From all indications, it would seem the contest for the Ogun State governor from 2019 to 2023 has been won and lost. After all, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the governor-elect for recording 241,670 votes to defeat Kunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), who polled 222,153 votes.
To the variegated caucuses and grand alliances who massed together on the eve of the election to mobilise and unabashedly commandeer votes with huge resources running into billions of naira in the bid to prosecute the battle to “cut Ibikunle Amosun to size” during the election, however, it appears the battle is not yet concluded.
Judging from the various dishonest and negative narratives being facelessly promoted in the media since the election to cast aspersions on Amosun’s stellar eight-year administration as well as adduce some nauseating reasons for their supposed electoral heist, it seems the mission to destroy Amosun at all cost has entered its third stage.
This writer is not an Amosun mouthpiece neither has Amosun directly benefited the writer or the non-governmental organisation this writer works for in Ogun State. As a bonafide citizen of Ogun State who has been around for over 40 years, it is a sacred duty for me and all other people of conscience to speak out in the face of tyranny and clannishness that may portend doom for our dear state, if not checked.
The battle to “finish Amosun politically” began with the contrived APC crisis in December last year in which the governor’s political structure was targeted. Though Amosun outsmarted the enemy by managing to keep his political family together in the face of aggression from the supposed political colonial masters in the South-West APC, whose legendary appetite for expansionist and extortionist tendencies continue to grow uncontrollably, leading to deployment of massive financial war chest and political thugs to enforce their greedy and selfish political preferences across the states of South-West and adjoining zones, the battle only shifted to another plane.
The disrupted APC presidential campaign rally and some other underhand attempts to derail the President’s reelection project to present Amosun as a paperweight general also failed woefully. In the presidential and National Assembly elections, the people of Ogun not only delivered the votes to help the President march on victoriously, but they also rewarded their performing governor with a senatorial ticket to boot, in a show of approval and appreciation for his people-focused manner of administering the state from 2011.
It is significant that the politically sophisticated people of Ogun Central Senatorial Zone kept faith with the outgoing governor by giving him the say-so to represent them in the Red Chamber. It buttresses the fact that Amosun has performed well in his current assignment. Irrespective of political leaning, all honest citizens and visitors to Ogun State agree that the outgoing governor and his team have, in the last eight years, delivered an expansive transformation agenda that has seen the state capital and several other cities and major towns in the three senatorial zones greatly remodelled.
Ogun has witnessed a seemingly well-designed and thoughtfully executed plan-cum-blueprint to re-engineer its economic, infrastructure and industrial sectors such that, today, Ogun State is the fastest growing industrial hub in South-West Nigeria. The state’s IGR profile has also massively improved just as security and infrastructure renewal have become the norm.
From being one of the states with high notoriety for armed robbery, kidnapping, ritual killings and other sundry crimes, Ogun has been largely transformed under Amosun’s watch into a peaceful state where citizen safety and protection of business facilities are great priorities of government. That Ogun has become peaceful today owes largely to an effective governance style that promotes selfless and unbiased commitment to all segments of the state, fairness in deployment of state resources and a clear infrastructure re-modelling mission blueprint.
If Amosun’s traducers believe he must be finished off politically for insisting on getting a strategic successor with profound public service clout and experience, integrity and unalloyed fidelity to the Ogun infrastructure renewal project, their fight definitely is not in the interest of Ogun.
The injustice, unfairness and inequity of trying to demonise a man who worked hard to make Ogun better than he met it remain some of the most despicable character traits of the promoters of the Abiodun candidacy. It can only show that Ogun is falling into the hands of a rapacious, heartless and Machiavellian persuasion. It portends doom. The awaited Abiodun administration, from all one can see, is already cast in doubt.
In the run-up to the governorship election, it was glaring that the anti-Amosun lobby was all about imposing a somewhat pliant candidate who would do their bidding once on ground. With this condescending disposition appearing to have been achieved, the subjugator-expansionist army has continued to recruit more vile enemies of Amosun into their camp, ostensibly in preparation for a feast on Ogun’s growing IGR and other resources.
While these Amosun traducers are having a field day of infamy now, history will definitely record that in Ibikunle Amosun Ogun had a leader who displayed courage, tenacity and fidelity to the cause of re-modelling the state along the paths of progress, peace and well-being of majority of the citizens when God gave him the opportunity to lead. Perhaps this is why Amosun’s traducers have sworn not to rest until they destroy all his legacies, seeing that he towers above them in terms of his achievements.
However, while his traducers continue their war, the majority of the citizens are praying for him for the massive transformation he has wrought on the state, unlike his two predecessors who have teamed up with others to fight him.
The truth is, he in whom God is pleased, no man can destroy. The man that is after the people’s hearts is definitely after God’s heart.
•Ilugun writes from Obantoko, Abeokuta, Ogun State