Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and his immediate predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, were yesterday engaged in verbal war over rigging allegations by the latter against the former in respect of the 2019 governorship election.
Amosun, a former governor of Ogun State and one of the aspirants in the recently concluded presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had fired the first salvo while receiving an award at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Abeokuta club where he claimed that the 2019 governorship election was rigged in favour of the sitting governor.
The former governor also claimed that the 2019 governorship election in which he supported the candidate of Allied People’s Movement (APM), Hon. AbdulKabir Akinlade, was won by his candidate.
He therefore vowed to ensure that Abiodun does not return as the governor of the state in the next political dispensation, asking his supporters to be on the lookout for the next line of action.
But his outburst drew instant reactions not only from Governor Abiodun and his political allies but also from the state’s chapter of APC.
Speaking at the awards ceremony in Abeokuta, Amosun had said: “I am elated to have heard people saying that when we were there, we have done the works of four, five past governors combined. We are happy that people appreciated the little we have done.
“You know clearly my stand on this matter. Just wait. Very soon, you will hear from us. My stand is where I stand. I am not in support of this administration, he (Abiodun) must be removed.”
The senator representing Abeokuta Central Senatorial district revealed some of the people that some of the people involved in rigging out his preferred candidate, Akinlade, had confessed their roles in the alleged rigging exercise and also apologised.
He alleged that there was a gang up against his person during the elections, adding that he had since moved on.
Abiodun fires back, says I won’t be distracted by self-delusioned person
In apparent response to Amosun’s claims, Governor Abiodun, while speaking with newsmen shortly after the grand finale of the 50th anniversary of the Abeokuta Club, said he would not be distracted by someone who has a problem with self delusion, adding that “Ogun State is not anybody’s father’s inheritance”.
The governor said he would rather focus on his mandate than take issues with anyone who wants to play God. He also called on the people of the state to ignore his predecessor.
He said: “I will not be distracted by any person or persons who have a problem with self delusion.
“I will not be distracted by any person who does not appreciate that Ogun State is not anybody’s father’s inheritance.
“We are all stakeholders in this commonwealth called Ogun State. I am not going to join issues with anyone that wants to play God. I will leave them to God.
“God can deal with whoever is challenging His authority and wants to play God. All I can say is that what we stand for in Ogun State is an administration that is committed to providing purposeful leadership and purposeful infrastructural development across the length and breadth of the state.”
Abiodun, who vowed that his administration would continue to work against campaigns of discord that could disrupt the peace and continued development of the state, added that his administration remained committed to the development of all sectors of the state economy.
He, however, expressed disappointment that a former governor and a sitting governor in 2019 would cry that he was rigged out during the election.
“How can we that are on the outside take on an incumbent and then be accused of rigging out an incumbent in the same party? Anyone can explain their failure whichever way they like. Anyone can also begin to pant and threaten that they will do whatever,” he added.
Abiodun who also noted that his administration would as a matter of urgency prioritise the development of the President Muhammadu Buhari Estate, added that before the end of the year, a minimum of 250 structures would be built in the estate.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari Estate, which is one of the projects I inherited from my predecessor, in another one or two months, you will see that buildings will begin to be visible in that estate.
“I do not have a doubt that before the end of the year, there will be a minimum of about 250 medium upper beautiful befitting structures in PMB Estate,” Abiodun noted.
The governor, who noted that his administration would continue to give Abeokuta, the state capital all the attention it deserves, said that the Ijaiye-Oke-EJigbo-Ake Road, Saje-Mokola Road as well as the Onikolobo-Adigbe Road are some of the roads slated for attention by his administration.
Abiodun also informed members of the Abeokuta Club that all the road projects embarked upon by his administration since it came on board were done after due consultation with traditional rulers and elder statesmen.
In his welcome address, the President of the Abeokuta Club; Tokunbo Odebunmi, said that the club is not just a social club but a cultural movement which analyses the past with a view to protect the future, adding that members of the club would continue to embrace oneness and love in Egbaland.
While calling on the new inductees of the club to cooperate with government at all levels to make the country a better place, he also charged them to be law-abiding.
Odebunmi, however, declared that the people of Egbaland are ready to continue to support the present administration in the state.
Speaking, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, while appreciating Abiodun for the housing and road projects in the state capital, submitted that “Governor Abiodun is a man of his words”.
Amosun suffering from political amnesia, deserves pity – Ogun APC
Joining the face-off between Governor Abiodun and his predecessor yesterday, the Ogun State chapter of APC yesterday called on the general public to pray for Senator Senator Amosun, saying that he was obviously suffering from “political amnesia and out-of-office loneliness.”
The APC, in a statement issued in Abeokuta by its Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, faulted the comment reportedly credited to Amosun that the incumbent governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, did not win the 2019 governorship election.
The party described the ex-governor’s claim as “an after-lunch belching of a man suffering from political amnesia and loneliness.”
The statement reads: “The attention of our party has been drawn to a statement reportedly credited to the immediate past governor of Ogun State and the Chief Promoter of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
“The quoted statement was not only an insult to the psyche of the people of Ogun State, but also a sad indication that the former governor is yet to purge himself of extreme arrogance and intolerance that were his trademarks, which earned him suspension from our party, even as a sitting governor.
“The APC, therefore, calls on the general public, and particularly our esteemed members, to pity and pray for the former governor as he obviously suffers from political amnesia, loneliness and absolute lack of touch with reality.
“There is absolute no truth in the specious utterance of the former governor who is obviously still sulking from the electoral defeat of his surrogate party in 2019.
“Our party and candidate not only won fair and square, the victory of Prince Dapo Abiodun was also attested to by his co-contestants, many of whom later joined APC and are still in APC.
“Never in the history of governorship elections in Ogun State have candidates of other parties so instantaneously congratulated and visited the Governor-elect, as it happened in the case of Governor Dapo Abiodun, whose Iperu country home hosted candidates and leaders of other parties, including the late Prince Buruji Kashamu, Otunba Rotimi Paseda, Mr. Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka (GNI), and Otunba Gbenga Daniel, among others.
“It is on record that many of the then opposition figures like former Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Alhaja Salmat Badru, the deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Rueben Abati, GNI and others served in the Economic Transition Committee chaired by Mr. Tunde Lemo, which was set up by Prince Dapo Abiodun immediately after the elections.
“As provided for in a democracy, the candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement challenged the results of the election at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abeokuta and lost. His ramshackle petition was dismissed.
“While confirming the victory of Governor Abiodun at the Saturday, March 9, 2019 election, the tribunal led by Justice Yusuf Halilu, in its judgment, stated that: ‘This petition does not only fail, it is destined to fail, it fails and hereby dismissed.’
“Not satisfied, the APM and its candidate went on appeal at the Court of Appeal, Ibadan and later at the Supreme Court where they also lost.
“It is remarkable that in all the petition and court cases, the judgments were unanimously passed without any dissenting voice from the Tribunal members and the judges at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
“If the APM was as popular as the former Governor wants us to believe, he would have contested his senatorial election on the platform of the APM and not on the platform of the APC.
“We recollect vividly that it took the support of Prince Dapo Abiodun and the open appeal of our father and leader, Chief Olusegun Osoba, who pleaded during his visits to all the wards in Ogun Central Senatorial District that our members should consider the interest of the party by voting for Amosun.
“Having been witnessing the frustrating exodus of his former political allies who openly said they were tired of endemic lies, and his failure to wrest the party structures from the incumbent governor, the recourse by Senator Amosun to “elated” after-lunch belching is understandable and pitiable.
“Furthermore, Amosun is still pained that despite the violence wreaked on our members, despite unfinished projects whose costs were mostly paid 100 per cent upfront, despite the handover without a handover note, despite the wanton destruction of public facilities including pipe-borne water taps in Abeokuta, and notwithstanding the untoward provocations and shenanigans, Governor Abiodun remained focused and determined to leave Ogun State much better than he met it.
“While commending Governor Dapo Abiodun for his giant strides since assumption of office, we urge him to remain focused on continuous delivery of the dividends of democracy for which Ogun people elected him; and not to join issues with sore losers.”
Amosun’s ally accuses former governor of lying to Ogun people
A former close associate of Amosun, Barrister Femi Allen, yesterday took a swipe at the former governor over his statement that the 2019 governorship election in the state was rigged in favour of the incumbent governor.
Allen, in apparent response to a statement credited to the former governor while speaking at an award ceremony organised by the Abeokuta Club in Abeokuta, also flayed Amosun for lying to the people that those behind the alleged 2019 elections fraud had apologised to him.
According to the legal practitioner, the emergence of Governor Abiodun was divine and triumphed over the scheme and political machination of the former governor, wondering why Amosun was still embittered three years after his ploy to install a successor failed.
Allen, who disclosed that he was part of the inner caucus of the SIA political group from 2007 to 2011 when Senator Amosun became the governor, declared that the political camp was the highest culprit in manipulation of the highest order towards power grabbing at the state level then.
He further berated the former governor for mobilising his supporters to pelt President Muhammadu Buhari and his entourage during a campaign rally held at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta, on February 2019, all in the bid to create a fake impression that he was in control of Ogun State politics.
While reiterating that the Governor Abiodun administration in the state is “God’s own project”, Allen said that the former governor and his co-travellers would fail again in their scheme to stop the reelection bid of Abiodun in 2023.
“My candid advice to the day dreamers hoping to team up against the re-election of PDA come March 2023 is to think twice because God’s own project is still very much at work in Ogun State.
“No weapon fashioned against PDA and APC in Ogun State shall prosper. No amount of merger or absorption of lightweight political desperados shall overrun the God’s ordained project of PDA.
“The earlier the better lesser god retires from the political space of Ogun State to avert political oblivion.
“I had the privilege of partaking in the political activities of the immediate past governor from 2007 up to the time he was eventually elected in 2011. If there is any camp that had involved itself in any manipulation of the highest order towards power grabbing at the state level then, Amosun’s camp was the highest culprit.
“What transpired in that camp throughout the election petition process up to the Court of Appeal still remains fresh in the memory of those who played active roles then of which l was part of the inner caucus.
“The truth about the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun (PDA) was that it was God’s ordained project that no lesser self acclaimed god can stop.
“PDA went through the thick and thin of political opposition within the ruling party led by SIA that culminated into the shameful act of disgracing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whose entourage was decorated with pure water and stones all in the name of creating fake impression that they were in control.
“February 2019 will never be forgotten so soon in the history of Ogun State. The election proper came, PDA floored APM even with all the resources and power of the ruling governor who only God knows how many billions went into the project!
“PDA was like the David of the olden days who defeated Goliath. Alas, everything ended up at the Election Petition Tribunal and the rest is history today.
“The usual tactics deployed at the tribunal to upturn the God’s Own project of PDA was brought into fore and that included falsification of substantial numbers of results in various polling booths across the state, all aimed at upturning the election of PDA fell like a pack of cards.
“I can categorically state here that the political game of any man-made god proving to be the power broker of Ogun State has since been laid to rest and may the Lord rest their political souls.”a
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