Dayo Oshodi, astute lawyer and Secretary-General, Eko Club speaks on the new Eko Club that is not only digitally compliant but also making progress in the area of social and cultural engineering.
Question: How did you generate so much money in the current regime?
This administration is different. We have generated the most revenue that this club has ever raised in its 43 years. This administration also has been able to organize social activities as a socio-cultural club and we are digitalizing the club now. We already have CCTV around, we are also engaging some experts who are going to digitalize our profile abroad and everywhere in the world. They are going to be doing websites too. There will also monitor our social networks, so that we would all connect from anywhere in the world.
There is Eko club, American branch. It may not be recognized by this club but there is a way that we would all connect. You are aware that the idea that brought about this club is not well represented over there. Over there, they accept women as members of the club, but here, we don’t accept women. But there is a way we can connect with this digitalization.
I must say this; I think this is the best administration this club has ever had. And there is a bit of sanity within the club.
Today’s occasion, which is the initiation of new members and valentine day, is one of its best ever. Because when we inaugurated the membership committee, the president and I advised them that this time around, the committee should screen the proposed members and get us the best from Lagos societies. And as we have it, if you look at the approval of the 54 members who are coming in now, they are giants in the society and they are relatively well known. Some of them are young, bellow 40 years. You must be 30 years before you can apply for membership.
The president envisaged N168million for the year and we are about to achieve it, that is a lot of money. In our next year, we would commence fiscal projects. Now we are doing social activities, trying to raise money to bring the club back to life and bring people who are interested in the club. Some people who have issues with the club had gone to court, some of the cases we have won, one of them has withdrawn his matter from court, that was a month ago. I am certain that it is because of this new administration which we believe is a new dawn. We also believe he would lose or would miss the club, if he doesn’t come back to the club. He is now considering a resolution, which is now one of our achievements.
Question: Many people believe that if you are not born in Eko, you cannot join the club, how true is that?
Answer: Well, it’s not about being born; you must be an indigenous Lagosian, that is how it should be. I had a meeting with some elders and we agreed that, when they started the club, they said it was for the indigenous Omo Eko. Many people today may call themselves Omo Eko but they are from Ikorodu, Ekpe or Badagry; that’s not the Eko that used to be. The Eko that used to be did not extend to those areas. But because the government has created Lagos state, if you are not from Eko, you cannot boast that you are from eko.
There is ikorodu club, they won’t accept you if you are from Ikeja because you are not from Ikorodu. We don’t have a choice; we have the governor of Lagos as our patron. But sometimes we do accept people that are not from Lagos State but considering first, may be their mother is from Lagos state, that is how it is. Originally it was for Omo Eko, but we have extended and we would keep on extending. At the moment, we are admitting new members; we are not only admitting people from Eko but some who are not even from Eko.
Question: As the secretary of the club, what is your advice to incoming members?
My advice for them is to use the club; this club was created and developed by young men. That is the beginning of my career. We all just came back from England; they build a club that is this big now. We shouldn’t be selfish; many of us have sacrificed a lot to keep the club moving. You have to make your own contribution to build the club. You may not know the advantages of the club on the surface if you don’t use that club. The question shouldn’t be what the club has for you but what you have for the club. If you didn’t see the club being built up, you wouldn’t want to join.