With his policy of inclusive administration, the grounds are being softened for Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State to have an unimpeded political career, writes James Sowole
The popular Yoruba saying that “you can only help someone to look for job but you cannot help him or her to do the job,” becomes apt, when one considers the rising profile and popularity of the Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, against the backdrop of enormity of opposition, before he was elected
Though, the 2019 governorship election in Ogun State was not a tea party, it even became more complex, in view of intrigues and deceit by several stakeholders, which led to the situation of get it first at all cost and tackle the backlash later.
One of the reasons for desperation by politicians to win at all cost during election, is the “Winner Takes All” syndrome of many political office holders. It is often said that should a winner of an office see the position as avenue to serve the people irrespective of being in different political parties, factions and camps during election, the struggle for power, will be meaningful, moderate and issue-based.
However, the reverse is usually the case because of the past experiences of players, who usually feel cheated and shortchanged after the election.
Like in many other states, preparation for the 2019 Gubernatorial Election in Ogun State, which produced Prince Dapo Abiodun, was characterised by intrigues and plots by actors to outplay one another even, with the same party.
For the All Progressives Congress (APC) under which platform Abiodun was elected, the intrigues started with the mode of primary to be adopted in order to choose the party’s flag bearer.
Three options were available for choosing the party’s candidate- the direct primary, indirect primary and the consensus arrangement.
While the faction being led by the then incumbent governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, opted for indirect primary, the Dapo Abiodun’s faction, chose the direct mode.
But when it was clear that the two factions could not agree on a particular option, the National Secretariat, decided that a direct mode of primary be adopted.
Rather than participating in the direct mode, the Amosun’s faction boycotted the exercise and organised its own Indirect Governorship Primary that produced Hon Adekunle Akinlade, who later moved to Allied People’s Movement (APM) with the entire structure of the APC that belong to Amosun.
Preparation for the actual Gubernatorial Election, was so tensed that the breakaway faction of the APC that formed APM, became the major opposition party in all ramifications.
For the real election, four major political parties, the APC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the APM and the African Democratic Congress (ADC), were at the jugular of one another.
But while the electioneering was on, the chance of Abiodun and APC was boosted, with the open declaration by a faction of the PDP loyal to a former Governor, Gbenga Daniel, that members of his group, should work and support Abiodun.
For Dapo Abiodun, the election has come and gone and management of one”s success towards sustaining and expanding of support base, is a policy that should not be compromised.
Apart from playing politics, fulfilling election promises of provision of dividends of democracy for the people, remains very important to Abiodun after his election.
The governor, was able to do this by appointing competent people into position of service, even from other political parties that contested against his own APC in the spirit of running an inclusive administration.
Specifically, Abiodun appointed leaders and members of the PDP, Labour Party (LP), ADC and some members of the APC faction loyal to the immediate past governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
While some people from other political parties and from other APC faction other than his, got direct appointment in the administration of Abiodun, some were rewarded during the last local government election, which was a depature to the previous “Winner Takes All” syndrome.
The inclusive administration, has narrowed down opposition to the administration both within and from outside the party. This policy of Inclusiveness, may have also encouraged the hitherto opposition leaders to even move to the ruling APC.
It is on record that a former Governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, the candidate of ADC, Mr Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, popularly called GNI, the APM Candidate, Adekunle Akinlade and their supporters, have moved to the ruling APC.
However, despite understanding of leaders and members of other political parties, opposition within reared its ugly head during the APC Ward and Local Government congresses, with a “parallel” exercise.
The seemingly confusing situation was saved by the pronouncement of the Interim National Secretary of APC Caretaker Committee, John Akpanudoedehe, who said the National Secretariat, would only accept results of congresses, conducted by the Congress Committee sent by the Secretariat.
Consequently, the opposition within, was put to rest, by the acceptance of the results and names generated by the Wale Ohu led Congress Committee sent by the National Secretariat.
Further cementing the oness of the party in the state, the Appeal Committee on Local Government Congress of the party in Ogun State disclosed that no single petition was received by the committee, on the conduct of the exercise in the state..
The Chairman of the committee, Segun Ojo, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
Ojo explained that the five-man appeal committee inaugurated by the national headquarters of the APC in Abuja, has met with stakeholders within the Ogun APC addung that the committee’s interaction with some party faithful and chieftains showed that the congress went on well without rancour.
While maintaining that no petition was put forward as it happened during the ward congress, Ojo said his committee would submit its report to the national headquarters of the party latest Monday.
He commended the party for making the committee’s job easier, expressing optimism that the state congress of the party slated for October 2 will be peaceful and friction-free.
Ojo, lauded Governor Dapo Abiodun for providing leadership that has made APC more unified and cohesive in the state.
“Nobody has shown up to complain, but that has not stopped us from doing the normal thing we were sent to do from Abuja.
“We are putting together our report. And we discovered that whatever complain anybody has is being handled and treated as a family affair that will be settled within the party.
“We hope the state congress will be peaceful as that of LG congress”, the appeal committee chairman stated.
Considerung this policy of Inclusiveness and accommodation, the state and the people, are the ultimate beneficiaries as the governor was able to concentrate on the business of governance to the admiration of those who stood by him during electioneering. There are enough evidence of finished and commissioned various infrastructural projects across the three senatorial districts of the state standing as a testimony to Abiodun’s fresh style of governance.
Fulfilling election promises of provision of dividends of democracy for the people, remains very important to Abiodun after his election. The governor, was able to do this by appointing competent people into position of service, even from other political parties that contested against his own APC in the spirit of running an inclusive administration