Until the emergence of the oil magnate, Prince Dapo Abiodun as the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Ogun State, many political pundits would easily place their bet on Amosun’s anointed as the one to fly the flag of the party in the governorship election.
During the last Sallah festival, Amosun had told newsmen and worshippers at the Lantoro praying ground in Abeokuta that he would accompany his successor to the praying ground next year for the special sallah prayer, an indication that his anointed successor is a Muslim.
But in a swift political move, Abiodun, a long time ally of Amosun but fell out with the governor over his governorship pursuit defeated the governor’s candidate, Hon Adekunle Akinlade, a present House of Representatives member from Yewa South/Ipokia federal constituency and former aide of Amosun on taxation matters.
While declaring the result, the chairman of the electoral panel set up by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, Mohammed Indabawa disclosed that Abiodun polled the highest votes having scored 102,305 votes. Indabawa flanked by other members of the panel added that Mr.Jimi Lawal polled 51,153 votes closely followed by Otunba Bimbo Ashiru who scored 29,764 votes . Other aspirants Senator Adegbenga Kaka; Hon. Adekunle Akinlade and Hon. Abayomi Hunye scored 17,771; 23,443 and 9,610 votes respectively.
He said, “Prince Dapo Abiodun having scored 102,305 votes is hereby elected as the flagbearer of APC subject to the ratification by the National Working Committee.
“Asked to comment on the declaration of Akinlade as the governorship candidate by the State chapter of the party, Indabawa said the eight-man panel had the mandate of the NWC to conduct the exercise. “As far as APC is concerned, this committee is the constituted one for the conduct of the election by the party. If there’s any election for the emergence of any other candidate, we are not aware of it in Ogun State,rather than the one so announced by this committee,” he added
The NWC of the party had forwarded Abiodun’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as its flagbearer in Ogun State
However, on Sunday Amosun vowed that despite the clearance given by the NWC to Dapo Abiodun as the governorship candidate of the party in the state, his anointed candidate, Hon. Abdul-Kabir Adekunle Akinlade, will succeed him in 2019.
Governor Amosun gave this declaration on a live programme on Channels Television, monitored by our correspondent during the conduct of the Senatorial, House of Representatives and state House of Assembly primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The governor insisted that as far as he and other party members in the state were concerned, Akinlade would emerge the next governor of the state.
Governor Amosun argued further that the primary election conducted by the party in the state, which produced Akinlade would stand, as against the announcement of an eight-man electoral committee, last Wednesday, that pronounced Dapo Abiodun as the governorship flagbearer of the party in the state.
The APC’s NWC had officially announced Abiodun as the winner of the primary election.
But Amosun speaking on the television programme, boasted that Abiodun’s candidature would not stand, promising to stand for fairness, justice and equity in ensuring that the mandate freely given to Akinlade by party faithful is not ‘stolen’.
Amosun said those opposing his moves within the party, had told President Muhammadu Buhari, unpleasant stories about him to favour their steps as regards the primary election.
He said, “We are waiting for them to come and tell the world that there was no election. They cannot come out because they know they have failed.
“That is why we are beaming the Senatorial and House of Assembly primaries live on three different television stations.
“They have told Mr. President all manner of stories, that Amosun has done this or that. Amosun will stand for justice, fairness and the truth.
“That is why in Ogun State on May 29, 2019, to the glory of God and the benevolence of Almighty God, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade will be the governor of the state.
“I have told them, if anybody wants to engage in political fight, they should wait for second term. Nobody should push us. We are not fools”.
He expressed satisfaction on the peaceful manner in which members of the party conducted themselves during the Senatorial and House of Assembly primary elections across the state.
In his reaction, Abiodun described Amosun’s actions as effort in futility. While speaking to Nigerian NewsDirect through his spokesman, Ojo Emmanuel, the oil magnate described Amosun’s statement as wishful thinking and conduct of primary election without the presence of electoral panel from Abuja as politically illogical.
Ojo also dismissed the insinuation that Amosun would not support his principal if the NWC position on the primary election stands.
“Governor Amosun being a loyal party man would not want to engage in anti-party activities, he will definitely support Prince Abiodun and deliver his state to APC” Ojo told Nigerian NewsDirect.
A political analyst in Ogun State, Tola Adegunwa told our correspondent that “Nobody expected Amosun can be dealt with like this in APC considering that he seemed to be very close to the President. He was largely seen as the face of the cabals in the Southwest. He spends almost four days per week in Abuja and he is a regular face in all the President’s national and international engagements”
‘”Amosun was one the brains behind the emergence of (Rotimi) Akeredolu in Ondo State and (Kayode) Fayemi in Ekiti State, so all thought his home state would be a walk over” he added.
“Perhaps the power that be want to cut his growing influence especially his rumoured 2023 presidential ambition”
Many political observers believe that Abiodun, with his deep pocket, connections and support of the party can win the next governorship election in Ogun State. He has been supporting other politicians in the state since 2003.