In his inauguration speech barely two years ago, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, did not mince words about the governance management and political paradigm of his administration. When he picked the motto”building our future together,” lots of individuals probably took it with a pinch of salt and believed the watchword was merely another empty proposition or gimmick typical of power-seeking politicians.
Abiodun, that rode to power after a tortuous and turbulent gubernatorial journey, had promised to assumption his government on the frame of inclusiveness, cooperation and collectivism. Maybe, he went this street judging from the events resulting in his development as the All Progressives Congress (APC) standard-bearer.
Recall that it was 16 years later he’d aspired to be governor that his fantasy finally became a fact. Steering throughout the tempest triggered by the stiff opposition from the then incumbent governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who sponsored a different candidate and openly vowed to not encourage his own ambition, Abiodun strategically positioned himself as the candidate to beat at the polls and went on to spring a surprise.
As someone who had succeeded in boardroom politics and built up multi-billion companies from ground zero, the APC candidate appeared to have the expertise, abilities and know-how to navigate tricky terrains and he certainly demonstrated these abilities while seeking the number one seat in his home state.
According to results of the 2019 governorship election declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abiodun polled 241,670 votes to conquer his fiercest challenger and candidate of Allied People’s Movement (APM), Adekunle Akinlade, who had 222,153 votes.
On the other hand, the governor isn’t one likely to winner-takes-all mentality. From the beginning, he gave his words on running a broad-based regime; a government that would actualise the eyesight to”provide Ogun State focused and qualitative governance and to create the enabling environment for a public-private sector partnership, which will be fundamental to the production of a lasting economic growth and individual prosperity of their people”.
“The task of constructing our potential is a collective task,” the Governor had declared in his speech to the colossal crowd that gathered at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta on May 29, 2019, to witness his own swearing-in ceremony. “It’s beyond what I can shoulder or the group which will work together with me in government.”
Assuring the authorities under his watch could be people-oriented, Abiodun had said the pre-inauguration composition of Economic Transition Committee and Work Groups containing stakeholders from diverse professions and political persuasions, geared toward developing a routine and an implementation roadmap for the state, will continue to underpin the behaviour of his government affairs.
“My strong belief is that our nation will benefit from the collective wisdom, knowledge and passion of citizens that are in abundance across different areas of the nation and the political parties and groups,” the Legislature filed. He added that his decision to expand hands of fellowship to co-contestants, leaders and members of different parties wasn’t to attain political correctness but a real commitment to inclusiveness.
Really, Abiodun’s inclusive governance isn’t by lip service in any way.
Recently, leading politicians from opposition parties and distinct power blocs have moved en masse into the APC. Interestingly, all of the former democratically elected governors of this state, former deputy governors, former speakers along with other political bigwigs are now in the governing party under Abiodun’s leadership.
Some leading figures that have united the train comprise former two-term governor and Director-General of their Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation in 2019 election, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; former House of Representatives Speaker, Dimeji Bankole; erstwhile ADC governorship candidate, Prince Gboyega Isiaka; gubernatorial candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Otunba Rotimi Paseda; and key associates of the late Senator Buruji Kashamu.
Interestingly, too, all the state House of Assembly members elected on the platform of opposition parties like ADC, APM and PDP have defected to the APC, thereby making the 26-member state legislature a one-party event.
But past the frenzy this has established, the influx to APC which appears to be altering the political arrangement of this state was really a masterstroke pulled from the Governor. Although it whittles down opposition and tends to push the state towards one-party, pundits posit that the evolution portends a fantastic omen because there is power in togetherness.
Furthermore, if various shades of pursuits are gravitating towards his celebration and administration, some observers think definitely there has to be something appropriate being done by the Governor to draw converts.
Upon taking the mantle of leadership, Abiodun has left no one accountable for his determination and resolve to alter the state. He set out to accomplish this through numerous initiatives encapsulated under ISEYA, the acronym for the five developmental pillars of his government including Infrastructure, Social Welfare and Wellbeing, Education, Youth Development and Agriculture and Food Security.
Although the global epidemic of coronavirus pandemic which ravaged economies across the globe slowed down the speed at which his administration had planned to move, it’s incontrovertible that the state has made considerable progress under the present administration over the available limited resources.
Concerning roads reconstruction and rehab across the three senatorial districts of the country, health care delivery, education sector revitalisation, affordable housing projects, agricultural development, digital and technological revolution, better sports development, and enhanced welfare of workers, the Abiodun-led administration has surpassed the Gateway State.