•Reveals Their 25 Yrs Friendship
In the last 6 months, it has been a tedious moment for the governor-elect of Ogun State, Prince Dipo Abiodun who amidst strong opposition from Ogun Governor has stood tall and walked out in victory to emerge the governor-elect of Ogun State. In the next few weeks, Ogun’s story will change by the change in leadership in favour of Prince Dapo Abidoun. Many wondered what they have not seen a man so calm in the face of a ferocious storm. He was unjustly and unfairly denigrated and undermined by the sitting Governor of his party. Yet, he never said anything in anger or bad about his Governor. He was ever calm focused and determined. He took his battle to the people. And he was rewarded by the people handsomely. It was a surprise to many people to witness the deep fallout of Prince Dapo Abiodun and his friend of 25 years, Gov Ibikunle Amosun. They have been friends for these long years and many had expected that Governor Ibikunle Amosun should be at the forefront to support his friend who has also supported him when he was to be elected the governor of Ogun state many years back. What could have been the truce between the two? What could have led to the enormous bitterness against the Gov-elect, Prince Dapo Abiodun by Governor Amosun. Some school of thought poked that Governor Amosun feels he won’t be able to control his friend, Prince Dapo Abiodun which led him to bring up another candidate and going as far as form another party, APM to battle Prince Dapo Abiodun but all proved abortive. In many of Prince Dapo Abiodun’s statements, he has explained how he won Ogun governorship election, how he once supported Gov Amosun when he wanted to become the governor and how he betrayed their 25 years’ friendship. Prince Dapo Abiodun, Governor-elect, Ogun State has explained how he won the governorship election as he narrated his experience in the just-concluded polls in the state months back. ‘’He said if men were to be God, he would not have emerged as governor-in-waiting. “Even the unbelievers believe that this victory had the hands of God. “People asked me, Dapo, what has been driving you, how have you held on? And I told them it is my absolute faith in the almighty God. “I always refer to the book of Mark 11:23. Honestly, if men were God I wouldn’t have been here. “Today, what I want you to take home from here is that we should never give up because many times when we meet disappointment, it is just an avenue to close a window for a double door to be opened.” He pledged to run an equitable and transparent government when he assumes office on May 29. As part of his many appreciation visits to different prominent personalities, Ogun State Governor-elect, Dapo Abiodun paid a courtesy visit to Pastor Adeboye, General Overseer, The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). During his visit, he presented his Certificate of Return to the foremost man of God. He was also on a visit to RCCG, Jesus House Parish, London led by Pastor Agu Irukwu where he gave a testimony of his sojourn in politics and how he was betrayed by Governor Amosun in a trending video online.
“Someone say Halleluia. I sneaked into the church this morning, I was sitting at the back because I didn’t want to cause any sensation. I spent the last year in the campaign train, talking and sharing my vision with the people of Ogun State and largely Nigerians.
I came to London just to have a quiet time. Pastor Agu has been my friend for many years. He decided that I should come and sit in front. Pastor Badejo is someone who is close to my family and I. As he preached and shared the testimony, he began to prick my conscience. And as the service progressed, it was all about testimonies and I thought that God will not forgive me if I didn’t come forward to share a bit of my testimony and my holy God moment.
My name is Dapo Abiodun. I am the governor-elect of Ogun State. I am a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, London (applause). I stand here to the testimony of the wholesomeness of the almighty God and the fact that God is greater than man. God will be God and man will continue to be man. Because if it were man, I will not be the governor-elect of Ogun State today.
I will share a few things with you and I will be very brief. I have been in the private sector but I have always had a passion for politics. In 1997, I made my first showing in politics. I ran for Senate and I became senator-elect. I was the youngest ever elected in Nigeria. I was so young there was controversy that I was probably too young to be sworn in. Because the age limit then was 40 and I was quite not 40.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, the Head of State then died and that republic came to an end. I tried again in 2015. I was persuaded to run for the Senate. I didn’t quite win. I was rigged out. I went to court and I won at the tribunal. It went on to appeal and it was overturned. I was so unhappy that I thought to myself, this should be it. I am done with politics. God is telling me something. I must just face my business. That politicians are not trustworthy. They are not reliable. That politics is just a waste of resources and money and all that. In 2017, I had an unfortunate incident. I lost my first son. Life couldn’t have dealt me a worse blow. For over six months I could not function. I could not go to work. I became completely restless. In 2018, someone came to me and said would I consider going back to politics? I said never. Time after time I will be talked to. Then it was suggested that I should go for the Senate. Senate? I said I was not interested. I have done it twice, I am not interested. God definitely doesn’t want me to be a senator. As time goes on, someone asked me if I would consider being a governor. I said that I will consider it. But I will first go to God and hear what God has to say about it.
To cut a long story short, I became convinced that God indeed wanted me to be governor of Ogun State. I could not explain it. I sat down with the incumbent governor (Amosun). I had a chat with him. Of course, he said NO, NEVER. I will offer you the Senate. I said I don’t want the Senate.
Eventually, our pastor prof that is the vice president intervened and said maybe you should consider the Senate. I said okay, alright, I will do it. Only to find out that the incumbent governor (Amosun) that indeed offered me senate did not actually mean it. He was actually just leading me on. And when it became clearer, I went back to Pastor prof and I said, Pastor prof, God is telling me something. I am going to be the next governor of Ogun State. Just like Pastor Agu said, it was probably the most turbulent, the bumpiest, the most challenged and the most difficult of all the elections in Nigeria.
From my primary process, the incumbent governor did everything humanly possible to stop me. This is considering the fact that the incumbent governor has been a friend of mine for over 25years. He did everything humanly possible to stop me. But at every point in time, I serve a living God (applause). The God that I serve is a God that makes impossible possible. He is a God that makes a way even where there appears to be no way.
People have asked me what keeps me going? What drives me? And I said to them, first I am a testimony of God mercy. Pastor Agu knew when I had an accident and I had to be flown here (London) against all odds. My faith in God is a mountain moving faith. My favourite passage in the Bible is Mark 11 Chapter 23. “(He quotes)”.
Governor Amosun’s war with Prince Dapo Abiodun’s did not just start, the governor had also revealed the many rifts they had and all the support he had supported Governor Amosun in the past before the election, one of such was when Dapo Abiodun, revealed that despite the fact that the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, did not support his senatorial ambition in 2015, he backed the governor’s reelection bid with $1 million.
Abiodun, who spoke at a political gathering said Amosun did not give him a dime to prosecute his senatorial bid, which he lost to the incumbent and representative of Ogun East Senatorial District, Buruji Kashamu. He said in 2015, he dropped his governorship ambition to allow for Amosun to seek reelection and that he put in all he could into the senatorial election but did not get any support from the sitting governor. He said at a point in time when he saw that members of the APC were getting tired in terms of spending money on the election, he took it upon himself to continue funding the party.
Among things that he did at the time, Abiodun told the gathering, was to procure four buses for market women and fund those seeking election into the State House of Assembly. He said after losing his own senatorial bid, he called Amosun to find out what he would do for 11 members of the APC seeking election into the State House of Assembly. He told the gathering that the response from Amosun was that he would give them N1 million each, an amount he said he told the governor was too small to prosecute the election, which also fell on the same day as the governorship poll. He said based on the comment by Amosun, he took it upon himself to give each of the 11 candidates N10 million. And he then gave Amosun $1 million, which he said at the time amounted to N220 million but Gov Amosun has not responded to the statements. Amosun had also always opposed the aspiration of Abiodun to succeed him when the primaries of the APC commenced initially rather, he said it was the turn of the people of Ogun West Senatorial District to produce the governor.
Many months before the election that rode him to victory, the governor at one time also has said ‘he was never insensitive to the struggle by Yewa-Awori extraction of the state to produce governor, insisting he was committed to the Ogun West governorship agenda. This, according to him propelled him to once prostrated and begged Governor Ibikunle Amosun to allow Ilaro, Ogun State-born Senator Solomon Adeola to run for governor on the platform of APC. However, while addressing Yewa Traditional Council led by Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle. Abiodun said there was no time he opposed the struggle by Yewa-Awori people to produce a governor for the first time since the creation of the state.
He said that he once prostrated for Amosun to allow Adeola become the governorship candidate of the ruling party due to his popularity and wide acceptance. Abiodun, who claimed that the governor refused his demands, urged people to consider his own emergence as the APC governorship candidate as the will of God. He said: “Let nobody think that we are not sensitive to the longtime yearnings of Ogun West to also produce a governor for the state. As a very strong believer in this cause, I personally took your son, Senator Adeola to Governor Amosun, begged and prostrated for him to support his governorship ambition but he refused.
“That I am the governorship candidate of APC today in our dear state remains a testimony of God’s awesomeness and that He is the only one who has the power to enthrone.”
–TAYO FAJORIN OYEDIJI