The Genesis and Revelations of the outcome of the Ogun State Presidential, National Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly Elections
…A Post-mortem analysis by *Chief S.A. Onasanya* – The Warrior of Ilisan Remo
The formation of the APC, which brought together key politicians from the AD, AC, ACN, PDP, APGA, and some lesser-known parties around 2014 in preparation for the 2015 elections with the sole aim of snatching power from the PDP, especially at the center i.e The Presidency and the National Assembly – Senate and House of Representatives.
The APC as a party like all political parties in Nigeria and some other African countries was not ideologically based. It was a group of what the Yorubas call “Iru wa, Ogiri wa” a coming together of strange bedfellows, who do not fully belong to the progressives ie the UPN of yore the NPC of yore, who are conservatives as shown by the founders of the People’s Democratic Party in 1997/98 and the AD, AC ACN and the APC, who profess to be progressives.
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The above cannot be compared with what operates in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, or even South Africa, where party ideologies are sacrosanct and deep, which do not give room for shameless carpet crossings as witnessed in Nigerian politics, where you find key players in PDP yesterday moving to ANPP, or APGA, or APC or Labour party tomorrow without any cogent reasons apart from failure to clinch the party ticket for elections. The politicians cared less about what the parties stood for, all they see in the party is a vehicle to transport them to power, Chikena.
The above scenario made it easy and normal for most politicians in Ogun State and other states in Nigeria, to move from AD to ANPP, or PDP, and back to AD without any consequence.
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In the United States of America or South Africa, not common to see a Democrat or an ANC politician moving up and down the political parties apart from independent candidates, the reverse is the norm in Nigeria. A case in point in the recent Ogun State election to the House of Assembly, whereby a candidate was presented by the PDP in the House of Representative election and failed, his name was again sent to INEC as the candidate for the State House of Assembly. The candidate defected to the APC, one week before the election. By providence, the PDP won the House of Assembly election. The INEC has no option than to present the certificate of return to the runaway PDP candidate, who had been a serial contestant under the PDP for the Local Government election and the House of Assembly elections in the recent past elections. The above scenario laid the foundation of what happened at the Presidential elections, the National Assembly, the Governorship and the State House of Assembly elections.
The Ogun State governor was not in the Tinubu for President’s Camp, nor was he positively disposed to the senate ambition of Otunba Gbenga Daniel. The Ogun State governor was in the Yemi Osinbajo Camp for Presidency and other candidates from Ijebu for the senate. The adduced reasons by the proponents of these believe was that it was Osibajo as Vice President that supports the candidacy of Dapo as governorship candidate in 2015 and that if OGD should win the senate ticket in 2023, it will be difficult for Dapo to upstage him in 2027 when Dapo will have completed his two terms and want to retire to the senate hence the “Eleyi” slogan by Tinubu.
The defection of Otunba Gbenga Daniel and his entire political structure, which has been tested and trusted in Ogun State to APC from PDP, two months before the Dapo governorship election in 2019 at the instance of Dapo Abiodun as the APC Candidate in Ogun State, when the Amosun governorship tried everything possible to ensure the failure of Dapo at the polls was an open secret to political watchers in Ogun State. Most politicians in Ogun State in APC or PDP or APM believed that the defection of OGD before the election played a vital role in the success of Dapo at the poll in 2015, when OGD collapsed his structure politically to the Dapo weak structure in 2015 and both structures worked as a team.
The reluctance of the Governor Dapo Abiodun’s camp to give consent to the ticket of OGD as: a senatorial candidate under the APC Dapo led Exco signalled the beginning of the new end.
Events after the Ogun State APC primary that saw Dapo and OGD as APC Gubernatorial and Senatorial candidates under normal circumstances should have been a perfect combination of political forces or structures by the duo, but this was not to be.
Three attempts by Daniel’s camp to work with the Dapo’s camp was rebutted, to the extent that the Daniels’s boy was discriminated against at the wards level, the campaign programs of the two camps were not blended to one, to the extent that vehicles branded and posters made for the Presidential, National Assembly and Governorship elections excluded Tinubu and Daniel, until two weeks before the elections when the cars were rebranded to include Tinubu and Daniel. The posters announcing their intention of Daniel for the senate were a lone picture of Daniel without the APC or Dapo’s logo or picture. Daniel’s structure in Ogun State accounted for the result got by APC in the Presidential and Senatorial elections, where Tinubu and Daniel won convincingly.
The three attempts by Daniel’s camp to work with the Dapo’s camp for the Governorship and State Assembly elections was reportedly refused, thus making the foot soldiers of Daniel’s camp hold their political destinies in their hands by opting to work for anybody outside APC, through some die-hard APC coordinator d canvassers stay put in APC without enough incentives and worked seriously for Daped the House of Assembly, but their efforts are not enough to give victory at the polls for APC ad Dapo in Ikenne, Sagamu, Remo North, Ijebu North, Ijebu-North-East and Ogun Waterside local governments of Ogun State.
Furthermore, the lack of stomach infrastructure for members of the Dapo inner caucus, the OGD camp, the canvassers, and the polling agents, unlike Ladi’s stomach infrastructure to all and sundry and the ten thousand soft drinks scratch cards to PDP members before, during and after the votes did the magic of the Ladi tsunami in Ogun State during the governorship elections.
The saving grace for Dapo in the election was the one-week extension of the election by INEC, if not the opposition party will have defeated Dapo all around except in Yewa, where Yayi and Noimot in Awori salvaged the situation to allow the 13,000 votes victory for Dapo’s second term. The one-week elongation gave Dapo the leeway to buy back some of the lost sheep, but alas most of his coordinators most of them not as experienced and dedicated as the OGD coordinators simply collect money and vamoosed on election day even at Iperu Ilisan. Ikenne Ogere. Sagamu And Other Local Governments In Ogun East Senatorial districts just as they did during his Senatorial election bid, some years past.
Also, Governor Dapo inherited some problems that worked seriously against him.
(1) The civil servants: The non-payment of the illegal deductions in civil servants’ salaries from the Daniel, Amosun and Dapo’s governments/administrations has turned the civil servants against the Dapo’s government.
(2) The accumulated pension and gratuity arrears owed the retired local government, teaching staff, polytechnic, college of education, and university lecturers, has made the government unpopular in some quarters, even though Dapo tried his best in the payment of local government gratuities since November 2022, Amosun did not pay a dime as gratuity for local government retires for his eight years administration Yours Sincerely’s gratuity was paid by Dapo’s administration in December 2022, and I am eternally grateful to the governor for doing his duty of paying the backlog of civil servants dues.
(3) The quality of appointed local government chairmen and Deputies by the Dapo’s administration into the local government is an eye-sore and in some cases insulting, imagine a local govt chairman being a tailor and his deputy sewing mistress in Obafemi Awolowo’s local government, where graduates and professionals abound.
(4) The Emefiele Naira -swap coup to Nigerians, which made everybody a poor man before and after the elections made the voters extremely hungry and force them to sell their votes to the highest bidder, no hungry vote seller will sell for three thousand naira when a ten thousand naira scratch card is up for grab for each vote cast for PDP.
(5) The BVAS machine introduction made the usual rigging at the polling booth, ward local government, and state almost impossible, the 2023 election is the best after the 1983 option A4 election, it shows the people’s will and exposes all the atrocities perpetrated in the past in the North and South of Nigeria. A situation where Tinubu lost Lagos, and sitting governors in the North, South-South, and South East lost senatorial elections in their States where they once acted like Emperor, shows the election is free, fair, and logical, even though there is no perfect election anywhere in the world not even in the United States of America where we imported the presidential system of government the former president of America – Trump is crying wolf over a supposed stolen presidency years after his defeat at the last.A. presidential elections.
In conclusion, I hope the Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, Alhaji Atiku, Hon Ladi Adebutu, Governor Ortom, his excellency Obi and others will learn from the 2023 general elections, that party primaries, party Structures, Charisma, and money matters in any election now and in the future anywhere in the world, Obafemi Awolowo would have been a Nigeria President in 1979 if he had picked a northern Muslim who is an experienced and popular politician as vice-president and Tinubu would not have won the 2023 presidential election if he did not pick a northern Muslim, who is popular as vice-president. Ethnicity, Religion, money, and charisma are needed ingredients for success in any election.
Seunmanuel Faleye is a brand and communications strategist. He is a covert writer and an overt creative head. He publishes Apple's Bite International Magazine.