Who is Afraid of Dapo Abiodun? By Wale Adedayo
Some sections of the media were inundated on Wednesday with salacious stories about a supposed manhunt launched by the Nigeria Police Force against a frontline All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial aspirant in Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun. Executive Director of a Lagos-based NGO, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, had urged the Police in a petition to its Special Fraud Unit (SFU) that Abiodun be investigated for an alleged N594 million oil subsidy fraud.
But we have since discovered that it is desperate politicians envious of Abiodun’s rising profile, who have deployed a Pull Him Down (PHD) programme using the undiscerning. Instead of focusing on winning the primary election of Ogun East Senatorial District slated for next month, jittery opponents have resorted to malicious falsehood through a desperate mudslinging campaign.
For the avoidance of doubt, Abiodun was never in the custody of the police or any other law enforcement agency as falsely alleged by these weaklings through media reports. The CEO of Heyden Petroleum Limited is also not on the wanted list of any law enforcement agency. The manhunt they packaged as story in the media only exist in the puerile imagination of the underwater drummers of the fiction being packaged as facts.
We appreciate the professional efforts of The PUNCH newspaper, which sought our side of the fictitious story and published same along with the packaged statement from these enemies of a free and fair electoral process. These failed elements should by now have realised that Ogun East residents are now wise. Our people cannot be fooled again by divisive sub-ethnic sentiments or propaganda by persons who have no issues to discuss, but instead prefer to use dubious propaganda in their campaign for high office.
Abiodun pointed out to The PUNCH on Tuesday that, “I don’t know CACOL; I’m the chairman of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, and I am a very strong anti-corruption crusader. The allegation is baseless, without merit or substance. We were cleared by both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Special Fraud Unit (SFU). All our documents have been verified, with our bankers certifying all our transactions.”
Besides, it should be noted that The Presidency and the Federal Ministry of Finance set up a board of enquiry headed by Aig Imokhuede, the then Group Managing Director of ACCESS Bank with all law enforcement agencies included (EFCC/ SPECIAL FRAUD UNIT, etc ). Heyden Petroleum was among those cleared, i.e no wrongdoing or fraudulent act was associated with either Abiodun or his organisation. But those that were found wanting were blacklisted from PPPRA /PMS importation. Till date Heyden continues to be a very active industry leader in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
The hitherto sleeping giant, APC in Ogun East Senatorial District, has woken up. And our message to all the teeming supporters of the party across Ijebuland and Remoland is that, they should remain focused on sustaining the current tempo of infrastructural development in Ogun East, which is set to become the industrial base of Ogun State. We must never succumb to the past, their friends or agents.
As we commend those who have expressed concern and support, special mention must be made of a very strong member of our party, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, who share in this vision that the locusts of the past and their friends should not be given room in our senatorial district again. His singular act of pulling out of the primary and directing all his coordinators to work for Abiodun’s success as the senator-elect for Ogun East was not only exemplary, but portrayed a developed and selfless mind.
* Wale Adedayo (08133878568) is a Director (Media & Publicity) of Dapo Abiodun Political Organisation (DAPCO), Ejinrin Road, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
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