The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun is in a happy mood right now. He is happy that his faction of state exco has been ratified by the national body. That has given him and the party leaders effective control over the affairs of the party and this has left the other faction in the lurch. With the affirmation of Chief Yemi Sanusi as the authentic Chairman, the Amosun group seems to have lost out.
Already, the Ogun APC has called on some of its members who are in Amosun Group and said to be loyal to Amosun, the immediate past Governor of the state to retrace their steps and return fully into the party and work assiduously for its success in the next general elections. It was the Publicity Secretary of the party Tunde Oladunjoye who made the call following the inauguration of Chief Yemi Sanusi as the authentic Chairman of the party in the state by the national leadership of the party in Abuja last week.
The Chairman was inaugurated alongside other members of his executive who were affirmed duly elected on June 16, 2021, at the Moshood Abiola International Stadium in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Oladunjoye in the statement on Thursday, encouraged aggrieved members said to belong to the Amosun camp to return home fully, adding that the inauguration of the Sanusi led executive was confirmation supremacy of the party and wishes of an overwhelming majority of members in the state.
“We have always maintained that the party is supreme and nobody, no matter how highly placed, is above the party. There are laid down rules and processes for party congresses, anyone or group which goes against the procedures, no matter how low their noise is, no matter how long their propaganda is; cannot gain from illegalities,” the statement emphasised. Today’s event in Abuja, confirming the authenticity of Chief Yemi Sanusi as Ogun State APC Chairman is a good opportunity for the “petitioners” to sheathe their swords and return fully to the mainstream of the party, Oladunjoye wrote.
“Our party leader and Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has always preached and practiced the policy of inclusiveness, which has even attracted juggernauts from other political parties into APC since 2019,” he added. “Again, and for the umpteenth time, we call on this splinter group to return fully to the party and start attending meetings at various levels of the party in the build-up to the next general elections. Any respect of previous acts of disloyalty, anti-party activities, defection and gang up, which could not stop the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun in 2019, is also bound to fail; more so, now that the party is stronger and more populated by experienced grassroots political heavyweights in Ogun politics,” the statement declared.
So far, the Amosun group has not responded and all eyes are on Amosun and his group now, to take the decision on what next to do. Will they reconcile with the Abiodun group or pull out? Will Amosun stay back and ask his group members to go to another party to contest like he did in 2019? What everybody is sure of is that he will fight back. As it is he has gone back to the drawing board to enable him to come up with a new strategy. This is because with Abiodun in full control of the exco he is likely to take far-reaching decisions that will clip Amosun’s wings.
For instance, insiders reveal that the 3 current Ogun Senators might not get automatic return tickets. Amosun is one of them. And the other 2 are Senator Lekan Mustapha and Senator Odebiyi. They are not likely to be given return tickets, observers say.
Weeks back, a one-page political document, allegedly coming from the National Working Committee of the APC then made the round, online, and it contained the list of recognised party Chairmen across the 36 States of the Federation, supposedly emanating from the national body of the party. What was in the document is different from the new list that came out last week.
The document alleged that the National Working Committee of the APC in Abuja had recognised Chief Derin Adebiyi (who is from the Amosun Camp), as the Chairman of OGUN APC, as against, Chief Yemi Sanusi (who is from the Gov. Dapo Abiodun Camp).
The news jolted very many people who had thought that it was Sanusi who will be recognised. Expectedly, the list created more tension between the 2 predominant groups in OGUN APC. The party is divided in the state between a camp to which the Governor belongs and the other group led by Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Promptly, the Abiodun group reacted. The Publicity Secretary of OGUN APC, Tunde Oladunjoye issued a release which explained its attitude to the issue.” Recently, fake news and misinformation were circulated by members of the defunct Allied Peoples Movement, APM, pretending to be members of the All Progressives Congress, APC; and claiming that one Chief Derin Adebiyi, has been purportedly recognised as “Chairman” of APC in Ogun State.
The bonafide Chairman of APC in Ogun State remains Chief Yemi Sanusi. It is very unimaginable that this set of disloyal people could be daydreaming that someone who never participated in the state congress of the party would now be pronounced as “Chairman” of the party.
These elements have openly pronounced their mushroom party, the APM, dead as far back as March 2020 during a press conference held in Abeokuta, but events have clearly shown that they continue to display anti-party and disloyal tendencies; the same reasons for which the former state party executive committee led by the said Chief Derin Adebiyi was dissolved by the National Working Committee, NWC, of our great party and their main sponsor, the immediate past governor of the state, was ignominiously suspended from the party.
All the 2021 congresses of the APC at the ward, local government and state levels were upheld by the national headquarters of the party. As a matter of fact, after the LG Congress, where additional delegates to the State Congress were elected, the party at the national level sent an Appeal Committee to Ogun State. The Committee sat for four days in Abeokuta, after which it returned to Abuja as no petition was submitted by anyone.
It is really bewildering how this gang of serial losers will continue to perpetrate shameful acts and keep at it even as they perennially fail. It would be remembered that in the build-up to the governorship primaries of October 2018, the same set of people organised a sham “governorship primary” in Ogun State and for the first time in the annals of party politics in Nigeria, the results of the so-called “governorship primary” were announced on a live TV by an appointee of the immediate past governor, the Secretary to the State Government! Of course, the party not only frowned at such illegality, but a former governor was also suspended from the party, and thus became the first governor to be so suspended in the history of Ogun State.
According to the immediate past governor, while bemoaning his consistent failures, he visited President Muhammadu Buhari about 28 times, seeking the endorsement of his candidate, but Mr President, as a loyal party leader, ignored the antics of the disloyal people. They later stormed the APC presidential rally at MKO Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta on February 11, 2019, carrying placards of APM.
As soon as the President raised the hand of Prince Dapo Abiodun, confirming him as the APC governorship candidate, the disgruntled elements pelted Mr President and other dignitaries, including National Party Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; governors, former governors, ministers and so on; with stones and other harmful objects.
The President and other dignitaries were whisked into safety from the agents of violence sponsored by a name-dropper who ironically continues to falsely tout “loyalty” to the President. After the March 9, 2019 governorship election, which was adjudged as the best in the history of the state, and clearly won by Prince Dapo Abiodun, all the candidates of other parties congratulated the winner with some of them visiting the then governor-elect in his Iperu-Remo country-home except the puppet-candidate of APM.
The APM candidate, led by the nose and with his master’s boastful attitude, approached the Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. At the tribunal, he subjected himself to unbelievable ridicule when he told the tribunal, under cross-examination, that he did not know the process of accreditation and voting on election day! He also said he did not leave his ward on the day of the election but monitored the over 3,200 polling units in Ogun State via his computer!
It was, therefore, not surprising when the Tribunal, chaired by Justice Yusuf Halilu in four hours and 36 minutes-long judgement, dismissed the wishy-washy petition thus: “This petition does not only fail, it is destined to fail, it fails and hereby dismissed”. That verdict confirmed the divine victory of Governor Abiodun as expressed by the good people of Ogun State on March 9, 2019.
Of course, like a dog that is destined to get lost and will not listen to the hunter’s whistle, the sore losers approached the Court of Appeal in Ibadan. On November 11, 2021, the Court of Appeal in a unanimous judgement threw out the appeal saying it “lacks merit and it is, therefore, struck out”. Before the Appeal Court judgement, the perpetual litigants had already planned a victory party and picked an Ankara uniform for celebration in anticipation of a favourable judgement assured by their ever boastful sponsor. But, they were put to shame by God and by an uncompromising judiciary.
The next port of call for these bad losers was the highest court in the land, where their moribund wish to upturn the results of the governorship election was finally and permanently buried. As usual, Prince Dapo Abiodun’s victory was also unanimously upheld at the Supreme Court. Justice Dattijo Mohammed, who read the judgement, said the applicants did not prove their allegation of non-compliance to the electoral laws. “There is a failure to establish the substance of the alleged non-compliance,” the court ruled.
Never in the history of any election in Ogun State, nay Nigeria, had a group of desperate politicians embarked on such unbelievable court-shopping as done by the APM members. Litanies of cases were instituted by the APM’s hangers-on, proxies and lickspittles to the extent that at a Supreme Court hearing, a well-known Senior Advocate of Nigeria, stood up and withdrew the case, citing his integrity at the bar with the fact that the case, which has been pursued by the perpetual litigants from the High Court, through the Court of Appeal and to the Supreme Court, “cannot succeed”
With about two years and seven months in office, Dapo Abiodun has proven to be a promise-keeping Governor, as he continues to deliver the dividends of democracy with the Administration’s five cardinal pillars of ISEYA (an acronym for -Infrastructure – Social Welfare and Well-being – Education – Youth Development – Agriculture and food security).
Despite the shenanigans of these political dissenters, Prince Dapo Abiodun continues to practise policy of “inclusiveness” that has attracted juggernauts from other political parties, almost extinguished political heat from the state and proven the well-known Yoruba adage of Omo Oba kii jagun bi eru (a prince does not wage war like a slave).
It is obvious that the headache of these APM members is the unparalleled achievements of the Dapo Abiodun-led administration, as openly attested to by 2 former governors of the state, Chief Olusegun Osoba and Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and coupled with Prince Dapo Abiodun’s rising national and global profile. One can only urge the unassuming governor to continue to do more for the good people of Ogun State so that these political prostitutes can continue with their constant headache and permanent dilemma.”