Today, 29th of May, 2019, happens to be a double celebration for the people of Ogun state as the governor-elect, Prince Dapo Abiodun will be given the baton of another race of four or eight years in the history of the state and continuity of development sustainability, and also he will celebrating his birthday as he clocked 59 years of age, indeed, it will also represent a further confirmation and validation of the collective resolve of Ogun people as expressed on March 9th, 2019, though, Prince Dapo Abiodun, now the Governor of the state, as he will be inaugurated as the fifth governor of the state. And by the privilege/confidence reposed on him by the people in given him their mandate, it is imperative to commit himself to an all inclusive, equitable and fair minded approach to governance as pledged by him during the electioneering campaign and in his acceptance speech while given certificate of return.
Though, it could be recalled that, there was a slogan during the campaigns, tagged “Igbega Ipinle Ogun, Ajose Gbogbo Wa Ni”, and with this slogan, it is time now to start working together, there is more to gain as a people in collective efforts than otherwise. There is a Yoruba adage which says, “Agbajowo la’finsoya, Ajiji Owo Kan Ko’gberu Dori”. Now that the storms had been waded through, there is no need of flashing back at those who wanted to mar him or fall him down and those who make it possible for him to clinch the seat of number one in the state. But, what really important is to co-opt the people of likes mind in order to move the state to the greater height.
As a successful businessman and oil magnate, with the believes by the people of the state that the dividend of democracy that has over the years eluded in terms of human face will surely come to them, he is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Hyden Petroleum Limited (HPL), an indigenous player in the downstream, midstream, upstream oil and gas industry in Nigeria, he is also reportedly to be the founder of First Power Limited. With his experience in operating in business and achieve greater in those sector, then, Ogun State people need not to entertain any fear in handling their socio-economic of the state, believing that the governor-elect will probably be prudent and judicious with the state fund and resources.
Indeed, the journey to success might be rough, because there are some whom you contested with that even more capable to that position too, clinching to that mantle of leadership was like a war battle, though to some, you are not a popular candidate among your contenders, whose names appears on the media frequently and oftentimes, but some veteran politicians in the state knows that Prince Dapo Abiodun has been playing Ogun politics decades ago, moreover, let’s jettison the idea of popularity debate, not a discussion of today, but it is no more news that Prince Dapo Abiodun will steer the affairs of state for the next four years or thereabout, having gotten the mandate of Ogun state people in the last gubernatorial election that appeared to be a “War” full of political tension and aggression.
Prince Dapo Abiodun really fought a battle like a wounded lion in the ring, so as to clinch the exalted seat, but the most glaring part of it was the stiff opposition he faced from the out-going governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, his bosom friend/ally who turned to be his open enemy midway as a result of the former decision to contest for the state number one seat, which Amosun wanted to rule again in proxy, by planting his stooge/sorrogate or godson in person of Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade (triple A), which attained second position at the elections.
No one ever deed what Prince Dapo Abiodun done during his electioneering campaign in term of stretching his hands of fellowship to other opposition candidates, he brought together opposition forces in Ogun State within the little of his emergence. The political vendetta orchestrated and shown to oppositions within the seven and half years of Governor Ibikunle Amosun seems to be going down the line. Well, if you say Dapo Abiodun is accommodating, yes of course, indeed, you are not far from the truth. Dapo Abiodun has proven to the world what magnanimity in victory is all about, a steadfast, a forthright, a knowledgeable, a brilliant, a gentle man to the core and a straight forward man which do not play to the gallery when it comes to human face.
Even to cap it all, Prince Dapo Abiodun spread his arm of passion, love and compassion to oppositions and all top politicians within and outside his camps, in fact, he could not keep his kind heartedness away than to pay then special visits after his declaration as governor-elect. He went to Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD), of the PDP, he also went to Gboyega Nasir Isiaka (GNI), of the ADC, also to Buruji Kashamu of the PDP, he went to Ladi Adebutu (LADO), factional governorship candidate of the PDP despite the fact that he leased and adopted triple A in a few days to the election, he also went to Rotimi Paseda of the SDP, also to Demeji Bankole of the ADP to mention but a few.
Honestly speaking, Ogun State need somebody like Prince Dapo Abiodun, that will bring his like mind to the same folder and brainstorming on how the state could move forward, with the advice of the elders of the party and beyond so as to make the state more than industrial hub of the country, though, industrialization was the hallmark of his agenda but need to excel beyond that, and it can not be done alone, moreover, a successful entrepreneurs for many decades like Abiodun could not be difficult to achieve but he need to be embraced for the interest of all and not for the interest of few as witnessed in the previous government of “Baba Onifala Gogoro” me and my family crescendo.
In fact, Prince Dapo Abiodun sojourn in the politics was as far back as 1990s when he came back from the University, he was offered to serve the people of Ogun state but came second in the primary election then, instead of him to kick against the results of the primary, he showed the spirit of sportsmanship, he immediately after the primary joined Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s train and campaigned for him fervently, eventually Daniel became the governor of the state. Again, in 2011, he joined hands with the out-going governor (Ibikunle Amosun), to win the election, and in 2015 also he was with Amosun which he singlehandedly gave him ten thousand dollars $10,000, which wasn’t deny by the out-going governor till date, but he was offered to become the Senator but was not successful in that race because he lost out to Senator Buruji Kashamu, though according to him, he was not perturbed or heartbroken for loosing out, then, he did not give up because something continued telling him that he has brighter future, vision and mission which is yet to be unaccomplished.
He is a founding member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun state before, although he is currently a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defecting after the 2011 general elections. He contested the Ogun East Senatorial seat on the platform of the APC in the 2015 general elections but lost to opposition candidate, Senator Buruji Kashamu, though, he was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the platform of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in 1998. He has served as a member of various presidential committees and organisations. In 2019, he contested in the gubernatorial elections in Ogun State and won, under the platform of APC, which his inauguration coincidentally fall to his birthday as he also mark 59th years of age today 29th May, 2019.
With all the recent peace moved by the governor, Dapo Abiodun then, the pundits still believe that this will serve as a good omen for the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, and honestly it will go a long way in stabilising the socio-economic and socio-political atmosphere of the state, the ideas of consultation of elders and former governors of the state by Dapo Abiodun will also give and help him in delivering of dividend of democracy to the people of the state. He shows that no man is an island and a tree can not make a forest, we need a collective efforts in running the day-to-day affairs of the state, not because of complexity but because of the kind of people involved in governing the state.
And moreover, the idea of the winner takes it all and the know it all tendencies of the “tall cap man” seems to be going down the drain, and my friends and my family members of government seems to be vanishing gradually if not totally as people expected. That’s why every discerning mind and soul must rise up to those challenges of government and keep supporting the new administration, with our support and belive in good and responsible governance, we can achieve best and make life more meaningful for not only the civil/public servants only but the entire populace, so let’s joins hands together to make Ogun State greater among the comity of states in the country.
Lastly, they say; “The patient dog eat the fattest bone”, the patience, perseverance, uniqueness, long-suffering and tenacity of purposeful leadership displayed by Dapo Abiodun in his long quest to become the Governor of the state worth celebrating, the steps taken so far by him since he won the election also proved that Ogun State is for the best of times, he has broken the barrier of party and petty political sentiments by reaching out to even fellow contestants, it’s also showed that this is one governor that will make us proud in Ogun State. Indeed, we need to be happy, rejoice and celegrate our Governor, he is a Prince of peace.
Congratulations Prince Dapo Abiodun and Happy Birthday to you sir.
Orunbon, a public affairs analyst, wrote in from Abeokuta, Ogun state.
Can be reached via: orunbonibrahimademola@