Days after he decamped, the news of former Ogun Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s decamping to APC is still big news. When the news first broke few days ago, that the former Governor had moved to APC, it came as a big shock.
Only few saw it coming. Why would OGD,a long standing member of PDP leave the party for APC after his long sojourn in the PDP, some wondered?
Many also wondered what could be in it for him politically? Is it targeted at 2023 elections? Does he have a hidden ambition to contest? What is his Game Plan?
More and more questions cropped up,with little or no answers.More worrisome is the fact that OGD had for long taken a siddon look posture,since he left being a member of the Atiku for President campaign.
Though he stayed on in PDP all these while, he had been quiet, choosing to play the role of an elderstatesman. He told his followers he is on Sabbatical.City People can authoritatively reveal that over the last 2 to 3 years, intense pressure had been mounted on him by big political players in APC, to dump PDP and join APC. City People can authoritatively reveal that 2 days before he decamped to APC,
OGD reached out to some of his friends and political associates, explaining the turn of events. “
Dear Friends & Colleagues,Pardon my short notice in informing you of my route to the APC which as you might have suspected started with my supporting Governor Dapo Abiodun during the last election,”he wrote.
” I have since experienced an avalanche of encouragement to come on board.”
“However in the last 48 hours things took a dizzying speed with the decision of the APC National Chairman’s request to visit me at my Asoludero Home on Wed with about 3 Governors.
While planning for the visit Governor Abiodun also decided to visit me later with another set of Governors. It therefore means that I have finally been ‘captured’. I thought I should quickly brief the house before the news go viral.
Thanks for your understanding”,was how he ended his message. Also at one of his meetings with the various groups he met with recently, he revealed:
“Our cause is just, well considered. It is not for any personal gain or aggrandizement, but in the overall interest our our people. What we all need to do is to be active and proactive with our responses, as there will be no time for briefing.
We all know what has happened to the intractable problem in the Ogun State PDP over the last decade or more with no end in sight.
We can see the unfolding crisis in the SW and the National situation does not look any better.The situation in the country also calls for serious engagement accross board. Not that there won’t be challenges in the other parties but all considered and the benefit of what I know, this is the best thing to do now.
If the dynamics change at any time we will take it as it comes. Regards to all”,was his message. City People gathered that a lot had happened in the last few years that made OGD leave the PDP.
We can tell you a lot of it.One of it is the crisis that has rocked the Ogun State PDP for years. It is no longer a secret that the PDP in Ogun State has been enmeshed in serious crisis since 2008.
This crisis was largely responsible for the loss of the state to ACN in 2011.At that time, OGD was dragged into the crisis.And then OGD was charged to court under a PDP national government.
There were 16 charges initially. Almost 10 years later, he is still in court with most of the original charges dropped and new ones added over the years, which is in an orchestrated effort to keep him in court perpetually,revealed a source.The charges have been adjusted 3 times in the period of the trials while he remained resolutely in the party.
Also, the war in Ogun PDP continued to rage despite OGD and other leaders’ best efforts to resolve it.That war forced former President Olusegun Obasanjo out of PDP; while it consumed Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Segun Oni and Bode Mustapha as South West Zonal officers of the party.
It also led to the division of the party at the national level and eventually, that internal crisis in PDP, more than anything else, led to the loss of power at the centre to APC.OGD was also frustrated by the activities of the Cabal who control PDP at the National level.
OGD contested for the National Chairmanship of PDP, but despite his best efforts that made him visit 35 states in a phenomenal campaign that was prosecuted like a presidential campaign, he had to withdraw from the race under pressure at the last minute.
The former Ogun State Governor went on to lead Atiku’s presidential campaign and he was able to secure Atiku a presidential nomination for the first time in his career. Atiku did not only overlook him for the Vice- Presidential ticket, he, in a most surprising decision, handed over the campaign to the same people he defeated at the Presidential primaries.
City People gathered it was at that stage, OGD told his aides that he would leave politics if Atiku lost the election, and he would serve in an acceptable capacity, more as Technocrat than a Politician ,if Atiku wins.Also, a different drama played out in the Ogun State PDP, the party’s gubernatorial candidate which was recognized by the National leadership lost the nomination to late Buruji Kashamu in a curious court decision on the eve of the election. It was therefore obvious that PDP had no chance in the elections in Ogun State.
Everything pointed to a victory for APM candidate,Hon Akinlade being promoted by the then incumbent Governor and OGD’s successor because Prince Dapo Abiodun has no structure that could match Akinlade’s support by an incumbent Amosun, who had subjected OGD to all sorts of harassment and intimidation in his 8 years in government.
It will be recalled that the presidential election was lost by Atiku, though OGD delivered for him in most states of the South-West, despite the deployment of huge financial resources and State machinery by the APC.OGD then decided to return home to deal with the emerging possibility of Amosun’s protégée taking over power in Ogun State.
He directed his followers to vote for Dapo Abiodun.On securing victory for Prince Dapo Abiodun, he stepped aside from Politics while most of his followers later declared for APC.
That was almost 2 years ago.Since then, he has been under intense pressure from his followers in APC who wanted him to lead them and protect their interest in APC. Apart from that, his family members and business associates want him to stay out of politics.
Not only that, some concerned members and leaders of the PDP continued to make overtures to him,especially to help stabilize party in the Southwest which is currently in a state of anarchy.Some National leaders of APC with whom he had some relationship in the past and who felt that he still has some values to add also sat on his neck.It was revealed that he withstood the pressures but at a time he could no longer ignore the requests of his supporters who are like orphans in APC and the strong overtures of some of his political friends and associates in the APC leadership.
The APC leaders it was gathered had requested an appointment with a delegation of 6 governors led by the party’s Caretaker Chairman.“I wonder what most people would have done if they were in OGD’s shoes” asked one of his political associates. “Nigeria needs her best hands on the plough. OGD remains one of the best and we lose more than gain by his being out of government.”
“Let me also add that he did not decamp because he is broke or because he needs money. He is comfortable. He is not hungry. He cannot be hungry as a quintessential Ijebu man with a frugality and prudence that has made him content with the little God has given him.
”Since he crossed over to the APC few days ago, he has received several interest groups in audience on solidarity visit including the South West Agenda (SWAGA) promoters.
His aides revealed that OGD joined the APC as a peacemaker as he has an advantage of being linked to all camps, factions and interests in the APC at the National level.City People gathered that it was the National Caretaker Chairman, Gov. El-Rufai, Rotimi Amaechi,
Governors Jigawa, Kebbi and Niger that allegedly brokered the deal for cross over. The Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun also supported and consolidated the efforts to admit him in. So OGD is in talks across the board.With that amount of pressure from the APC leadership, especially in the face of the intractable problem in the South West PDP, he was left practically with no or little option than to accede.
“A lot of people have found him worthy to be in their midst and some others ignored his side, except Gov. Seyi Makinde and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola”,revealed another insider.
OGD loyalists are not happy that the people at the national leadership of PDP have not properly managed the crises within the party,and as it is now,things are getting worse in the party especially at the South West level.