Opinion: Governor Dapo Abiodun’s All-Inclusive Gaffe
London, April 17, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Not a few eyebrows were raised when Governor Dapo Abiodun informed stakeholders in Ogun All Progressives Congress (APC) of his novel idea of an ‘all-inclusive governance’. Many frowned at the idea seeing it as a demonstration of political naivety and a ploy to shortchange loyal party men.
Although some of them ventilated their views at a couple of fora, the views of apostles of ‘Power is Right’ gained the upper hand. But barely 10 months into the life of the new administration, the idea has boomeranged. Its only success, perhaps, is in sidelining key stakeholders and forced them into political hibernation.
It was gathered that the idea of ‘all-inclusive’ government stems from the believe that incumbent governors in Ogun often score lesser votes at subsequent election than they score during the first election. They reasoned that the 21, 000 margin of victory by Governor Abiodun would be wipped out in 2023, hence the plot to decimate and cripple potential opposition.
The idea was, expectedly, greeted with pessimism as several party leaders, who had envisaged patronage for their efforts at the February 2019 gubernatorial battle, saw the idea as a political booby-trap.But Abiodun and his spin-doctors had assured there is nothing to fear.Consequently, some PDP members loyal to ex-Governor Gbenga Daniel, as well as supporters of Gboyega Nosir Isiaka (GNI), who was the flagbearer of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the guber polls, were primed for appointments in the APC government.
In preparation for that, supporters of Otunba Daniel joined the APC. GNI and his supporters also dumped ADC and joined APC.This is the height of political naivety and a dangerous way of arming ones political enemies because they knew the new-found romance by Daniel and GNI won’t last.
Otunba Daniel is renowned for his chameleonic disposition and is also aiming to bestride both the PDP and the APC climes. Although Daniel announced his resignation from the PDP, he has never masked his love for PDP and is always seen flexing around PDP topnotchers. He is also a dye in the wool apologist of Atiku Abubakar who is President Muhammadu Buhari’s most acidic critic and political rival.
Available facts indicate that OGD contributed next to nothing to the victory of the APC at the gubernatorial contest. All that needs to be done is to compare results of the Presidential and National Assembly elections when OGD worked for PDP with results in the governorship election when he was purported to be working for APC. APC performed far better in the Presidential election and was far poorer in the governorship polls. One then wonders where the vaunted influence of OGD is in the contest. The election figures tells the whole story and as they say ‘figures don’t lie’.
Those on the field will swear that many OGD supporters worked for GNI at that election. They saw GNI as a better governorship material than Dapo Abiodun
The itinerant nature of GNI and his undying appetite for the top job in the state is another drawback of the idea. Recall that GNI, who hails from Ogun West Senatorial district, had contested the governorship elections of the state in 2011, 2015 and 2019. He lost on all three occasions. In his short political journey, GNI has flirted with PDP, PPN, LP,PDP, ADC and now APC. And he is still eyeing the 2023 contest. Unfortunately, while the Governor was still busy nourishing his potential foes, he allowed political scoundrels and power mongers around him to hijack his government.
Governor Abiodun allowed supporters of the senator representing Lagos West Senatorial district,Olamilekan Adeola, to hijack the governance of the state. They’ve formed themselves into a cabal around the governor and they’re the ones determining who gets what. They block whoever is perceived as too independent-minded from getting close to the governor.
A one-time Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon.Tunji Egbetokun, is the arrowhead of the cabal. Egbetokun gets anything he wants and appoints whoever he feels is pliable. Anyone who he cant manipulate gets nothing in the government. Unfortunately for Governor Abiodun, most of the people shielding him knows nothing about governance. The recklessness of the cabal knows no bound as they don’t respect even the party structure. The cabal is even trying to usurp the role of the party caretaker committee members set up to run the party in the state
iindeed, the idea of trying to cripple the opposition in the state through the concept of all-inclusive governance is at best infantile. One wonders how Multi-billionaire and political bulwark like Senator Buruji Kashamu or Ladi, the scion of betting magnate, Chief Kessington Adebutu, could be caged or warehoused. Supporters of OGD who flocked into the APC are in the party for what they would eat. They would soon go back to PDP.
The question is Can Dapo Abiodun trust GNI? very doubtful. He should ask OGD and Senator Kashamu who once acted as godfathers to GNI what level of regrets they had about him. GNI is merely trying to use Dapo to gather funds. He is presently eyeing the Managing Directorship of Olokola preparatory for the 2023 contest.
Dapo Abiodun should remember that a man that marries a prostitute should not bother about loyalty from her. He should know his wife had several sex partners who would readily satisfy her. My worry is all these mis-steps by the Ogun governor would soon hurt APC.
The recent rerun election in 13 polling units to determine the winner of the House of Representatives in Ijebu-Ode/ Odogbolu/Ijebu North East Federal Constituency was a mini plebiscite on the regime.There are just 10,000 votes scattered in 13 polling units. APC lost that particular rerun election scoring just 1,071 to PDPs 1,271 votes. The APC candidate was able to emerge winner because of the overall votes tally. The question one should ask is: How can a sitting governor lost election in just 13 polling units held in his backyard in Ogun East and with the acclaimed ‘all inclusiveness’ partners in place?
The low turnout is also a bad omen. Less than 3000 of the 10, 000 voters came out in an area where the governor hails from. it is instructive that due to the activities of the cabal, several stakeholders in the party are now in ‘siddon-look’ mode.
The leader of the APC in the state, Aremo Segun Osoba, is reportedly unhappy with the government, while stakeholders like Tolu Odebiyi, the only senator who openly identified with Dapo Abiodun during the election, is also keeping his distance. Indeed, all the National Assembly members who stood with APC during the election are all avoiding government functions. Several other key leaders like Senators Gbenga Kaka, Lanre Tejuoso, Gbenga Obadara, Hon. Bode Mustapha, Ayo Olubori, Bimbo Ashiru, Hon Biodun Akinlade among others have all withdrawn into their cocoons
Many of them are surely not idle. They are doing something’s behind the scene. They are forming new alliances. Many of them are reportedly renewing their links with the immediate past Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Senator Amosun is unhappy with the role played by the party hierarchy in installing Dapo Abiodun. Although he remains in APC, he is alleged to be the sponsor of APM. Recall that during the APC primaries, Senator Amosun lost a number of heavyweight supporters who felt he was attempting to plant his lackey as a successor in Oke Mosan. They decided to back Dapo Abiodun. Some of those erstwhile loyalists who dumped him are already regretting.
The regrets is even more pronounced given that Dapo Abiodun and the cabal around him doesn’t understand the nuances of government which has resulted in his poor performance so far.The disproportionate and lopsided distribution of political appointments in favour of Ijebu/Remo by the government is also a source of regrets for many especially those from Ogun West District.The five local Governments that makes up Ogun West produced just four commissioners, three Special Advisers.
=======================*Olawale Aikulola is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Sango-Ota, Ogun State. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org