Ogun Politics, Gbenga Daniel And Another Drama Of Absurdity
Monday June 26, 2023
Our attention has been drawn to an interview reportedly granted by a former Governor of Ogun State and the member representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, wherein he shamelessly dished out falsehoods in his usual character.
Given the general perception about the former governor and his controversial image across Nigeria, it is basically needless to grant the man of many colours the dignity of a response. However, considering the power and passion of the media, especially beyond the State and for the benefit of many of our citizens in the Diaspora, we have decided to set the records straight and place Daniel where he pathetically belongs.
In the first place, the lawmaker by his antecedents in private business and in power painted a picture of dishonesty, making many to wonder how he managed to get near the power corridor, to the extent of becoming the Governor of a state like Ogun.
Every Nigerian in perfect consciousness of political events since 1999 knows Daniel as being chameleonic in appearance and deed; his unstable carriage with vague, perpetual laughter appropriately depict his dangerous persona, cocktail of lies and duplicity. His Sunday interview, which stood logic and truth on its head was the latest in the series, as he relentlessly pursued myopic and selfish interest.
It is laughable to hear Gbenga Daniel talking about his comradeship in the progressive fold and claiming that Governor Dapo Abiodun was not part of the fold between 1998 and 1999, when everyone is aware of how Daniel with his sneaky Machiavellian tactics and maneuvers surreptitiously dislodged a progressive party in the State in 2003 and became governor on the platform of PDP.
There is no record of Daniel’s role in Tinubu’s emergence as governor in Lagos State in 1999. In 2003, he contested under PDP and not AD, so what structure was he talking about? He ruled for eight years as a PDP governor before Ibikunle Amosun dislodged him and declared him persona non grata in the state, confining him to oblivion and castrating his businesses.
This is the same man who was rescued from political ignominy by Governor Abiodun against strong resistance from party members who were well apprised of what he represented. His liberation from the political oblivion into which he threw himself out of greed became necessary after his party, the PDP, lost presidential election in 2019. Many were taken aback by the speed with which Gbenga Daniel dumped his principal, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP despite his position as the Director General of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign organization.
Daniel, an outlier of outsider in the APC during the presidential primaries of June 2022 who was neither a delegate nor had a single delegate from Ogun State, claimed that he supported Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu against Governor Dapo Abiodun’s wish. What a shameless merchant of falsehood!
As a matter of fact, his election to the Senate would have been disgracefully jeopardized by loosing ignominiously to Senator Lekan Mustafa, but for Governor Dapo Abiodun’s intervention, through moral suasion among party faithful and electorate alike, on the consideration that a former Governor should not be openly disgraced. Strangely, no sooner as he got the ticket, than Daniel returned to his traits, biting the hands that fed him.
To put it succinctly, Governor Abiodun, being a genuine leader and a progressive never worked against his party, APC unlike Senator Gbenga Daniel. And to give credence to his unflinching commitment and loyalty to the party, as soon as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu emerged the presidential candidate of the APC, he immediately deployed all his political machineries and structures to support him, stoutly resisting all the gang-up within the fold spearheaded by Gbenga Daniel and his co-travellers. During the February 25 election, he won the State for Asiwaju Tinubu by a wide margin. That was quite unlike Gbenga Daniel who, for filthy lucre, criminally connived with the PDP after allegedly collecting N2 billion from Chief Kessington Adebutu and worked against the APC and its candidates in the presidential and gubernatorial elections.
There is overwhelming evidence to substantiate the claim that Daniel specifically directed his followers to work for the PDP and all its candidates for all political offices in the 2023 general election in Ogun State.It was on the strength of this evidence that APC youths moved against him and vehemently called for his dismissal from the party for committing such atrocities against their party despite rescuing him from his perilous situation. They flayed Daniel for defrauding their party by collecting mobilization funds from Governor Abiodun, only to betray him and APC. The people of Ogun State can never forget and will not forgive Gbenga Daniel for paying billions of naira as governor, in the name of feasibility studies, for bogus projects, thereby incurring a huge debt burden that the state is still battling with today.
Happily, President Tinubu knows more than any other person the dangerous antics of Gbenga Daniel and what he represents in the Nigeria’s political circles, and was alleged to have taunted him in the presence of some Senators, when he advised him to work on his reputation as a serial betrayal, but a leopard will never change its spots.
We, therefore, implore the former governor to turn a new leaf from his now legendary dubious political antics, act of ingratitude and political prostitution that have dishonourably marked his political career over the years with matchless notoriety and infamy. These are indeed unbecoming of a man of his age.