Femi Ogbonnikan takes a critical look at the prospects of Prince Dapo Abiodun, an Ogun State Governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC, preparatory to the coming direct primary election in his bid to clinch the governorship ticket
“There are a thousand excuses for failure, but never a good reason,” says Mark Twain.
This aphorism rightly captures Nigeria’s home-grown definition of democracy which is at variance with the borrowed concept from the USA.
This is why the upcoming 2019 Ogun State Governorship race depicts a litmus test, either by a way of recycling the old order through a surrogate or a fresh bloody, coming to chart a new lease of life.
The incumbent governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has made good his promise to hand over the baton to a Yewa candidate in the person of Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade, a serving lawmaker who represents Yewa South/Ipokia Federal Constituency, as the Ogun State APC consensus governorship candidate.
This is responsible for the uneasy calm in the Ogun APC family. Distrust, angst and displeasure have set in over the faulty process.
Besides, the Ogun East aspirants see the development as an attempt to exempt the Province from partaking in the governorship contest.
With the aggrieved aspirants, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Adegbenga Kaka, Otunba Jimi Lawal and the lone aspirant from Ogun West, Chief Abayomi Hunye, having obtained the governorship nomination forms and are prepared for the direct primary, a showdown is looming and may upset the political permutation.
Meanwhile, some allies, loyalists and strong supporters averse to Amosun’s choice, have been withdrawing their support.
Addressing party faithful who besieged his Iperu-Remo country home, in demonstration of their unalloyed support for his governorship aspiration last weekend, Dapo Abiodun or DA as he is fondly called, assured the gathering of his strong desire to live up to expectations, if he wins the APC governorship ticket.
“It is most unfortunate that I fought hard to convince myself to run for governorship. Most of my colleagues in my industry told me, ‘Dapo, what are you doing in politics? You are doing well in your businesses and God has been so good to you. Why are you going to waste your time and energy, against the background of how unpredictable our political situation is in the country?’
“But I always tell them, that if all of us decide not to participate then, we would be governed by fools and we would sit down in Lagos or elsewhere and we would begin to complain, that. The only thing you can do, to ensure there is a change and ensure good governance, is to actually participate.
“I believe that if a few of us in the private sector begin to find our hearts to participate then, we can begin to change how people see politics; and we can begin to bring our experiences to bear in governance.
“I have a strong sense of purpose and determination to govern Ogun State. There is no iota of desperation in this ambition. I have the intellectual capacity, the moral capacity, the character and experience to build upon what Amosun has done in the last eight years.
“I seek to change governance from the grassroots by reaching out for opportunities to serve as the Governor of our beloved gateway State.
“My life and personal experience have revealed to me more than anything, that if given the right environment, values and opportunities, anyone can rise to become anything. I believe that beyond investing in busineses, investing in people should come first. This is something that is evident in the most prosperous nations of the world. My utmost desire is to give the Ogun people an enabling environment that will help them excel and stand out amidst peers in Nigeria and all over the world, while blazing new trails for the generation that comes after them, regardless of their origin or foundation.”
Abiodun believes that Ogun State is blessed with human capital and intellectual capacity to equate and exceed other successful states in Nigeria. “I believe the strategic positioning and close proximity to Lagos can also be maximised to our greatest advantage where we can easily generate as much internal revenue as Lagos State, if the opportunities are properly harnessed.
I am an investor and I have neither taken a contract from the state government nor collected returns from any of the lawmakers that I have sponsored into various offices, both at the State and National Assembly.”
Magnanimous enough in ensuring that APC grows, especially in Ogun East where the fortune of the party is dwindling, Amosun invited Abiodun to come to the rescue of the party in the area. “Immediately, he joined us in active politics, the fortunes of the party changed for the better. Unlike in the past, we hardly had ward or local government meeting, let alone senatorial meeting. DA assisted us immensely.. He deserves to succeed his friend, Amosun, come 2019 and that is we have been routing for him to emerge as our next governor. For instance, in my local government, Ogun Waterside, when he was vying for the Ogun East senatorial seat, sometime early in 2015, he offered a community that had no light for well over 12 years, a giant transformer and as well, opened up many rural roads,” said a ward leader who craved anonymity.
Just as this ward leader, many across Ogun State believe that Abiodun remains the most credible and most qualified aspirant who can transform the state to greater heights and consolidate on what has been achieved so far.