The last gubernatorial election in Ogun State taught a lot of people, especially politicians in and outside the state a huge lesson. This is because the outgoing Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun failed in his bid to install his anointed candidate Abiodun Akinlade, as his successor, losing the election to APC candidate, Dapo Abiodun from Ogun East. After Governor Amosun’s request to impose Akinlade on APC as the gubernatorial candidates failed, he moved the structure to another party APM, where he spent heavily and ensured all facilities in Ogun State for campaign was made available and accessible to APM alone. This moves was obvious to APC leaders in the state and at the national level which led to his suspension for anti party activities after he has won the election to return to the Senate, representing Ogun Central.
Governor Amosun was desperate on installing Akinlade and he went all out, not minding the outcome of his action. At some point, few days to the election he was confident that his party, APM would win the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections.
Many things worked against Amosun and his anointed candidate, Akinlade, but the huge factor was the fact that he was not in good terms with many APC leaders. The likes of former Governors Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Aremo Olusegun Osoba. These two were mainly his backbone before he became governor eight years ago but he turned his back on them because of his personal interest and at some point. Recall that it was alleged that Governor Amosun hired APM members to stone President Buhari and all federal delegates including Asiwaju, Osoba, Osinbajo, Oshiomhole and Ogun APC Gubernatorial candidate Dapo Abiodun during the APC presidential rally in Abeokuta at MKO Abiola Stadium few months ago. This did not go well with members of the party, as APC supporters were chased out of the stadium by APM leaving some of the badly injured. Early hours before the rally, Governor Amosun was also seen in a video that gone viral destroying Dapo Abiodun’s posters inside the stadium and instructing people to remove everything from the premises before the rally, replacing it with Akinlade of APM.
Senator Ibikunle Amosun having failed to get the party’s tickets for his governorship candidates, Abiodun Akinlade the governor while pledging support for APC, turned to other parties for succour. Governor Amosun, picked Allied People’s Movement, APM, for his candidate, Abiodun Akinlade. He also advised his party members to ditch APC for APM while pledging loyalty for APC’s Muhammadu Buhari.
Governor Amosun has forgotten that ever since the creation of Ogun, no governor has succeeded in installing his anointed candidate as his successor no matter how they try.
Few days to the Ogun state governorship election, the main gladiators, who are the kingmakers in the state became supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It all began with the endorsement of the Governor-elect, Dapo Abiodun by former Governor of the Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
The icing on the cake was the visit of the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo to the state where he campaigned for the APC candidate who had to slug it out at the poll with Adekunle Akinlade of the APM, who had total backing of the Governor, Ibikunle Amosun who had been suspended by the ruling party.
Amosun, who was bent on making sure that Akinlade gets elected, the kingmakers in Ogun State teamed-up to stop what they perceived as godfatherism by aligning with a neutral person, who can get the support of others.
As politics is a game of number, Amosun who had the backing of the former Governor of the state, Olusegun Osoba, when he contested and won the governorship elections in his two terms was fighting three main gladiators who had big weight on their part.
Daniel being a member of the PDP knew that the court issues concerning his party’s gubernatorial candidacy in the state won’t make the outing a favourable for the opposition party. He decided to pitch his tent with Abiodun, who lost the senatorial elections to Buruji Kashamu in 2015, whom the opposition party had suspended, but ran under its platform due to a court order.
Although, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) registered 41 political parties for the poll, the battle was between Akinlade, Dapo Abiodun and Gboyega Nasir Isiaka.
Amosun being a huge influence in the state, gave Abiodun, who also had the backing of the party a run for his money.
Recall that the APM was the offshoot of the APC due to the controversies that trailed the APC primary which did not favour of Akinlade.
Amosun hails from Ogun Central, the Senatorial district with the largest number of voters and had capitalised on his popularity and acceptance not knowing some of his backlogs of pay for civil servants, pensioners, and uncompleted project will work against him even in Ogun Central.
He had calculated that he would secure victory for APM in all the six local governments in his Senatorial district, while Akinlade who comes from Ogun West with five local governments will deliver his district while others were expected to fall into place. Being from the eastern part of the state, that was the only popular district for Abiodun. However, the game changed as the APC alligned massively with all the districts, which disrupted Amosun’s plan.
Apart from the endorsement from Daniel, Osinbajo, and the Abiodun project had been seen as a project for the former Governor of the state, Osoba who had lent his structure to Abiodun. As the final results continued to come on Sunday night, Akinlade seeing the writing on the wall rejected the result bringing frustration to the plans of the outgoing Governor to ensure continuity of his political legacy.
While the APM rejected the results, the APC, however, lauded the results and pledged to respect the mandate given to it. The other skirmishes that occurred at the collation centre where it was alleged that Amosun attempted to alter the results through the instrument of compromised INEC officials and some security men, APC was also alleged of using the federal might to upturn the people’s will.
Security agents were drafted to all the collation centres to protect the people and avoid the breakdown of law and order.
The emergence of Abiodun as the governor-elect has therefore brought to fore the cyclical alteration of the alliances between the political kingmakers in Ogun State.
It could be recalled that in 2003 Amosun worked with Daniel to stop the reelection of Osoba as governor. 8-years down the line, it was the turn of Osoba working with Amosun to stop Daniel from pushing forward hio the kingmakers stopped Amosun’s political heritage.
In an open letter by Hon. Jamiu Akanji Keshinro an Owu born personality in the state to Governor Amosun her stated out the many reasons Ogun people especially Owu people will not allow Governor Amosun to install or impose is anointed candidate on them. He said Amosun Failed to complete Lafenwa/Ayetoro road.
Failed to rehabilitate Ata-Agbara and Lusada-Igbesa roads despite its industrial and IGR value to Ogun State.
Failed to rehabilitate the Sango-Idiroko road which hosts the highest number of vehicles in Ogun State and fetches Ogun billions.
Failed to rehabilitate Itele-Ayobo-Lafenwa-Ota Roads despite the thousands of votes he get from there and Lagos Proximity advantage.
No single project was completed in Ipokia Local Government, Odeda Local Government ,Imeko-Afon Local Government , Ogun Waterside Local Government, Ikenne Local Government, Ifo Local Government , Yewa South Local Government, Yewa North Local Government , Ado-Odo Local Government, Remo North Local Government, Sagamu Local Government, Ijebu North East Local Government for 8-years.
No provision of water for the people of Abeokuta and Ogun State at large despite the administration heavy budgets on water resources. No payment of Gratuities to Retired Local Government Civil Servants and Teachers for the past seven years.
No compensation pay to those whose houses are demolished for road expansion and the roads are abandoned now. Not completing the abandoned 26 model schools put at N1.4billion each. No attention was paid to all rural roads which account for more than 76% of Ogun road networks. Backlogs of pensions and civil servants deductions running into trillions of naira.
Lack of pay to subventions to tertiary institutions across the State which made the school run like private schools and quadrupled their school fees with lecturers running away to other States. No recruitment of teachers since over 8,000 teachers retired from service in the last 7 years. There are many schools today in Ogun State with 4 teachers to over 300 pupils. Lack of pay the bursary of our students for over 7 years. Your Excellency sir, if you have pursued developmental agenda vigorously the way you’re pursuing this successor agenda perhaps you wouldn’t need any serious wahala in who succeeds you.