The political occurrence of Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018 will linger for a while in the minds of the people of Ogun State particularly the card carrying members of All Progressives Congress. That was the day the Prince Dapo Abiodun emerged the gubernatorial flag-bearer of the party having polled the highest number of votes at the direct primary election which was conducted by the Mohammed Indabawa led Electoral Committee set up by the party’s National Working Committee.
Since emergence of Dapo Abiodun as the governorship candidate of the APC, the people of Ogun state have demonstrated heartfelt joy over the prospect of him becoming the next governor of the state. He has enjoyed enormous show of support and unsolicited declaration of unalloyed support for his aspirations. Also there have been hundreds of volunteers working for the victory of the business tycoon. One of the reasons why the people have embraced Dapo Abiodun’s candidacy is his promise and demonstration of increased participation of the people in the affairs of the state. Added to that is his perceived independence. His antecedents and wealth of experience would make it difficult for any individual to pull the strings and direct his actions from the backstage. The same thing cannot be said about is major challenger who was single-handedly picked by the outgoing governor and dubbed a consensus candidate.
However, the sitting governor, His Excellency Senator Ibikunle Amosun whose anointed “consensus” candidate lost at the direct primaries, has been making frantic but futile visits to Abuja in a bid to instigate the national leadership of the party to upturn the candidacy of Dapo Abiodun. This is against the spirit of fair play, sportsmanship, principled party politics and democracy. It is often said that the beauty of democracy is that the minority would have its say while the majority would have its way.
A true democrat would join hands with the winner of an open and transparent process in the interest of the party, the state and the nation. The purpose of party politics is to improve the lives of the people and not to force the will of the minority on the majority. So far, all efforts to get the presidency to nullify the primaries elections that brought Dapo have been in futility.
Twice within eight days, Governor Ibikunle Amosun met with President Muhammadu Buhari and on both occasions, He failed! His foot soldiers have resorted to casting aspersions on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the national chairman of the party Comrade Adams Oshiomole. They allege that these eminent party leaders are the sponsors of Prince Dapo Abiodun. It is on record that while Prince Dapo Abiodun was traversing the landmass of the state seeking the support of the people, the “consensus candidate” was banking on the powers of the state government to coerce party members to do the bidding of the governor. Therefore it is laughable that anyone would point accusatory fingers at the national leadership of the party for being an unbiased umpire in a local contest.
Following President Buhari’s refusal to instigate the leadership of the party to truncate the will of the party members in Ogun state, the governor and his foot soldiers resorted to spreading fake news against Dapo Abiodun’s candidature.
The first salvo was compromising a news editor at TV Continental a leading national television station. They pushed for the insertion of the announcement of Honourable Adekunle Akinlade on the crawl bar of the reputable TV station. However, the anomaly was corrected within thirty minutes of its broadcast following a quick check with the national leadership of the party by the television station.
After failing to get the gubernatorial ticket of the party, the governor’s camp conducted a sham primaries for the national and state legislative positions and all his 38 “consensus candidates” were announced as winners. This was done on Sunday, October 7th 2018. Seeing the sham primaries as the charade it was, the national leadership of the party cancelled results following petitions backed by strong documentary evidences by many party stakeholders in the state.
Like a raging bull in a china shop, the agents of the state government cooked and served the public another fake news that Prince Dapo Abiodun’s name has been expunged from the list of gubernatorial flagbearers on the party’s website. This caused unnecessary tension but once again, a quick check on the website of the party, APC showed it was all lies as Prince Abiodun’s name remains on the list of the candidates to fly the party’s flag in their respective states in the coming elections.
All this act by the governor showed nothing but a desperation from a drowning man. Amosun has moved permanently to presidential villa with all kinds of lies and gimmicks that Dapo Abiodun cannot win election for APC when he knows truly that nobody will vote for his imposed candidate because people are tired of his autocratic style of leadership. As it stands today, the only person who can win the gubernatorial election for APC in Ogun State is Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Various propaganda and false write up against the person of Dapo from Amosun’s social media groups have been misleading and misinforming the good people of the state saying things on the contrary to what party’s National Working Committee has ratified yet our people have been resolute to stand by the truth by going extra miles to seek clarification where needed.
It is high time the governor accepted the will of God and the people by embracing Prince Dapo Abiodun in the spirit of true sportsmanship to save our great party from further embarrassment. President Muhammadu Buhari is a man of integrity and he will not undermine the progress and success of the party to massage the over-bloated ego of a dictatorial executive governor.
Com. Lamide Lawal,
Media aide to Prince Dapo Abiodun, Ogun State APC governorship candidate