KUNLE ADERIBIGBE -POLITICAL EDITOR
The new Governor of Ogun state, Prince Dapo Abiodun certainly has reasons to roll out drums in celebration of his recent victory at the last general election.
His journey to the Oke Igbein Government House, Abeokuta, the state capital has been an herculean task, as he started the struggle about 17 years ago.
Gateway Times investigation has it that Dapo’s dream to become the number one citizen in the state dates back 2002.
Unknown to many, Dapo who was then in his early 40’s was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
Even, a reliable source who knows about the political journey said he was one of the foundation members of the party in the country as well as in Ogun State.
The source further revealed to Gateway Times that the new governor was among the few others who actually contested the PDP governorship primary election prior to the 2003 general election.
Few years before then, exactly in 1997, the governor-elect contested and won the Senate seat in Ogun East senatorial seat on the platform of United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP).
Unfortunately, fate played a fast one on General Sanni Abacha, the then head of state, who had wanted to transform to a life-President as he breathed his last on June 8, 1998 and this suddenly truncated the Republic.
Prince Abiodun who had already become a senator-elect among others throughout the country could not be sworn-in, hence his ambition to become a member of the National Assembly was not realised.
Undeterred with his political disappointment, Prince Abiodun later contested the PDP governorship primary in 2002 along with Otunba Gbenga Daniel, (OGD), Chief Dele Arojo, Chief Doyin Okupe, Chief Mrs Titi Ajanaku. While OGD came first in the keenly contested election, Dapo Abiodun was the first runner-up.
Gateway Times further gathered that although DA was the most favoured within the party, the entrance of OGD changed the game-plan as Sen Jubril Martins-Kuye, the arrowhead of the party in the state allegedly dumped DA for OGD.
Daniel, who later ruled the state for eight years, though a political neophyte then, his pedigree was said to have towered above other governorship aspirants
DA, who was said to be seriously embittered with the result of the primary, thereafter left the political scene to face his personal business.
However, months to 2015, DA made a reappearance at the political scene again. But rather than pitch tent with his former party, PDP, Abiodun, who had by then become a major player in the Nigeria oil sector, opted for All Progressives Congress, APC.
He became the party senatorial flagbearer in Ogun East with his now estranged friend, Sen Ibikunle Amosun, the outgoing governor of the state, but lost to Prince Buruji Kashamu of PDP in the general election.
Another insider close to the governor-elect told Gateway Times that following his defeat at the 2015 general election, DA informed his political lieutenants that he would quit politics for good.
However, he was said to have made a U-turn when Sen. Olamilekan Solomon Adeola (Yayi) was forced out of the race by Amosun, and some of his (DA) key friends prevailed on to take a short the Oke Mosan Governor Office in the 2019 governorship general election.
He was reported to have at first turned his deaf ears on the suggestion, but later succumbed to pressure.
Though, the political journey has been so tough for him, many forces within and outside the ruling party, APC who were disenchanted with Amosun’s leadership style later teamed up to make Dapo Abiodun age-long dream become a reality!