their challenges and he demonstrated his readiness to address if elected governor.
The Baales were drawn Obafemi Owode, Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Odeda, Ifo, Ewekoro, all Local Government Areas in Ogun Central Senatorial district.
The President of Ogun State Council of Baales, Tunji Falola, in a voice vote, asked the Egba Baales, “Are you all in support of Sowunmi’s ambition for the governor of Ogun State?”, to which they responded in affirmative.
Falola who is also the chairman of the Baales in Egbaland, applauded Sowunmi, also an Egba son, for his development blueprint especially as if affects the traditional chiefs.
He said “We need to look for a capable leader, leader with integrity, who is able, can do it and do it well. There have leaders and leaders but where are they today? I am happy that Sowunmi is meeting us Baale for the first time now. A thousand and one others are still coming, I am sure of that.
“But do they realize that Baales are at the grassroots and that they can call their people are say ‘this is where we are going and their people would agree’. Not all leaders realise that here we are today with Sowunmi amongst us, coming here first and foremost even before going to the Obas, to seek our opinion and cooperation on his agenda.”
Earlier, the governorship aspirant called for devolution to the traditional chiefs in order to stem the tide of insecurity in the country.
Sowunmi noted that Baales are the first level of security in their areas and there is a need for an administrative and legal structures, empowering them to carry out their duties.
He Baales are not in contention with the monarchs and should be allowed to perform their roles to drive the security and development at the grassroots.
He said “I am particularly concern that we have not been able to find an administrative structure to accommodate Baales and take advantage of the closest they are to the people and the proximity to the land and it has cost us gravely.
“Part of the reasons we have not been able to secure our fringes is because we have not given any responsibility to our Baales. It is time now to create a framework where the Baales will have bigger roles according to the procedures of the service in such a way that we know that these are the responsibilities that they have and the wherewithal we have given them to be able to carry out the duties.
“If we must be secured, if we must develop evenly, if we must be prosperous, then we must figure out how to devolve more powers to the Baales.”