2023 Ogun APC Governorship: Truth is Sacrosanct
There is no doubt that the outcome of the state congress of the Ogun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held on Saturday, October 16, 2021 marks a watershed in the march towards 2023 Ogun APC governorship election. The Congress produced the substantive executive to midwife the processes for the re-election bid of Prince Dapo Abiodun as Governor for his second term in office. The executive will also oversee the conduct of elections into other political offices preparatory to the 2023 general elections, beginning from the State House of Assembly to the National Assembly.
The truth is not far-fetched. The national leadership of the APC’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) was very much at home with the emergence of Chief Yemi Sanusi as the State Chairman of the party, as it sent representatives led by Mr Wale Ohu to supervise the congress held at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta. The event was also monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It is instructive that the Governor’s camp controls all the 236 wards, 20 local government areas and the state executive of the party. This dominance makes it wield appreciable influence in the scheme of things. Similarly, the governor’s winning team cleared all the seats in the local government election conducted last July, an added advantage, which gives the Governor’s support base an edge over others.
Going down the memory lane, however, there appears to be no end in sight for the frosty relationship between the current Governor, Abiodun, and his predecessor in office, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. Amosun is an arch rival to his estranged friend, Abiodun, over succession plans. Amosun did not hide his objection to his friend’s ambition to succeed him in office when Abiodun signified interest for the number one seat of the Gateway State in 2018.
As the then sitting Governor on the platform of the APC, Amosun did not hide his disdain for the ambition of his estranged friend by moving his supporters and followers to a new party, Allied Peoples Movement (APM), where he bankrolled the formation and also the gubernatorial flag bearer, Mr Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade, and other contestants at both the State Assembly and National Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, in the 2011 general elections, Amosun rode on the back of the then leaders of the Action Congress (AC) such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Senators Adegbenga Kaka, Gbenga Obadara and Akin Odunsi, and other stalwarts to clinch the party’s governorship ticket which he won. Sooner than later, he ran the state like a family personal estate. Thus, his actions set tongues wagging and party elders and leaders, who were expected to be carried along, were alienated and later became his perceived enemies. His vaulting ambition was to make himself head of a power bloc in the state.
Amosun’s approach to governance sent many of the chieftains and supporters packing from the party. Those that left the party and pitched tent with the opposition parties had alleged ill-treatments ranging from vindictiveness, hatred, highhandedness, arrogance to bigotry. When it was crystal clear to him that he was losing ground in the run-up to his re-election bid in 2015, it was learnt, Amosun ran from pillar to post to safeguard his ambitions. He ran to his friend, Abiodun (now Governor), to come to his rescue. The man (Abiodun) who has now become his political foe, it was gathered, spent a fortune, including cash donation, the procurement of campaign buses, motorcycles, and other logistics to stand by his friend to return to office for the second term.
In the run-up to the 2019 general elections, Senator Solomon Adeola (aka Yayi) who is currently representing Lagos West at the National Assembly attempted to upset Amosun’s succession plan. The plan was Amosun’s desire to foist his preferred godson, Akinlade, on the good people of Ogun State. Yayi later withdrew from the race, choosing to pursue his re-election at the senate, following the interventions of the national leader of the party, Tinubu.
Also, Abiodun was not spared the same treatment when he expressed interest in the plum job. Amosun threw caution to the wind and engaged in all manner of intrigues and shenanigans, including judicial resolution to frustrate the ambition of his estranged friend. Among the tricks that one cannot easily forget was the attack on President Muhammadu Buhari and his retinues with stones at the official handing over of the party’s flag to Abiodun at the MKO Abiola Stadium in February 2019.
But it took the collective efforts of the erstwhile national Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomole, national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Southwest leadership and other notable chieftains to salvage the situation. They all rallied around Abiodun who did not only win the ticket but also emerged victorious at the March 9, 2019 governorship poll, against the will and desire of Amosun.
Despite his anti-party activities, which manifested in sponsoring his cronies contesting in APM, while he ran on the APC platform and won Ogun Central seat, Amosun still got away with his misconduct due to his strong and personal relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari. Amosun is considered a clever politician that understands the intricacies of local politics. He relishes in make-beliefs, but his greatest undoing is hinged on his promises not to redeem them. “We are going to do everything” (Gbogbo e ni a maa se) is a rhetoric, which often characterised his usual promises to the people of Ogun State. But in the end nothing would materialise. His promises smacked of deceit, betrayal and lies.
Recently, an inside source hinted that Amosun and his political godson in the 2019 general elections, Akinlade, have fallen out of favour over the plot by Amosun to dump and replace Akinlade with the current Senator representing Ogun East district at the National Assembly, Lekan Mustapha, preparatory to the 2023 general elections. The preferred choice of the Ijebu Senator over Akinlade is said to have pitched Amosun against the people of Yewa/Awori people whose gubernatorial interest he claimed he was working for as a result of several years of neglect and marginalisation. The source also posited that Amosun’s interest originally was a ploy to use Akinlade as governorship candidate in 2019 in order to cover his tracks while in office and not really fighting for the cause of the Yewa/Awori people to produce the Governor of the Gateway State.
By and large, Abiodun is considered a Messiah who came on board at a critical time when governance was almost brought to its knees. His ascendancy to the throne on May 29, 2019 instilled confidence and also rebuilt trust in the workforce whose morale had already been at the lowest ebb. Unlike his predecessor, Abiodun did not shirk his responsibilities. He thought outside the box to ensure the completion of all the inherited abandoned projects that are of economic benefits. The decision is informed by the fact that leaving the abandoned roads would not only amount to a waste of tax payers’ funds, but would also be detrimental to the growth and development of the state.
As a promise-keeping Governor, Abiodun is not a man that believes in making noise for every executed project. His level of tolerance and listening ears to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens endear him to the people of the state regardless of religion, sex, status and sub-ethnic group. He sees the entire state as an indivisible family unit and stands by the principles of equity, justice and fair play.
Although the mindset of every Nigerian politician is rooted in using the electorate whenever they are needed and soon afterwards dumping them after winning elections, Governor Abiodun is remarkably a politician who never forgets nor turns his back on his people. No wonder that the political base of Governor Abiodun is waxing stronger in leaps and bounds by the day. Bigwigs and other political juggernauts with their teeming followers who have thrown their weight behind him and also routing for his re-election bid in the coming 2023 general elections are leaving no stone unturned to actualise the lofty dream.
Truth is sacrosanct! The quantum of support for Governor Abiodun’s re-election bid is so intimidating that any opponent will shudder at the thought of signifying interest in the number one seat in the Gateway State now that Governor Abiodun’s governance style is the toast of the people and they are mounting support for him by the day to spend another four years in office.
Notable political figures like Chief Olusegun Osoba, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Senator Solomon Adeola (aka Yayi), Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka (aka GNI) and Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole have come together to lend their heavy weight behind Governor Dapo Abiodun for his re-election bid in the coming 2023 general elections. They appreciate the Governor for his giant strides at transforming the state for the betterment of all and sundry.
Other supporters are Rt. Hon. (Mrs) Titi Oseni, Rt. Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, Hon. Kayode Oladele, Hon. Jelil Akingbade, Hon. Abiodun Akinlade, Barrister Yinka Odufuwa, Engr. Tope Kuyebi, Chief Joju Fadairo, Chief Anthony Ojeshina, Dr Remilekun Bakare, Jagunmolu Jamiu Omoniyi, Comrade Tunde Oladunjoye, Mr Wale Adedayo, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Barrister Habeeb Ajayi, Dr Femi Majekodunmi, Dr Kunle Isiaq Salako, Chief Foun Abiola, Hon. Tayo Adekoya, Pastor Kolade Segun-Okeowo, and ACP Lamidi Odulana (retd.).
The roll of honours list also includes Rt. Hon. Tunji Egbetokun, Hon. Biyi Adeleye, Hon. Adijat Adeleye, Mr Deji Kalejaiye, Mr Ifekayode Akinbode, Chief Dele Odulaja, Engr Fatai Bodunrin, Chief Waliu Taiwo, Chief (Mrs) Iyabo Malthida Apampa, Mr Tunji Akinosi, Hon. Babatunde Olaotan, Hon. Kunle Adeshina, Mr Afolabi Afuwape, Mr Kunle Otun, Barrister Femi Ogunbanwo, Mrs Funmi Efuape, Mrs Peju Sote, Alhaji Bakai Ajao-Okedara, Hon. Olumide Osoba, Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka, Hon. Jimoh Ojugbele, Hon. Kolapo Osunsanya, Hon. (Mrs) Yetunde Adewunmi (aka Ijaya), and Hon. Olanrewaju Edun.
Sowemimo wrote from Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.