Tuesday 5 March 2019

Ogun 2019: Ladi Adebutu's Supporters Throw Weight Behind Dapo Abiodun

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Everything being equal, Prince Dapo Abiodun, successful businessman and proprietor of Heyden Oil and Gas among other lucrative ventures, has every reason to start warming up to occupy the Ogun State Government House from May 29th. The governorship election is slated for Saturday, March 9thand one of the power blocs in the state, the Kensington Adebutu’s supporters, have reportedly thrown its weight behind Abiodun. Like the Adebutus, Abiodun hails from Iperu Remo in Ogun State. Abiodun’s journey thus far has been strewn with thorns and thistles.

A very good friend and financier of the incumbent, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Prince Abiodun was shocked to the marrows when the governor told him in no uncertain terms that he would not support his governorship ambition. Amosun would shock the people of Ogun State and indeed, discerning Nigerians, when news emerged in October 2018 that he had unilaterally drawn up a list of candidates for the party and subsequently announced Adekunle Akinlade, a member of the House of Representatives, as his anointed for the governorship ticket. If Abiodun was aghast, he didn’t show it.

The Iperu-born prince went about his ambition without fuss. Angry members of the APC in Ogun could read between the lines – Amosun simply wanted a lackey that he could easily manipulate from his obscenely-appointed country home in Ibara GRA, Abeokuta. 

And Akinlade ticks all the boxes. A happy-go-lucky 48-year-old dandy who is more dilettante than diligent, Akinlade is married to a former beauty queen, Chinenye Ochuba. 

When the governorship primary held on Wednesday, October 3rd, Amosun’s candidate was roundly beaten by Prince Abiodun who polled 102, 305 votes. Akinlade came a distant third with 23, 443 votes. Predictably, Amosun went ballistic, stumping and swearing, spitting into the air and receiving it with measured cadence. 

Alongside other disgruntled governors, he scurried to Abuja where he met with the President but nothing came of it. Amosun tried every trick in the book to impose his candidate but the party stood its ground, insisting that Abiodun is its substantive candidate. 

With nowhere to go, Akinlade, alongside other loyalists of the beleaguered governor, defected to the All People’s Movement, APM, ostensibly on Amosun’s orders, stating overtly and covertly that it is either Akinlade or nobody for the governorship seat.

He went ahead to publicly declare that he would work for the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari but not for Abiodun. 

To actualise his objective, Governor Amosun reportedly held a meeting with Ladi Adebutu, the factional governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogun State, whose candidature was nullified in favour of Senator Buruji Kashamu. 

Amosun reportedly bargained with Adebutu to work for Akinlade in return for heavy patronage if the APM won. But here is the good news, all Adebutu’s men have all joined Abiodun.

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