As He Intensifies Campaign For PDP Chairmanship
Former Ogun Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel who has continued to be reckoned with as a former public office holder with enviable performances is not in the race for the National Chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the fun of it. His main reason for declaring interest in the contest is the fact that he has all the potentials to restore the lost glory of the largest party in Africa and return it to the central government in 2019.
A peep into reasons OGD, as Otunba Gbenga Daniel is fondly called, should occupy the coveted office will surely convince cynics and critics that he is the best man for the job.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel has demonstrated sufficiently enough that he is one of the greatest talent hunters and participation of youth in the political space. Nigerians need to start looking at building successor generation.
He has used his vast experience in the private sector to a great advantage in his unique and result oriented state craft which transformed the entire landscape of the Gateway State and won commendations and laurels from many quarters. Indeed politics, as practised by the man fondly called OGD, has become an instrument of socio economic transformation. Otunba Daniel’s imprint of good governance is clearly visible across the length and breadth of Ogun State till date.
Otunba Daniel’s resolve to plough back into the society inspired him to go public through a non-profit organisation, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) which has, over the years impacted positively on the lives of many through humanitarian and charitable activities.
To further affect the lives of the people positively, in 2001, OGD announced his candidacy for governor of Ogun State in the 2003 election, seeking the nomination of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His foray into politics drew extensive media coverage with unprecedented level of popular support as he was regarded as a symbol of populist ideal to the common people.
ROAD TO BECOMING GOVERNOR
He launched a trail-brazing campaign declaring the official slogan, “A Contract With The People” with a commitment to better the lot of the people by awakening the sleeping giant which Ogun State was by harnessing its human and natural resources.
He won both the 2003 and 2007 general elections and subsequently lived up to expectation by bringing positive innovation and productive dynamism into governance. In terms of people-oriented programmes, it is widely acknowledged that Otunba Daniel restored hope, rehabilitated infrastructure, re-engineered institutions and firmly put in place an agenda of modernisation in Ogun State.
LANDMARK ACHIEVEMENTS AS GOVERNOR
Some of the landmark achievements include but are not limited to: Founding of Nigeria’s first University of Education, Founding of 4 ICT Polytechnics, the construction of three (3) world-class Stadia and the upgrading of one stadium to FIFA standard, and the successful hosting of National Sports Festival & some of the Junior World Games.
Others are the transformation of Ogun State to a virile private sector driven business haven by encouraging public private partnership, the construction of over 2000 kilometres of road rehabilitation in four years, and the resuscitation and expansion of several agricultural plantations.
The rest are creation and Invigoration of the South West Resource Center, encouragement of Local & Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through Partnerships with various countries and Development Partners such as the Guangdong, China’s Business Community which has agreed to commit one billion dollars to its Industrial Park in the state, the Initiation of the Olokola NLNG project, the modernization of Olumo Rock & beautification of Laogo Beach thereby improving on the tourism potentials the state, the signing into law of the Child Right Bill as the first governor in the whole country to do such, conceptualisation and setting up of three Free Trade Zones in the State, and the development of the Ogun State master plan.
As Governor, he expectedly lived up to expectation by bringing positive innovation and productive dynamism into governance.
In terms of people-oriented programmes it is widely acknowledged that Otunba Daniel is a trail-blazer who has restored hope, rehabilitated infrastructure, re-engineered institutions and firmly put in place an agenda of modernisation in Ogun State.
Today, Ogun State has become the “Investment destination of choice” not only in Nigeria but also on the West Coast of Africa. Under Otunba Daniel’s administration, the nation’s gateway state has become a shining model of good governance and development.
EPITOME OF HUMILITY
Often described as an epitome of humility, embodiment of simplicity and a paragon of excellence, OGD’s exploits in business and governance are indeed intimidating. Said to be prosperous, he is quick to say that his ascent to success was not by accident but hard work. And when you talk of hard work, it is citing the obvious.
This was corroborated by Professor Oye Ibidapo Obe who once described him as very, very hardworking. Only sheer hard work and perhaps providence could have propelled a man of humble background like Otunba Daniel to the very top of his profession. Having paid his dues over the serving in various capacities, he now proudly sits atop Kresta Laurel Limited- a multi-million naira indigenous concern that is into lifts, elevators, crane and generators.
Armed with an uncanny intimacy which subsequently disarms his guest, he has continued to confound most people as each day gives an entirely different picture of this exceptional and exemplary individual.
POLICY OF HARD WORK
A reporter once asked him: Your Excellency, today is public holiday, you are supposed to be resting but you are busty at work, why? He replied, “Well, I’m not usually afraid of work. In fact, work gives me challenge once the work is towards developmental agenda. I’m excited by work and I don’t get intimidated by it”. Amidst other sailing qualities, hard work seems to be his greatest asset. By dint of hard work, greatness and riches remained inseparable from him even from his younger days.
MORE ACHIEVEMENTS AS GOVERNOR
A partial listing of the landmark achievements of the Daniel administration in Ogun State include: extensive road rehabilitation, employment generation, agriculture and resuscitation of farm settlements, ICT Revolution, investment influx tourism, sports development etc.
ESTABLISHMENT OF POLITICAL ACADEMY
After leaving office in 2011, Otunba Daniel continued funding youth development initiatives within Ogun State.
With the core objectives to prepare, produce and support young leaders to improving their opportunities and competitiveness to impact on the society significantly, he established the Political Academy (POLA) with the vision to identify, codify, enhance and propagate principles and capacities needed for effective value-based socio-political and economic leadership by offering high quality, accelerated socio-political and economic education.
ACCOMPLISHED ENGINEER, CONSUMMATE POLITICIAN
Otunba Justus Olugbenga Daniel is an accomplished Engineer, a Consummate Politician, a Quintessential Manager and Philanthropist.
PROPRIETORSHIP OF KRESTA LAUREL LIMITED
A fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the Institute of Directors, Nigeria and the Academy of Engineering, OGD, as he is popularly called in political circles was a two-term Governor of Ogun State and the Founder/Chairman, Kresta Laurel Limited, Lagos, an engineering firm specialising in elevators, power systems, overhead travelling cranes and hoists which has remained a leader in its area of competence.
Kresta Laurel Limited is the foremost and the only ISO 9001 certified lift company in Nigeria. It is also the authorised distributor of KONE; the number one elevator makers in the world.
Born on 6th of April, 1956, Otunba Daniel, brilliant, audacious and intuitive as a college boy, attended Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, the School of Basic Studies at The Polytechnic, Ibadan and later studied Engineering at the University of Lagos, where he won several scholarships and became acquainted with the legendary Prof. Ayodele Awojobi.
During his National Service year at the School of Engineering of the Lagos State Polytechnic, he supervised the construction of the Engineering Complex of the institution and also conducted the semester examinations for the School of Engineering, without any whiff of leakage or scandal. That feat was described by an appreciative management as “quite remarkable in an environment where examination fraud was quite rampant”. Daniel was to proceed to earn a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Lagos and subsequently attended the Lagos Business School for an executive programme.
A distinguished fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Otunba Daniel cut his professional teeth with Metal Construction (West Africa) Limited. He later worked with H. F. Schroeder (West Africa) Limited, Lagos where he was the General Manager and later, Deputy Managing Director making him the first African to rise to that position in the history of the company’s operations.
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
After leaving office in 2011, Otunba Daniel continued funding youth development initiatives within Ogun State. With the core objectives to prepare, produce and support young leaders to improving their opportunities and competitiveness to impact on the society significantly, he established the Political Academy (POLA) with the vision to identify, codify, enhance and propagate principles and capacities needed for effective value-based socio-political and economic leadership by offering high quality, accelerated socio-political and economic education.
DETRABILISED GRASSROOT POLITICIAN
Detribalised, sociable, cultured and grassroots politician par excellence, his diverse achievements and amiable disposition has earned him honours and recognitions from far and near as well as many chieftaincy titles including the Otunba Adeoti of Omu-Ijebu, Otunba Asoludero of Makun, Sagamu, Otunba Obalofin of Ijebuland, Arole of Remoland, Olu Nla of Egbaland, Oga Nla of Yewaland and Aare Ajibosin of Owu Kingdom.
HIS INNER STRENGTH
A strong believer in the maxim that politics must be conducted according to principle, not expediency and opportunism, the profound fundamental virtues and ideals of this exceptional personality cannot be exhausted let alone his sincere humanness and fine character. But even then, people should not forget that politics is not only about winning friends but also disarming opponents.
Naturally Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD), undoubtedly an intelligent man should not be underestimated in this race.
The exceptional sterling leadership qualities of this man of destiny on the verge of making history are bound to transform to electoral gains. It has worked before in other lands, it has worked in our land, it is bound to work again. To Otunba Daniel, power is a public trust to be exercised and administered for the benefit of the people to whom it belongs.
Almost legendary is his fearlessness in condemning failures and fair mindedness in giving praise and commendation when they are merited. A man of impeccable and unimpeachable pedigree, there is no aloofness about him and many can testify to this. Also, he exhibits a firm abhorrence for self aggrandizement and promotion of personal ambition at the detriment of the generality of the people. For him, accountability by public officers is a sacred and inviolable principle: an avowed believer in selfless and honest devotion to public service which he has pledged to offer the people.
Here is a man whose strength is in his ability to articulate. He is seen as cerebral, blessed with a high degree of intelligence. His lucid thoughts and orderliness of presentation in any argument, in discussions and debates have always marked him out as a man to watch out for.
There is a consensus that this man is not given to intellectual brigandage. And one thing about this man is that he is deeply natural, no pretences, no phony affections.