“If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend,” wrote the novelist E M Forster, “I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” Outgoing governor of Ogun State Senator Ibikunle Amosun, had the guts all right. He just chose to betray his friend.
And rising above that betrayal like a phoenix reborn from the ashes of Amosun’s fire is the Ogun governor-elect, Dapo Abiodun. He had thrown himself body and soul into the past campaigns of his bosom friend who went on to rule the state for eight years. When it was his turn to expect support, he was instead rewarded with a knife in the back.
Heyden Oil boss, Dapo had thrown his hat into the ring as one of the challengers on the platform of the All Progressives Congress. As fate and his own formidable pedigree would have it, he clinched the ticket amidst fierce competition from other stalwarts, including Amosun’s own anointed candidate.
And that was where the lifelong friendship between Dapo and Amosun hit the rails. While the governor coaxed and cajoled the billionaire businessman to step down for his candidate, Dapo vehemently refused to relinquish his hard-won ticket.
Subsequently, and in shocking defiance of the principles of reciprocal comradeship, the governor went all out to drum support for his own candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, who had joined the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) as its governorship candidate. Despite remaining in the APC, the governor refused to support the party’s candidate. He left Dapo in the lurch, abandoning him to sink or swim on his own.
And for a little while, it seemed like Amosun would have his way as he hijacked APC machinery and even campaigns to promote his own candidate even as he repeatedly vowed not to move a single muscle in support of the man who had spent so much time to actualize his own ambition in the past.
Pained but undaunted by the public betrayal by someone he considered closer than a brother, Dapo Abiodun nevertheless threw everything into his campaign. He toured the length and breadth of the state, selling himself to the populace and trusting in their will to overcome the might of the governor at the polls.
Now as governor-elect having handily won the polls, he can relax in the knowledge of a job well done despite the odds. Amosun, in contrast, is feasting on some bitter-tasting humble pies as he surveys the fragment of a friendship wrecked by his own insatiable thirst for power.