Few days to the Ogun state governorship election, the main gladiators, who are the kingmakers in the state became supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It all began with the endorsement of the governor-elect, Dapo Abiodun by a former governor of the state, Gbenga Daniel. Endorsement from Ladi Adebutu, who couldn’t get a court order to dislodge Buruji Kashamu from running on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) followed.
The icing on the cake was the visit of the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo to the state where he campaigned for the APC candidate who had to slug it out at the poll with Adekunle Akinlade of the APM, who had total backing of the governor, Ibikunle Amosun who has been suspended by the ruling party.
What one could note here is that both governors Rochas Okorocha and Amosun and actually lost, as their ‘anointed candidates’ failed to win the polls.
As this was the case, the adage of Yoruba took centre stage in the southwestern state. The adage says “kaka keku ma je sese, a fi sawa danu”, meaning instead of you having total control over me, we will spoil everything. In this case, in a bid to take the control of the state away from Amosun, who was bent on making sure that Akinlade gets elected, the kingmakers who are called Otunba teamed-up to stop what they perceived as godfatherism by aligning with a neutral person, who can get the support of others.
As politics is a game of number, Amosun who had the backing of the former governor of the state, Olusegun Osoba, when he contested and won the governorship elections in his two terms was fighting three main gladiators who had big weight on their part.
Daniel being a member of the PDP knew that the court issues concerning his party’s gubernatorial candidacy in the state won’t make the outing a favourable for the opposition party. He decided to pitch his tent with Abiodun, who lost the senatorial elections to Buruji Kashamu in 2015, whom the opposition party had suspended, but ran under its platform due to a court order.
Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) registered 41 political parties for the poll, the battle was between Abidoun and Akinlade.
Amosun being a huge influence in the state, gave Abiodun, who also had the backing of the party a run for his money.
Recall that the APM was the offshoot of the APC due to the controversies that trailed the APC primary which did not favour of Akinlade.
Amosun hails from Ogun Central, the Senatorial district with the largest number of voters and had capitalised on his popularity and acceptance.
He had calculated that he would secure victory for APM in all the six local governments in his Senatorial district, while Akinlade who comes from Ogun West with five local governments will deliver his district while others were expected to fall into place.
Being from the eastern part of the state, that was the only popular district for Abiodun. However, the game changed as the APC alligned massively with all the districts, which disrupted Amosun’s plan.
Apart from the endorsement from Daniel, Osinbajo, and Adebutu, the Abiodun project had been seen as a project for the former governor of the state, Osoba who had lent his structure to Abiodun.
As the final results continued to come on Sunday night, Akinlade seeing the writing on the wall rejected the result bringing frustration to the plans of the outgoing governor to ensure continuity of his political legacy.
While the APM rejected the results, the APC, however, lauded the results and pledged to respect the mandate given to it.
The other skirmishes that occurred at the collation centre where it was alleged that Amosun attempted to alter the results through the instrument of compromised INEC officials and some security men, APC was also alleged of using the Federal might to upturn the people’s will.
Security agents were drafted to all the collation centres to protect the people and avoid the breakdown of law and order.
The emergence of Abiodun as the governor-elect has therefore brought to fore the cyclical alteration of the alliances between the political kingmakers in Ogun State.
It could be recalled that in 2003 Amosun worked with Daniel to stop the reelection of Osoba as governor. Eight years down the line, it was 5the turn of Osoba working with Amosun to stop Daniel from pushing forward his political legacy.
In 2019, Daniel returned to Osoba to stop Amosun from pushing forward his political heritage.
The political heritage in Ogun state is what a candidate can not joke with as the pendulum can swing anytime as the say there is no permanent friend in Nigeria’s political circle.