The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday evening declared Prince Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of Ogun State governorship election conducted on Saturday, 18th March, 2023, thus winning re-election for a second term.
The INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, the Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, while announcing the results at INEC office in Abeokuta on Sunday, disclosed that Prince Dapo Abiodun, the candidate of APC, scored 276,298 votes to defeat his closest rival and PDP candidate, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu, who scored 262,383 votes.
Barr. Biyi Otegbeye of African Democratic Congress (ADC) polled 94,754 votes to come distant third in the race while the candidate of NNPP, Olufemi Ajadi scored 1,394 votes.
Abiodun won 12 local governments while his closest rival, Hon Ladipupo Adebutu of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the remaining 8.
The local governments won by Gov. Abiodun who is seeking second term are Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu North, Abeokuta North, Odeda, Obafemi-Owode, Ipokia, Imeko-Afon, Ado-Odo/Ota, Egbado South, Egbado North, Ifo and Ewekoro.
Those won by Hon. Ladipupo Adebutu of PDP are Ikenne, Remo North, Sagamu, Ijebu East, Ijebu North-East, Odogbolu, Abeokuta South and Ogun Waterside.
Just as some pundits have correctly predicted that the race would be keenly contested, it was indeed but the good works of Gov. Dapo Abiodun coupled with the support of the people of the state handed him the much anticipated victory.
The governor’s victory at the poll did also not come as a surprise to the residents of the state given his sincere commitment to expanding the frontiers of socio-economic development of the state in the last four years.
Agreed that Gov Abiodun was not without his own foibles as all men but the strong opinion out there was that the oil and gas merchant has demonstrated rare courage and capacity in handling the affairs of the state since assuming office on May 29, 2019.
For instance, despite the rock-solid opposition of his predecessor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun to his emergence as the 5th executive governor of the state, the Governor did not because of the unnecessary animosity abandon the projects, majorly roads projects initiated but uncompleted by Amosun.
The Governor had gone ahead completing these projects such as Kuto dualised road and flyover, Panseke-Adigbe road, Mokola road among others.
Unlike his predecessor whose 80 per cent of the projects done under his administration was located in just one Senatorial District, Ogun Central, Gov. Abiodun had ensured that all his people oriented projects are spread throughout the length and breath of the state.
Aside other access roads constructed across the 20 local governments, there are some legacy road projects that are very peculiar to the three Senatorial Districts. For instance, the Ogun Central can thump up their chest for the reconstructed Abeokuta-Siun-Sagamu expressway, the Ogun East can roll out the drum for the almost completed International Agro-Cargo Airport, Ilisan Remo which has capacity to create over 25,000 jobs as well as the ten lanes Ijebu Ode-Epe Expressway just as the people of Ogun West senatorial district are now getting deserved attention.
For this Senatorial District, the long abandoned Atan-Igbesa-Lusada-Agbara expressway is almost completed, same goes for Owode-Ilaro road among others and but for the reluctance of the Federal Government to release the Sango-Abeokuta expressway, the road might have been nearing completion though, Gov. Abiodun had always ensured massive palliative works are carried on the road from time to time. But for this periodic intervention, the situation of the road would have grown worse.
The Governor equally made good show in revamping the education sector with employment of over 2,000 teachers, construction of over 1,000 blocks of classrooms, settling of backlog of promotions to mention but few.
In the area of qualitative healthcare, aside rehabilitation of the state hospitals while also equipping them with necessary health care equipment, the Governor had also renovated over 100 primary healthcare centres, procured over 30 ambulances among others.
Gov. Abiodun had also made good show in housing constructing over 1,000 housing units, while his spectacular performance in Agriculture and Security are all out there for everyone to see.
This is not to say that the Governor had within almost four years in office done it all but he has carried on with high sense of responsibility and heart to serve ensuring that the people of the state enjoy abundant dividends of democracy.
However, as the Governor begins the journey of another four years by May 29, 2023, he must remain committed to justifying the confidence reposed in him for another term by doubling up his passion for selfless service.
Abiodun must be sober to make honest assessment of his four years in office and deliberately work on fixing the errors of the past while improving on his excellent performance.
He must be committed to initiation of new projects while also completing various ongoing projects such as the International Agro-Cargo Airport, Ilisan Remo, the Atan-Igbesa-Lusada-Agbara expressway, Alagbole-Akute-Ajuwon road among others. The Governor must also see to the demands of the workers and the retirees.
The backlog of cooperative deductions, contributory pensions, gratuities running into billions of naira as well as leave bonuses should be paid without further delay.
The Governor should also allow the local government to function optimally as this is the best way to encourage development to soar at the grassroots.