Royal fathers in Yewa/Awori axis of Ogun State and the masses of the people turned out in large number to honour the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, whose campaign train landed in the zone this week. Femi Ogbonnikan report
Yewa/Awori people in Ogun West, made up of five local governments – Ipokia, Imeko-Afon, Yewa North, Yewa South and Ado-Odo/Ota – are known for their engagement in commerce and trade. Their proximity to neighbouring communities in Republic of Benin places them in a vantage trading position.
But they are yet to produce a governor for Ogun state, since its creation 43 years ago, on account of several years of marginalisation. This was one of the issues the Olota of Ota, Oba (Prof) Adeyemi Obalanlege, tabled before the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo during the Dapo Abiodun campaign tour of the area on Monday. Aside the overall marginalisation of the entire Ogun West, Osinbajo, specifically, decried the low level of development in Aworiland, being the industrial hub of Nigeria, and described the ill-treatment as act of “injustice”.
He said he was fully aware of many challenges confronting the Awori nation when he was Lagos State Attorney – General and Commissioner for Justice. Speaking at the Palace of Olota of Ota, Ogun State, Osinbajo said the entire Aworiland ought not be relegated to the background in view of its crop of educated elites and location as an industrial hub of the country. He said: “We are promising you, that we would look into all these problems when we have Dapo Abiodun elected in the forthcoming March 2 election, and the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari/Prof Yemi Osinbajo on February 16.” The VP appealed to the monarch, Council of Obas in Aworiland and the people of the various communities to cast their votes for all the candidates of the APC saying “it is the party that attend to numerous problems bedeviling the country.”
He said if the Ogun State governorship candidate, Abiodun, is voted into office, he will be able to do the needful, while other responsibilities beyond the reach of the state government, “Abiodun as governor can quickly put a call through to me as Vice President to intervene.”
Earlier on February 3, Osinbajo, while at the Ado cultural day programme, in Ado-Odo/Ota local government, assured the people of the ancient town of the administration’s commitment to reconstructing all federal roads in the area as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari is returned into office. Also, the VP told the people of Ado, that the APC government in Ogun State, when re-elected, would meet their expectations, including the provisions of health facilities and proper funding of tertiary institutions.
In his own remarks at the Olota’s Palace, Abiodun promised to live up to expectations with his electoral promises, if he is elected. He said he empathized with the people of Aworiland, especially Agbara, which the host community of a large number of industries in the state.
The APC governorship candidate said he was sad to see the deplorable conditions of the road in the community which is the host community for multi-national companies that generate a substantial amount in internal revenue to the coffers of the state government. The Olota of Ota, Oba Obalanlege, inundated the Vice President and his entourage with numerous problems facing the Aworiland.
The monarch drew the attention of Osinbajo to the ill-treatment being meted out to Aworiland, particularly the division caused by past administrations. “Aworiland is accommodating. And we are in both Lagos and Ogun states. I want to seize this occasion to tell you that we have been marginalised and which should not be.
“We have massive votes in Aworiland and which ought to translate to political power but rather, we have been marginalised. We are neither Yewa nor Egba. We are the first son of Okanbi, one of the sons of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race that came into being in Ogun State before others. We are senior but we have been marginalised.
“Funny enough, we have been merged with Yewa and Egba traditional councils. Also, we want you to help us with the reconstruction of Ota/Owode/Idiroko road, because this is the only international route that is connecting the neighbouring communities in the Republic of Benin. While doing that, we are requesting for a flyover at Oju-Ore in order to ease traffic flow along the Ota/Owode road.”
The mood was the same in Yewa North Local Government Area, earlier toured on January 29. Two monarchs, while making cases for their respective domains, urged Abiodun, not to forget the electorates when he emerged governor of the state.
Speaking during the visit of the APC governorship candidate to the palace of Abepa of Joga Orile, Oba Adeyemi Adekeye, and the Aboro of Iboroland, Oba Abayomi Salako, the duo admonished the Iperu-born Prince to ensure that he keeps to his electoral promises and said that the dividends of democracy should spread across to all the nooks and crannies of Yewa land. In his own remarks, Oba Salako regretted the fact that politicians were fond of making empty promises, but advised Abiodun to fulfill all his electoral promises in a bid to better the lots of the people of Ogun state.
Oba Salako said: “This is my second time of meeting Prince Dapo Abiodun and I can see the traits of a complete gentleman in him. Dapo Abiodun is very rich and he is gentle. You might be rich and arrogant at the same time but he is gentle with all the wealth God gave him. My instinct tells me that you have won the March 2 governorship election and you will become the next governor of Ogun state by God grace.”
Also, in his remarks, the Abepa of Joga Orile, Oba Adekeye expressed appreciation for the visit of the governorship candidate and described him as the man of the moment. He enjoined Abiodun to run an all-inclusive government that would include sons and daughters of the Ogun West Senatorial district when constituting his government, if elected. “In Yewa/Awori, we are very poor and that is the reason one of us becoming the governor of the state, since its creation 43 years ago has not been possible,” he said. But the royal father assured the APC of massive votes from his domain in the forthcoming general elections.
It was no exception in Imeko-Afon local government area, as the governorship ambition of the APC candidate received a further rare support from royal fathers. The monarchs from the local council displayed their support and further gave royal blessings to the ambition of the business mogul when he visited their respective palaces on February 6.
At the palace of Onidofa of Idofa town, the monarch, Oba David Aremu Adeyanju, was enthusiastic and overjoyous to receive the oil magnate in his palace. He expressed appreciation to the APC governorship candidate and urged him to run an all-inclusive government when he gets into office. He urged him, not be deceitful in his governance as it is currently being experienced.
Onidofa of Idofa said: “You will be victorious at the poll. But I implore you, not to forget the people around you. I want to urge the people around you to always advise you appropriately. When you get there, please don’t forget our local government area, because we need public schools, electricity, industries and jobs for our teeming unemployed youths in order to curb them from engaging in smuggling activities. I also want to urge you, not to deceive the people when you get into office. God will crown your efforts and you shall be victorious on this journey.”
In a same vein, the Oloola of Ilara, Oba Samuel Alabi Adeluyi, decribed the APC governorship candidate as a man with vision for a brighter Ogun State. The monarch said this, when Abiodun paid homage to him in his palace.
The monarch said, “God has destined you to be our next governor in Ogun State and you will get there, by the special grace of God. As my Chief has highlighted, don’t forget us when you get there, because we have always been supportive to the APC and we will continue to stand by the party.”
Earlier, the Balogun of Tayese of Ilara, Chief Falola Adisa, requested Abiodun to come to their rescue if he elected. He requested for the completion of the abandoned Ilara-ijoun-ilashe road, establishment of a tertiary institution in Imeko Afon local government, facilitation for the establishment of banks in Ilara town, provision of electricity, portable water and standard health centres.
He expressed optimism in the ability of the governorship candidate as the next governor of the State. He said his (Abiodun) next visit to Ilara will be a thank-you one, after his victory at the governorship poll. He added that Ilara had always voted for the APC and would never change.
In his remarks, Abiodun promised to harness the tourism potentials of Ilara and make the ancient town a tourist destination of the state.
While joining the legions of monarchs that have thrown their weight behind the APC governorship candidate, Osile, Oke-Ona, Egbaland, Oba Dapo Tejuosho, who could not conceal his emotions described Abiodun as the most competent, capable and qualified among the candidates that are jostling for the number one seat of the state.
According to him, the resilience, humility, generosity and listening ears of Abiodun have endeared him into the hearts of the people of the state.
The Osile stated this, when Abiodun and his campaign train paid homage to the monarch in his Palace, while on a campaign rally of Abeokuta North Local Government Area on Thursday, January 30.