A lot has been said about the relationship between Ogun state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and former Ogun governor and top APC chieftain, Chief Olusegun Osoba. Many have insinuated that their relationship was borne out of a common interest and objective. That they both only joined forces to defeat a common political enemy who was former governor Amosun’s APM candidate, Hon. Akinlade. Others felt Dapo Abiodun had only turned to Osoba because he needed the former governor’s political structure to boost his chances of victory at the polls. They are all wrong. Nothing could be farther from the truth. At the time the Ogun governorship elections were only weeks away and the political mood in the state had assumed nerve breaking proportions, Dapo Abiodun had to draw strength and courage from some of the biggest political power houses he could count on for support in the state. And one of them, and possibly the closest to him of the lot, was Aremo Segun Osoba, who himself was a former governor of the state. He was one of those who, in the face of fierce opposition from the former governor Amosun led APM, worked tirelessly behind the scene and offered Dapo Abiodun the strength and confidence he needed to secure victory at the keenly contested Ogun guber elections.
Many do not know that the soft spoken Ogun Governor and Chief Olusegun Osoba have known each other since way back. From as far back as the early 90s, Governor Dapo Abiodun and Chief Osoba have had a father and son relationship together. At the birthday and book presentation ceremony of Chief Osoba held last week at the prestigious Eko Hotel, Dapo Abiodun fondly called Osoba ‘Baba’ many times over while paying tribute to the celebrant. That is how close they have been for many years running. It was so befitting that it was the Ogun State Governor who made the last speech of the day and paid glowing tribute to a man he clearly admires and holds in extremely high esteem. He shared with guests present his closeness to Aremo Olusegun Osoba and the role he played in his emergence as the present governor of Ogun state. With a mildly deep voice that resonated clearly within the auditorium, Dapo Abiodun began by hailing Chief Osoba as the Aremo Awujale of Ijebuland, the Akinrogun of Egba land and the Araba of Yewa land. He then revealed, “I have had the personal privilege of meeting Baba since the 1990s from when I became his mentee.” The governor further revealed that Chief Osoba has, for his age, an extremely sharp memory. “Baba’s memory is so accurate, that, as a matter of fact, President Buhari described him as having an ‘elephantile’ memory. Baba will remember the year, the date, the day of the event very accurately. Baba is so organised. As a state, government and people, your excellency, chief Olusegun Osoba, the government and the entire people of Ogun thank you for your immense contribution to the development of our dear state. As a professional, you demonstrated a rare quality of efficiency and effectiveness which endeared you to many in the pen pushing profession and also boosted the image of Ogun State.”
Governor Dapo Abiodun went on to express his profound gratitude to the celebrant. “Baba, you have been my rock. You held my hand and saw me through this recent journey for which I will remain forever grateful. Baba, you are my inspiration. You encouraged me. There were times when I wasn’t so sure of how to proceed, Baba, you would hold me and would say to me, Dapo, ma worry, o ma wole (meaning Dapo, do not worry, you will triumph).Today, I have the privilege of referring to you as my senior colleague. Baba, I am very grateful. As I promised you, Baba, we shall continue to uphold all the tenets of good governance. We shall be participatory. We shall be accountable. We shall be transparent. We shall be equitable. We shall be inclusive. We shall be effective. We shall be efficient. We shall follow the rule of Law. We shall be consensus oriented. Baba, this much I pledge to you, so help me God.”
To further demonstrate the significant role Osoba plays in his life, governor Abiodun said,” We shall continue to drink from your fountain of wisdom. We therefore plead that you did not wean us from taking that milk of wisdom. And same goes to all of our elders. Today, if we stand taller than our contemporaries, it is because we stand on the shoulders of giants like you.”
At the end of his tribute, Governor Dapo Abiodun left no one in doubt as to how fond he is of Aremo Olusegun Osoba. Not only did he show tremendous respect to a man whose legacies as a former governor of Ogun state would remain indelible on the sands of time, he also showed the sort of love that only a son could offer his father. And it was clear to see by everyone who listened to him that the relationship between the two will certainly endure even long after Dapo Abiodun would’ve completed his eight years in office.