Featured Opinion

The thing in Dapo Abiodun’s blood… by Lanre Alfred

Empathy froths in the blood of Governor Dapo Abiodun’s blood. Like the proverbial noble with a heart of gold, he has mounted yet another dense bridge of mercy to connect bliss to the good and law-abiding people of Ogun State.

Even when politicking had reached fever pitch with hate and propaganda flying hither, thither, Governor Dapo Abiodun never returned fire for fire or wavered in his adoption of soft power – that sheer ability not to use force or coercion for political gain when you can shape the dissidents or opposition’s long-term attitudes and preferences by tact and diplomacy. And it is working perfectly for him.

It is a road hardly travelled by politicians especially those who have attained a political peak such as Governor Dapo Abiodun has. Even when he was constantly and deliberately provoked in the run-up to the March 2019 governorship election, he kept his cool and was always enjoining his supporters to dwell on issues, not on personality attack. This did not only endear him to many who saw this as a novel approach to politics; it also disarmed some who were spoiling for war with him. In fact, there were reports that some aspirants shelved their ambition as a result of Abiodun’s excellent soft power.

Those who had carried on very far with their governorship ambition but later saw in Abiodun a man who symbolises greatness and carries the aspiration of the generality of the Ogun electorate, entered a pact with him to deliver the votes on election day. It is also on record that Otunba Gbenga Daniel, a major opposition figure, jettisoned his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to ensure that Abiodun won the election. He was reported to have told some people in confidence that he would rather synergise with Abiodun whom he described as a man of uncommon honour and do away with the likelihood of being appointed a Minister by Atiku Abubakar if he had won the presidential election. Such is the awe-inspiring belief people have in Abiodun.

Senator Buruji Kashamu, who flew PDP’s governorship flag, was jubilant when the election swung in Abiodun’s favour. So was Ladi Adebutu, who was at the receiving end of the high-wire intrigues in PDP. He also embraced and promised to support Abiodun. Recently, the gubernatorial candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the election, Chief Gboyega Nasir Isiaka (GNI), led his political movement to pay a courtesy call on Governor Abiodun to show solidarity for his administration, saying he has confidence that his administration is taking the state to a higher pedestal.

“We came to see our governor as a way of moving our relationship forward. We had interactions with our people all over the state and they mandated us to come and talk with our governor. All the areas that needed clarifications, we have gotten them. So we need to go back to them and within the next couple of days, the full outcome of this meeting will be made known to the public.

“We are very confident because the morning shows the night from what we have seen in five months. If we had not seen positive signs, we probably would not have graduated our relationship. I have come with the leadership of my political structure all across the state. This is to signify the fact that we are very confident and happy with the way the government is going about putting the state on a greater scale,” he said.

The ADC chieftain noted that there were positive things happening between the Believe Movement and the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), adding that it was not for him to say exactly what, because his movement needed to report back to the people that sent them.

A coalition of 80 political parties in Ogun State also has passed a vote of confidence on the administration of Governor Abiodun because he had remained passionate about matters that bring development to the state. Speaking when he led members of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), to Government House, the chairman, Comrade Abayomi Arabambi, lauded the state government for identifying policies of the past government that brought failure and discomfort to the state and putting in place machinery to correct them.

“You have extensively identified policies and programmes that brought us failure as a state and set up various interventions using the instrumentalities of the law to pursue the aspirations of the people of Ogun State. These various remarkable interventions have highly impacted on the performance of your government in key sectors like education, health, housing, security, agriculture, financial discipline and other core government businesses,” he noted.

While expressing confidence on the ability of the governor to steer the ship of the state, Arabambi said, “You have consistently and strongly justified your rating as a big name in the business of managing men and resources. In a short space of time, you have remained committed to all matters of development in the state. It is now clear that the destiny of our great state is in the hands of a capable, prudent and competent manager of resources. Your government shall not just make a difference, but shall be different,” he said. Comrade Arabambi called for the establishment of a joint Government-IPAC platform for an inclusive partnership that would include major stakeholders in the state and that the council was ready to work with the government to take the state to the next level.

Also speaking, a foremost politician and chieftain of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dr. Gbolade Osinowo noted that the governor has already written his name in gold by deliberately promoting inclusive governance that embraces all political divide. “You are making a difference by deliberately promoting inclusive governance. You are not a lone ranger who claims to know it all. Your actions show that you want to tap from the experiences of the people, irrespective of their political leaning, to run your government and we, at the IPAC are able, ready and willing to contribute our quota to move Ogun State forward,” he promised.

Responding, Governor Abiodun noted that it was imperative for all hands to be on deck if the state was to make any meaningful progress as no one is a repository of knowledge. Governor Abiodun has expressed his delight with the openness of the oppositions to his hand of fellowship. “Our doors are open to persons who previously opposed our people-oriented governance approach and now wish to join hands with us by contributing their share in creating a better future for the Gateway State. “May we also applaud the sincerity of all the other 80 parties that have, even before now, responded positively to our hands of fellowship? Like true sportsmen and women, they have continued to identify with our Government and only last week passed their vote of confidence in us. We will continue to keep open the window of fellowship to all political actors and indeed all interest groups,” Abiodun assured.

Culled from The Capital NG

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