Again, for the third time in eight years, history repeated itself in Ogun State as the hope by the people of Ogun West Senatorial district to produce the governor for the first time in 43 years was dashed.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Prince Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the governorship election after polling 241, 670. Abiodun hails from Iperu, Ogun East Senatorial district. The zone has the records of producing governor three times since the state was created on February 3, 1976. Those who have become governor from the zone before Abiodun were Chief Olabisi Onabanjo and Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
On the other hand, Ogun Central, mainly Egba has also produced governor in Chief Segun Osoba and the outgoing governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. Both Ogun East and Ogun Central senatorial districts are mainly dominated by the Ijebu/Remo and Egba extractions.
Unfortunately, the Yewa/Awori extraction in the Ogun West Senatorial district continued to struggle to no avail to occupy the Oke Igbein Government House. The highest political office they have occupied as a people, was Secretary to the State Government, deputy governor and currently the speaker of the state House of Assembly.
Daily Sun gathered that for whatever reason, each time opportunity arose for them to occupy the exalted position; they usually mismanaged the rare opportunity, through disagreement of who will represent them, flooding the race with many of their own.
Until the last election, where they fielded only two of their sons in the governorship race, the Ogun West people refused to learn from the Central and East senatorial districts who usually managed their affairs with understanding and cohesion which has been part of their winning tricks.
The Yewa-Awori, even refuse to use their population advantage; the biggest council, Ado/Odo-Ota, is located within its zone. In the last governorship election, the council returned the highest votes of 27, 859.
Other councils within the senatorial zone are Yewa South, Yewa North, Imeko-Afon and Ipokia.
Aside Ado/Odo-Ota which are mainly Awori, the remaining councils in the zone are peopled by core Yewa, Ketu, Ogu, Ihori, Anogo and other natives.
In the prelude to the 2011 governorship election, the Ogun West Senatorial district paraded no fewer than 16 of his natives for the exalted position until it was pruned to two. The lucky duo were former ECOMOG Commander, General Tunji Olurin and Mr. Gboyega Nasir Isiaka who hailed from Ilaro, Yewa South and Imeko, Imeko -Afon councils of the state respectively.
Isiaka, a first class Economics graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University was the leader of the Economic Team of the former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
Initially, the duo had their roots in the same political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), until things fell apart between the PDP and Isiaka.
For the records, Isiaka won the PDP governorship primary that was recognised by the national body of the party, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, an Abuja Federal High Court denied him victory as it ruled that Gen. Olurin as well as its faction of the PDP should be recognised by the INEC. Following the ruling which did not go down well with many PDP followers and supporters of Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Isiaka, they defected en-masse to the People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN) on which platform Isiaka contested and lost the governorship election.
Like wounded lions, the two Yewa natives went into the elections with their different supporters. At the end of the day, Amosun from the Central senatorial with the support of Ogun East and Ogun West emerged governor.
Again in 2015, history repeated itself as two sons of the Yewa-Awori stock contested the governorship race, Isiaka of the PDP and Senator Akin Odunsi of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). They booth lost to the incumbent governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, from Ogun Central.
In the just concluded governorship election, again, two illustrious sons of Yewa, Isiaka, on the platform of the African Democratic Party, (ADC) and Adekunle Akinlade, the governorship, candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) struggled, but failed to make history.
Even before they went into the race, political pundits have expressed the fear of anyone of them winning the race. Their fears were predicated on the candidacy of Abiodun, who hails from Ogun East, which has nine councils, the highest among the three zones in the state.
Instead, they projected that the most favoured in the race were the candidates of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Mr. Dapo Abiodun and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Kashamu Buruji.
Although, they also predicted that Kashamu would play the spoiler role in case of a re-run election, the projection failed as the candidate of the ADC, Isiaka, which had a perceived weak political base in Ogun East and Ogun Central respectively came third.
Before the election, every political permutation had been that Amosun, as a sitting governor, would secure victory for APM in all the six councils that make up Ogun Central, while Akinlade, who hails from Ogun West was expected to deliver the district. But all the permutations did not play out as predicted.
Isiaka competed with Akinlade, of the APM, from Ogun West, who was sponsored by Amosun. APM was the offshoot of the APC. It came about following the controversies that trailed the APC primary in October last year, which did not favour Amosun’s preferred candidate, Akinlade.
With this development, Amosun swore that he would work against APC’s candidate, Abiodun and publicly vowed that he would do everything humanly possible to ensure victory for his adopted candidate, Akinlade.
Although he deployed all state resources towards achieving his goal, Amosun failed to have his preferred candidate as successor, just as Yewa-Awori people also failed to occupy the Oke Mosan Governor Office, once again shattering their hopes and aspiration to be governor for the first time in 43 years.
With Ogun East people becoming governor again eight years after their son, Otunba Gbenga left the Oke Igbein Government House, the question in many quarters is when will the people of Ogun West senatorial district have the opportunity of becoming governor of the acclaimed state of civilisation and many firsts in Nigeria? It seems only time will tell.
While the APM has rejected the results, alleging electoral malpractices, Isiaka on the other hand has accepted the result of the election, saying he has fought a good fight.
In a statement titled: “ Posterity is the compensator of every noble effort,” the ADC candidate, whose party won only two councils in the governorship election, congratulated Abiodun on his victory.
He said: “I have put a call through to congratulate him and his wife on the momentous occasion. It is an election and not a do or die affair; for which a victor must emerge. I sincerely wish him well in the huge task of governance.
“For me, the aftermath of this election represents a defining moment and we can begin to take relevant stock. The desire to serve Ogun State has never been about self pursuit but the strong will to change a wrong system and make life more meaningful to our people.
“At huge personal risk, I put myself forward on three consecutive elections with a firm conviction that I and my team have what it takes to substantially elevate socioeconomic welfare of Ogun State and make it greater. To this, we committed ourselves for the last 12 years”.
While appreciating the people of the state for all the votes he garnered in the last election and the two previous ones, Isiaka said: “I do not take it for granted and remain eternally grateful. To my core associates that have stayed the length of this course, you all are a pillar I will continue to be beholden”, he stated.
Meanwhile, the outcome of the election has brought to fore the cyclical alteration among alliances between the political kingmakers in the state. It has also reinforced the popular saying that there is no permanent enemy, but permanent interest in politics.
For example in 2003, two political neophytes, Amosun and Daniel worked to unseat the incumbent governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, who hails from Ogun Central.
However, in 2007, Amosun with the support of Osoba attempted to stop Daniel from returning to power but the duo failed, even though it was generally believed that Amosun, who contested on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) won the election that was widely characterised by rigging.
In 2011, Osoba, teamed up with Amosun to stop Daniel from picking a successor in Isiaka. Also in 2015, Daniel with Amosun and others stopped Osoba from producing Odunsi as governor.
And in 2019, history repeated itself in the just concluded governorship election as Daniel teamed up with Osoba to stop Amosun from installing his preferred candidate as governor.