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OGUN ELECTION; This is no coincidence



By Tunde Salako

Is this sheer coincidence? In 2019, Gbenga Daniel was the South-West coordinator of the PDP presidential campaign and was always with the then presidential flagbearer of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

They moved around the country together in private jets. Many times, he talked to the media about the chances of Atiku in the presidential election. But when Atiku lost to President Muhammadu Buhari, Daniel made a 360-degree turn and started negotiating with APC.

He was negotiating with APC because he knew that he could not meet with Ibikunle Amosun who had just floated another party, the APM after his (Amosun’s) crony lost out woefully at the APC gubernatorial primary in Ogun State, coupled with the fact that the then governor had declared him persona non grata for eight years.

He also suspected that the PDP would not be able to perform well at the gubernatorial election just ahead. Ladi Adebutu, who was defeated by Governor Dapo Abiodun in the March 18 election, was also the PDP gubernatorial candidate then.

As a political Maradona, he was able to read the script very well and of course Abiodun won the election, and Daniel got all the benefits attached to joining the winning side. For one thing, the embargo that Amosun had placed on his businesses were removed. Besides, Daniel was even to interface with APC chieftains to the level that he also aspired to become a senator.

Lekan Mustapha, the outgoing senator, is a two-term senator who ordinarily would have become a high ranking senator had he won a third term ticket. But he was prevailed upon with the intervention of some other aspirants and Daniel won the Ogun East senatorial primary.

But having won the primary, Daniel started another scheme. He began thinking of how to outsmart the man that gave him the platform to contest and bounce back into political reckoning. He started badmouthing the Governor all around. During the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections that APC won by a landslide in Ogun State, the Governor and the APC leadership had supported Daniel with a lot of logistics. That was only natural.

However, shortly after he won the election, the 2019 Judas spirit in him struck and took control of his faculties. Daniel started hobnobbing with the same PDP he had rejected and betrayed then, with Ladi Adebutu and his father now becoming his closet political pals. His project was now to run the sitting Governor down and out of town. And he did his best to undermine the Governor, with his attack dogs in full battle mode. He ensured that during the gubernatorial poll, the Governor lost out in his areas of influence.

It has become quite apparent now that Daniel is a serial betrayer and cannot be trusted. What is important to him is his bread basket and nothing else. There is nobody he cannot betray. If he can betray PDP in 2019 and APC in 2023, what type of character is he portraying in the public space? When you look at the way he was so close to Atiku, it would have been hard to suspect then that he would dump him (Atiku) so spectacularly. But he did.

Then when you look at the way he was also close to Dapo Abiodun and President-elect Bola Tinubu, taking centre stage as the latter came to campaign in Ogun State during the APC presidential primaries and during the presidential campaigns proper, it would also have been difficult to suspect that he would play the Judas card so soon. But that was what he did. He, Abiodun and Tinubu rode in the same bus on the campaigns, yet the bile inside him was huge.

For Daniel, what is permanent is his interest, pure and simple. So, this is not a matter of coincidence; it’s a matter of character. No wonder the Yoruba say that character is a smoke; it can’t be hidden. Governor Abiodun must take comfort in the words of our elders: Whoever is betrayed by friends should take it in his stride. After all, blood relations also betray.

Salako, a social commentator, wrote from Imeko, Ogun State.


Security guards arraigned for allegedly stealing property worth N685,000




Two men, Gabriel Godwin and John Julius, were, on Wednesday, arraigned before a Kaduna Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing property valued at N685,000 from a house.

The defendants of no fixed residential addresses are facing a two-count charge of break-in and stealing, to which they, however, pleaded not guilty.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Chidi Leo, informed the court that the defendants committed the offences on February 16 at No. 3, Doka Street, Narayi, Kaduna.

Leo said the defendants and two others at large broke into the house of the complainant, Mr Aaron Okoro, and stole his property.

He said the defendants and their accomplices stole some clothes, valued at N240,000, jewellery, worth N195,000 and two TV sets, valued at N250,000.

The prosecutor stated that they also damaged the complainant’s door, worth N50,000 while trying to enter the house.

According to him, the offences contravene the Penal Code of Kaduna State, 2017.

The Magistrate, Ibrahim Emmanuel, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N100,000 each and two sureties each in like sum.

Emmanuel ordered that the sureties must be civil servants on salary Grade Level 09 and reside within the court’s jurisdiction.

He adjourned the case till March 18 for hearing.


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Court jails 4 security guards for stealing sand




A Grade 1 Area Court sitting in Lugbe, Abuja, on Wednesday, sentenced four security guards to nine months imprisonment each for stealing sharp sand belonging to a resort.

The Judge, Malam Aliyu Kagarko, sentenced the convicts, of Root Resort, Asokoro, Abuja, after they pleaded guilty to the offences.

Kagarko, however, gave them an option of N30,000 fine each.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Mr S.O. Osho, informed the court that the convicts, who are security guards at the resort, conspired to commit the offences.

Osho said on February 16, the convicts invited a truck driver and sold the sand to him without the consent of the owner.

He said during the police investigation, they confessed to committing the offences while the sand was recovered.

The offences, according to him, contravened Section 288 of the Penal Code.


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2024 Olympic Qualifier: It’s do or die vs Super Falcons – South Africa coach, Ellis




Banyana Banyana of South Africa head coach Desiree Ellis says her side’s 2024 Olympic Games final qualifying round fixture against the Super Falcons of Nigeria will be a “do or die” affair.

The reigning African champions booked a date with old foes Nigeria after a 1-0 victory against Tanzania on Tuesday night.

Former African women’s Player of the Year, Thembi Kgatlana scored the winning goal in the second half.

South Africa won the tie 4-0 on aggregate.

“It will be do or die (vs Nigeria),” Ellis declared after the game against Tanzania.

“We want to have an early camp, we will improve our chances when we prepare early and very well.”

South Africa and Nigeria will clash in a two-legged match between April 1-9, 2024.

The overall winners will be one of Africa’s representatives at the 2024 Paris Olympics.


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