The long-standing battle between Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the two-term governor and currently serving senator in Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, and the serving Governor of Ogun State Prince Gov. Dapo Abiodun, is an open political drama that the state has had to endure for the past 5 years. Senator Ibikunle Amosun has been at loggerheads with Dapo Abiodun from the very first day he declared interest to succeed him as the next Governor, and both parties, despite belonging to the same APC, don’t seem to be willing to reach a truce.
The battle took a new turn after the party primaries at the state level when Sen Amosun Anointed one of his loyal party men Hon Adekunle Akinlade to face Prince Dapo Abiodun in 2019 guber elections.
Recall that Hon Adekunle Akinlade contested under Allied Peoples Movement (APM), against Dapo Abiodun at the 2019 gubernatorial election, but lost. He is said to be a loyal political godson to Senator Amosun.
Hon. Akinlade who, again took the battle to the APC ground during the party primaries but again lost to Dapo Abiodun, has reportedly pitched his tent with the People’s Democratic Party, PDP to run as deputy to the substantive Guber candidate of the PDP, Hon. Ladi Adebutu. Hon. Akinlade will now operate as a running mate to Hon Adebutu of the PDP and therefore will have to collapse his structure for Ogun PDP to defeat the incumbent governor, Dapo Abiodun. Akinlade said his decision to dump the party was a result of the failure of the national leadership of the APC to settle the rift within the party in Ogun. However, sources within the Ogun APC revealed to City People that Hon Akinlade’s exit is a political plot by his political mentor, Sen, Ibikunle Amosun.
While most people were not surprised about the development, there are fears within the APC that the plot may see to the end of Prince Dapo Abiodun’s reign. The biggest headache of the Governor, according to party loyalists in Ogun State, is Ladi Adebutu and Ibikule Amosun.
While Hon. Ladi Adebutu and Prince Dapo Abiodun shared the same roots from Iperu Remo, Akinlade has a very strong grassroots following in Ipokia where over 15% of the votes in the state usually come from.
Analysts who are considering the best way out of the mess for Prince Dapo believe that his recent newfound romance with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and close pally with the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu might be a defensive mechanism to wriggle his way out of the imminent tsunami that may hit the APC structure in the state. Prince Dapo Abiodun who showed up at the recently concluded Ojude Oba alongside Governor Sanwo-Olu was greeted with the new title “Eleyi of Ogun State”, a seeming reductionists appellation he had humbly embraced to find his way back into Asiwaju’s arm after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo lost out at the presidential primary.
A political analyst who is close to both parties in Ogun State made it known to City People that there is no way any APC member will align with a party such as the PDP and expect them to stick to an agreement. He hinted that Hon. Ladi may have agreed to ride to victory under the PDP with a collapsed structure handed to him by Amosun, in the understanding that he would in turn decamp to the APC once he wins the governorship elections.
This was done in Lagos during Asiwaju/Obasanjo’s 2003 agreement and Fashola/Jonathan’s 2011 agreement. Those that determine who gets what are not only politicians. There is a bigger confraternity of elders who sit and agree on who gets what. They can only be consulted and not instructed. Governor Dapo Abiodun began to notice there would be a big problem after Senator Amosun stepped down for Asiwaju. He never foresaw that Amosun’s foot soldiers will later go on to join the PDP. The internal source revealed that the plan is to support Asiwaju for President, and Ladi for Governor.
“You can”t say this is not possible. Amosun was still in the APC when he diverted his energy to support an APM gubernatorial candidate, and he’s still here with us in the APC.” he stated. How then do they plan to defeat the incumbent Governor?
There is no doubt that in Ogun West, Dapo Abiodun will have majority votes because of the Yayi factor who will contest the senatorial seat, and so far, he’s doing well. PDP’s candidate for the senatorial contest is not a match for Yayi.
According to a pro-Ladi source, Amosun’s camp was given a deputy slot and 6 houses of assembly, and one senatorial candidate who will contest against Yayi, who will replace Tolu Odebiyi. A candidate from Amosun’s camp was picked to support Ladi Adebutu, but he’s not a match for Yayi. So Dapo will win Ogun West because of his alliance with Yayi.
From Ogun central which has Ifo, Ewekoro, Odeda, and Obafemi Owode, Abeokuta north, and Abeokuta South, Dapo will have a lesser percentage based on two factors; Abeokuta North and Abeokuta south are Amosun’s base and he is holding them firmly.
Many voters will come from Ifo because they share a border with Lagos. Same as Ikorodu, Berger, Sango and Ojuore. The whole of Ifo constituency 2 has the worse road network. It has been reported that the residents in those areas have decided to support Amosun’s preferred candidate because the last sign of a project sighted in these areas was when Amosun was the Governor. They have poor road connections and poor government presence; it is the CDC that provides roads for them. The bridges that are there were built by Amosun.
Also, the number of polling units there has increased in these areas. Itoke community for example now has 58 polling booths from 33 polling boot
Ogun East is the base of Prince Dapo Abiodun and Ladi Adebutu. In Iperu where they both come from, Ladi is reported to have a huge support base than Governor Abiodun. It is a fact that the Adebutu family invested in their hometown. It was stated by one key Iperu politician that the reason Governor Dapo won the Iperu people’s vote last year was that Ladi Adebutu was not on the ballot paper. Adebutu’s house is always open and they feed people every day.
Ogun East consists majorly of the Ijebus and the Remos that occupied 9 local governments: Ijebu East (Ogb¹r¹), Ijebu North (Ijebu Igbo), Ijebu North East (Attan), Ijebu Ode (Ijebu ode), Ikenne (Ikenne Remo), Odogbolu (Odogbolu), Ogun Waterside (Abigi), Remo North (Ilisan Remo) and Sagamu (Sagamu)
Sagamu, Ikenne, and Remo North were the local government that Ladi Adebutu represented while he was at the House Of Reps. He did the highest number of projects in the history of the constituency and he is still very influential in those areas.
In the same manner, Odogbolu will go for Governor Dapo Abiodun, but the Ijebu community may likely go for Ladi because of his father’s influence. Baba Ijebu, Chief Kesington Adebutu will add electoral value to his son’s chances in these areas.
Another source went on to quote that “Prince Dapo will go and campaign as a governor, but baba Ijebu will campaign as “Awo r’awo” (member of the fraternity). He’s done so much for the Ijebus and if it’s time for him to collect, they will not deny him the honour of the first refusal.
Every true Ijebu respects favour and support and doesn’t joke with it. That was how OGD got his senatorial ticket. He bankrolled and elevated all the royal fathers in Ijebu during his time, and up till today, they still return his favour. Ijebus don’t forget”, he stated.
In the Ogun Central Senate, Chief Olumide Aderinokun is the candidate for PDP, he is very close to the Elegushi and Oniru. He is family of Obasanjo. Amosun did not negotiate with Ogun central because of the 50-year-old man.
APC on the other hand has the chief of staff to Dapo Abiodun, Alhaji Shuaib Afolabi, as the candidate for the same slot. All these challenges are before Prince Dapo Abiodun to solve within seven months as the PDP continues to reinforce its base against the 2023 elections.