By Akinwonuola Emmanuel, Sunday June 20, 2021
As a loyal and comitted member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ogun state, the recent charades exhibited by the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, few leaders of the party believed to be loyal to the governor and bad political advisers surrounding the governor is a surprise and unbelievable that such Can still be happening in a supposed civilized state like Ogun.
Ogun State known as Gateway state has in the past produced brilliant, diligent and productive leaders who are too numerous to mention and one then wonders where the state is now getting it wrong with the choice of its leaders that so much believes in “Governor takes it all”.
There is government and there is party, two things that are not the same and can never be the same if things are practised the way it should be done. One will like to ask, before May, 2019, how many Ogun State House of Assembly members were selected by the then Prince Dapo Abiodun as a candidate?
Why then now the Governor is bent on pulling down the party that made him what he ordinarily even to him back then taught it won’t be possible?
To even worsen the matter, respected leaders of the party in the state has decided not to come to the rescue of the party at this critical time. It’s a surprise why Baba Olusegun Osoba refused to correct this political and democratic abnormalities by his Prince who now gives him a sense of belonging and leadership and not treated the way he was treated by Daniel and Amosun.
Senator Adegbenga Sefiu Kaka since his appointment into the transition committee of Prince Dapo Abiodun has also chosen to watch event as they unfold not minding the negative implications it will have on the party come the next election year. One will then ask Senator Kaka if the Vice Chairmanship of transition committee is still active even two years after inauguration.
How many of the candidates of Osoba and Kaka are contesting during this local government election in the state?
In 2002 towards the preparation of local government election, two factions broke away from the ruling Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the local government area.
From Obafemi Owode local government to Abeokuta South local to Abeokuta North local government to Ikenne local government, protests have been the order of the day.
Just like my good brother Femi Gbosibo from Ijebu East posited, Ijebu East as a case study has been been one of the most troubled council area even though the council is not new to this, traceable to 2002 with Alhaji Rafiu Ogunleye and Otunba Igbodipe.
I cannot also forget in hurry the during Otunba Gbenga Daniel, drama and intrigues involving the then sitting chairman who later emerged as the deputy governorship candidate under Gen Tunji Olurin (Rtd) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) whose name is too big for me to mention because he is a Boss and leader even though we are yet to see eyeball to eyeball.
As if thats not enough, close to the end of Governor Ibikunle Amosun government, my Egbon from Ijebu East, a former council boss and board member then of an institution back then alleged Gov Amosun of attempting to assasinate him.
In just one year of the administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun as governor of Ogun State, political crisis of who controls the Ijebu East APC structure was in existence for almost a year before it was finally laid down few months ago when Prince Bayo Balogun (a.k.a Adedibu) emerged as the Caretaker Chairman/sole administrator of Ijebu East APC.
Recently is the crisis rocking the ruling APC in Ijebu East where three different candidates emerged within a week as the as candidates of APC for Ijebu East in the forthcoming council polls.
Omooba Bola Badejo (BOB) emerged as the APC Chairmanship candidate in a free and fair primary election conducted at Ogbere local government party secretariat on 17th May, 2021.
After his emergence as party’s flag-bearer, series of petitions were written against him to Mr Governor in order not to field Bola Badejo as party’s flag-bearer.
It was later reliably reported from some quarters few days ago that Hon Niyi Ogunfadebo has been considered as the APC Chairmanship candidate for Ijebu East.
However, this called for get-together party by the loyalists of Hon Ogunfadebo.
Later, a meeting was held by some APC stakeholders in Ijebu East where Mr Wale Adedayo (BABALAWO) was reportedly endorsed in the gathering as the APC Chairmanship candidate for the local government area in the forthcoming council polls.
Up till this moment, am still expecting my boss to confirm the reports coming from different quarters that that this crisis may likely consume the ruling party in Ijebu East.
Few weeks back some protesters stormed the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ogun State Council, accusing some leaders of the APC in Abeokuta South Local Government of imposing a chairmanship candidate on them.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions such as ‘We Say No To Money Bag In Abeokuta South’, ‘Let Party Members Pick Who They Want’, the aggrieved protesters said their preferred aspirant is Farouk Akintunde.
Also there was an imposition allegation in a statement issued on Sunday by the ‘concerned APC members’ in the state.
The statement was signed by an Ikenne Local Government based politician, Sonuga Ramoni, a leader and youth activist in Ogun.
Mr Ramoni alleged that the procedure adopted by some party leaders to choose chairmanship candidates in Ikenne Local Government Area and several other local governments in the state was fraught with widespread irregularities and barefaced fraud.
“We need to let the whole world know that the procedures adopted by some leaders of the party in many wards and local government areas grossly fell short of the directive by the Governor for candidates to emerge either through consensus or primaries.
“Rather than abide by the directive of the Governor in the overall interest of APC members, some desperate party leaders have been imposing candidates to the detriment of our great party. This development has inevitably caused agitations and protests across the board.
“We are, therefore, concerned that if the agitations occasioned by the undemocratic selection of chairmanship and councillorship candidates are not looked into, it may spell doom for our party.
As I round up, I wish leaders of note in our party must rise up, step out of their comfort zone and advise our governor. The likes of Baba Osoba, Senator Kaka and others should know that what makes them leaders is because they have followers. A word is enough for the wise.
Akinwonuola Emmanuel is an Ibadan based Journalist and member, All Progressives Congress, Ward 8, Abeokuta South local government.