Ogun State became a place of unusual interest regarding the 2019 elections when the State Governor Ibikunle Amosun fell out with the ruling APC on who should fly the party’s flag as Guber candidate. Because his preferred candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, did not emerge, the Ogun State Governor found another party, the Allied People’s Movement to counter APC’s own candidate, Dapo Abiodun.
The matter became so bad and intense that Gov. Amosun personally supervised a riotous APC presidential rally where soft missiles where freely thrown in the direction of the President and the Vice President.
The problem was that Amosun had brought in thugs and APM supporters into an APC rally. Who does that? So the die was cast: this was going to be a fight for the soul of Ogun State, between a renegade Governor and the ruling party that brought this same governor to power.
On the faithful side of the ruling APC was Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who despite permutations and political posturing merely stood out of Ogun State politics preferring to allow the APC to pick its candidate freely.
Once the party picked a candidate the Vice President threw his weight behind him. But this was in direct opposition to Amosun’s schemes. So Ogun State guber polls became an unusual contest between a rebelious State Governor and a loyal Vice President who happens to hail from the State.
We have heard all kinds of speculations on how the Governor tried to use his links with the Presidency to cause confusion, but in the end the President and his deputy insisted that the party is superior and that simple loyalty based view prevailed.
It has now shown the political prowess of an otherwise unassuming VP, and reveals his rising political profile.
With Osun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun suspended for anti-party activities, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo took over the Gubernatorial campaigns in Ogun State hosting a rally that brought out thousands of residents in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The Vice President took to the streets of Abeokuta where he moved round the city for almost four hours covering over 14 kilometers. During the tour Professor Osinbajo called on the electorate to come out and vote, encouraging them that there would be no violence or rigging, and that they should vote the APC’s candidate, Dapo Abiodun.
During the visit to Ogun State, the Vice President was said to have sealed deals with prominent politicians in the State including former Governor Olusegun Osoba and other Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress.
With Professor Osinbajo pulling support from these heavyweights and the people of Ogun State for Dapo Abiodun, as expected, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dapo Abiodun coasted to victory at the March 9th 2019 Gubernatorial Elections in Ogun State. He led with 241,670 votes against the Governor’s preferred candidate from the Allied Peoples Movement, Adekunle Akinlade, who scored 222,153 votes.
Dapo Abiodun’s victory has further restated Vice President Osinbajo’s political might not just in the State but also in the region.
Professor Osinbajo is Nigeria’s leading leading politician and highest office holder from the South West region who is touted to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
He has continued to show his exceptional appreciation of politics through the adoption of a unique campaign style where he paid visits to families across the country.??These visits have endeared the Vice President to the people and place him as a foremost leader in the country.
A group, the Initiative to Save Democracy had in a congratulatory message to the Vice President said that God had been preparing him for a higher calling for service to the nation.
“He has shown exceptional leadership that has distinguished him as a man that is fit and ready to lead Nigeria if such an opportunity arises. Recall the times when President Muhammadu Buhari had handed over the affairs of the government to him; Professor Osinbajo took charge like a leader and demonstrated adroit knowledge and capacity to govern.” a part of the message read.
The group also stated that Professor Osinbajo’s role in Ogun State, his state of origin was the major reason for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the hotly contested Gubernatorial elections in the state.
“Professor Osinbajo has become a politician of repute and an exceptional grassroots mobiliser. His influence can be seen in the turn out of events in Ogun State where he campaigned at the grassroots for the APC Gubernatorial candidate. Without him, the APC’s victory would not have been certain.”