A Vote For Dapo Abiodun Is A Vote For Osinbajo, By Raheem Akingbolu

Though Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will not be the direct beneficiary of Saturday’s election, it is believed in some quarters that the victory of his party –All Progressive Congress (APC) in the Ogun State gubernatorial election, will boost his political profile.

To this end, a subtle move is being made by friends and admirers of the nation’s Number Two Man to appeal to electorates to cast their votes in favour of APC candidates in the election.

Beside the fact that Osinbajo hails from Ogun State, many observers have argued that winning the state; will be a reward for Osinbajo, whose campaign strategies during the build up to the election have been described as the most impacting and pragmatic.

But despite this, an Ogun State born Marketing Communications expert and political analyst, Mr. Hakeem Olarewaju Adenekan has argued that the state is dicey, adding that no politician can confidently beat his or her chest that one of the parties would win the election.

“As things stand in Ogun, it is difficult for anybody to predict where the pendulum will swing because nobody can do the permutation and arrive at who will win the state on Saturday among Dapo Abiodun of APC, Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement and others.

Be that as it may, in my own opinion, I believe Akinlade will win in Ogun Central Senatorial district, which include Abeokuta because of the influence of his chief promoter, Governor Ibikunle Amosun. In the Ijebu axis, Dapo Abiodun will win overwhelmingly by at least 70% and he will also get at least 45% in Yewa.

The remaining 55% in Yewa will be shared between Akinlade and Gboyega Isiaka of the African Democratic Congress (ADC). At the end, Abiodun may emerge winner with a slim margin,” Adenekan said.

From professional perspective, the Managing Director of Media Edge, a Public Relations company, Mr. John Ajayi, while speaking on why he feels the Vice President’s input may help his party in the election stated that Osinbajo’s campaign strategy during the electioneering campaign was most eclectic and people oriented.

“The town hall dimension introduced by Osinbajo was most salutary and innovative because it turned full circle as a political enigma. His door-to-door campaign and regular engagements with all relevant stakeholders in all towns and cities he visited, no doubt helped to shore up the hitherto low perception rating of the image of President Muhammadu Buhari administration which prior to the election campaigns was perceived to be somehow far away from the electorates.

“Indeed, the city by city, village by village visitations and long treks and camaraderie with all the mass of the people in the areas visited helped the campaign messages and government programmes and policy achievements to percolate the different strata of the society and the electoral demographics.

He was no doubt a sales man per excellence given his oratorical prowess and the depth of knowledge about the achievements and economic policies of the administration.

At every fora, he inspired hope and a renewed sense of loyalty by the Nigerian people .His restless campaign to create full awareness of the administration achievements was unmatched especially his resolve to continue with His campaign plans despite having being involved in an air crash was most inspiring and unbelievably incredible,” Ajayi said.

Also speaking on the approach, a Mass Communication Scholar, Dr. Sunday Aniyi described the house to house campaign embarked upon by Osinbajo as one of the best campaigns that have ever been run in Nigeria.

Aniyi, who projected that the Vice President may take his party to the victory on Saturday, said the campaign must have unlocked many hearts.

“In marketing, the best campaign is the one that connects with the target audience. With his house-to-house approach, Osibajo had campaigned the way a political leader should campaign. He went directly to those who vote, he interacted with them and felt their pulse.

From Ado Ekiti to Abeokuta to Ijebu, Ilorin to Lokoja land, he jaw jawed with market women while dolling out the TradeMoni. It showed in the faces of the women that they were elated that a serving Vice-President came to their shops to canvass for votes.

While some people were thinking of how to manipulate election and weaken INEC, Osibajo went out of his comfort zone and campaigned. With that approach he has successfully humanised the office of Vice-President. Even if for political gain, he has demonstrated what public service should be about,” he said.

Speaking to THISDAY on why Ogun people should honour Vice President Osinbajo with their votes on Saturday, a member of the APC mandate group in the state, Ms. Dhiqrah Yetunde Ogunnaike, said it would be embarrassing for the country’s Number Two Citizen to go back to Abuja as a loser in his home state.

She said; “At this stage, I think our people should look beyond party divides in casting their votes. In the history of Nigeria, I don’t think there has been any Vice President that lost his state to opposition.

From the late Alex Ekwueme in 1983 to Abubakar Atiku in 1999 and 2003, Goodluck Jonathan in 2007 and Namadi Sambo in 2011, it never happened that a vice president lost his state to opposition.

If APC fail to produce Ogun State Governor, it will not only embarrass the Vice President, it will weaken his negotiating power for the South West in the years ahead.

That is why we have consistently reminded our people on the honour we will be doing our vice president by voting for Dapo Abiodun on Saturday,”.

Meanwhile, a close aide of the Vice President, who is also a Special Adviser in the presidency, Mr. Babafemi Ojudu, who was part of his campaign train while the exercise continued, has aptly described Prof. Osinbajo’s passion as second to none.

“As a direct witness to Vice President Osinbajo’s activities while the campaign lasted, I will simply say his passion was driven by genuine belief in the Next Level mantra of the Buhari administration.

He put in his best and I’m sure this impacted well on the party’s campaign and victory in the presidential and national assembly elections. No doubt, it will also be success all through on Saturday,” Ojudu said.

This piece by Raheem Akingbolu was first published in ThisDay with the title, “In Osinbajo’s Interest”

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The Significance Of President Buhari’s Endorsement Of Prince Dapo Abiodun, By Olamide Lawal

The political atmosphere in Ogun State is experiencing a buzz in the build-up to the 2019 general election. The ruling All Progressives Congress has been at the major attraction and the most interesting in the eyes of observers. This is a natural consequence of the internal wrangling, horse trading, and belligerency that led to and greeted the emergence of its gubernatorial candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun. 

That the emergence of Abiodun did not go down well with the state governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun is no more news. In fact, it appears like a reoccurring decimal in the polity of Ogun state that an outgoing governor will always be at loggerheads with the gubernatorial candidate of his party.

This is mostly a fallout of the failure of the outgoing governors to secure their parties’ gubernatorial tickets for their preferred candidates. The current rift between the governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and his party’s candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun reminds students of contemporary history of the failed attempt by former Governor Gbenga Daniel to foist his preferred successor on the people of the state against the wishes of his political party and the good people of the state.

Interestingly, Ibikunle Amosun turned out to be the major beneficiary of the political conundrum which characterised the 2011 general elections in Ogun state. 

To some, the blatant refusal of Amosun to throw his weight behind the gubernatorial ambition of Dapo Abiodun may be a huge disadvantage for the aspirations of Dapo Abiodun, however, it is important to note that the key players in the APC on whom Amosun had place his hopes to install a stooge as his successor have moved en-masse to Dapo Abiodun’s camp to ensure his emergence. While some of them have followed the governor’s directives to move to a new political party, they have only done so in order to take their share of the loot and booties from the state treasury. 

In Nigerian democracy, endorsement of a gubernatorial candidate by a sitting president has, most time, served as a morale boaster for party members and their resolve to work for the party’s victory always go along this line. This is what President Muhammadu Buhari did by endorsing the Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun APC gubernatorial candidate after he had done it in many South West states. 

May 13, 2018 was a reassuring day for the people of Ekiti state. This was the day President Muhammadu Buhari hosted and anointed his erstwhile Minister of solid minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi who resigned his ministerial appointment to contest as the governor of Ekiti state.  The aftermath of this endorsement was the emergence of Dr Kayode Fayemi as the governor of the state. People of Ekiti have trust for Mr President and they believe, Dr Fayemi, having worked with the president in his administration must have earned the trust and conviction of President Muhammadu Buhari before such endorsement could have been made public. 

Similarly, the people in the state of Osun experienced the Buhari endorsement on August 30, 2018 when Mr President raised the hand of Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola as his preferred candidate in the Osun gubernatorial elections. This was done in the presence of the outgoing governor, Rauf Aregbesola and the pictures were made public. Today, Mr President’s preferred candidate is the governor in the state of the living spring. 

President Muhammadu Buhari has been known for his integrity and honesty which he has been in public attention since his days as a junior military officer. Consequently, whoever he endorses for public office always gets wide acceptance. 

On the 28th day of December, 2018 President Muhammadu Buhari assured the electorates in Ogun state of his unwavering support for improved governance, party supremacy and individual integrity through his open endorsement of Prince Dapo Abiodun for the gubernatorial seat of Ogun state. This was done in the presence of the second civilian governor of the state, Chief Olusegun Osoba. 

Buhari’s endorsement of Prince Dapo Abiodun is a major newsbreak because of the litany of lies and heavy mudslinging sponsored by the enemies of Ogun state against the gubernatorial aspiration of the Iperu-Remo prince in the polity. The endorsement thus nullifies the falsehood that the president was in support of the anti-party activities of Governor Ibikunle Amosun. 

It is on record that Ibikunle Amosun has made 30 failed visits to Aso Rock within the last five weeks in his feeble bid to secure “Mr Integrity’s” endorsement of his preferred candidate, Hon. Akinlade. Due to the perceived love that exists between the President Buhari and Governor Amosun, the support of Mr President had been a major agenda in public discourse among residents of the state especially as the governor’s preferred candidate is vying on the platform of a different party from the president’s APC. 

Expectedly, the most popular and widely accepted candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun got the endorsement of the president. This has not only generated widespread increased love for Mr President, it has also gone a long way in projecting his image as Mr Integrity. Undoubtedly, Prince Dapo Abiodun is the choice of the people in the Gateway state but the governor has continued to lavish the state’s funds on his new bride, the APM, instead of using the funds for the development of the state. 

If this adoption and open endorsement of Prince Dapo Abiodun by PMB is not enough to get the governor back on track and re-embrace his age-long friend for the betterment of the state. 

It is certain that Prince Abiodun, having served as the chairman, Corporate Affairs Commission has impressed President Buhari with his running of the affairs of the Commission to warrant his endorsement for a higher office. This gives credence to the maxim that “the reward for hard work is more work”.

It is good to emphasize that no serving governor in the history of Ogun state has been as greedy as the incumbent. He desires to single handily pick candidates for every elective office accruable to Ogun state. Having been rejected by the party members in his immoral quest, he has moved his stooges to a new political party while retaining the senatorial ticket of the APC for himself. 

His well-wishers hope he gets it right now and retrace his steps before it becomes too late for him.

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2019: Ogun APC Guber Candidate Vows To Resolve Crisis

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Ogun State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun has expressed optimism that the internal crisis rocking the state chapter of the party would be resolved before the election.
Prince Abiodun also expressed the confidence that the incumbent governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun would also be part of the APC campaign in the state.
The APC governorship candidate who made these known in Iperu Remo during the unveiling of his deputy, Mrs. Noimot Salako Oyedele maintained that Governor Amosun would be part of the APC campaign in the state.
He explained that the state leadership of the party still has days to resolve whatever crisis that is bedeviling the party to approach the election as a united political family.
According to Prince Abiodun, transparency and accountability would form the fulcrum of his administration assuring that he would assist towards restoring the citizens’ confidence and trust in government.
He explained that APC ‘s administration under him would work towards providing 24-hour uninterrupted electricity supply for the state through an Independent Power Project (IPP).
Prince Abiodun said his government would provide an enabling environment for ease of doing businesses in the state.
Others programme highlighted include, development of rural roads, agricultural system that would aim at feeding Ogun and its neighbouring states, as well as a comprehensive and qualitative healthcare system that would licence the traditional health care givers to practice unhindered.
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