Between Governor Abiodun and a political merchant

By Bola Ahmed

If anyone needs any evidence regarding how politically charged Year 2022 promises to be, such a person need not go further than the notoriously crude piece titled “How to make 4million enemies in 4 years: The story of Dapo Abiodun’s infamous loss of re-election bid” to analyse the character and temper of the battles and shenanigans that lie ahead. Political merchants suborning hack and hired writers to pollute the country’s waters would stop at nothing to discredit the few people occupying public office who see it as a call to service, a sacred historical duty. In the widely circulated piece in question replete with vile abuse, innuendoes and blatant illogic, one “Dr Quadri Ola from Ward 8, Ijasi Ijebu-Ode” poured invectives on the amiable governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, saying that he will lose his re-election bid because he failed to share out Ogun State’s resources to cronies. In language, tone and intendment, the piece under reference is the work of a demagogue, yet there is a need to respond if only to make the writer see how lucidly he has advertised his utter hollowness.

According to Dr.Ola, Governor Abiodun had no political structure in Ogun State prior to being governor, was wrong (please don’t laugh!) to have been found eating shortly after escaping from the MKO Abiola stadium in the heady days leading to his election, and has already alienated many political supporters by not awarding them positions. Hear him: “What did Dapo Abiodun do as soon as he was sworn in? He first of all cut away all the boys and ladies who stuck out their necks and risked their lived for him. AKA Dickson was messed up and handed over a mere special assistant (sic). Myself was thrown out and not given a single appointment or compensation. I have had to return to my banking career. Peju Shote had to struggle to get a meagre special adviser. I hear uncle Shubby was never given an appointment till date.” For good measure, let us add this one: “Otunba Allen was given an empty shell much much later into the administration. Taiwo Owolabi Apata who I can attest to started the Dapo Abiodun campaign movement fire (sic) has not been given one single appointment till date. Maybe he wanted something too high as the DG Lands, but typical of Dapo Abiodun, Apata was disgraced shunned and lost all his money spent on Dapo’s campaign. I remember a certain Michael who donated 2 vehicles, 1000 shirts and 1000 caps to the campaign of Dapo Abiodun never got a single Governorship handshake or a single contract from SUBEB to compensate the innocent man.”

It needs no special skills to discover that this is a thoroughly disreputable, sneaky individual. In a political environment like ours, you are bound to see people like that who wear different robes because they are afraid of their shadows and cannot come out in the open. They make spurious allegations with intent to distract the governor from his focus on developmental projects and programmes. They do their level best to draw the wheel of progress backwards. As everyone knows, in the history of governance, there is no law that says that whoever supports an aspirant is automatically entitled to an appointment. Our Dr. Ola Quadri does not of course pretend to be a patriot, one who supported Governor Dapo Abiodun’s aspiration because he wanted progress for his community. He does not care whether or not the governor is making life better for the people: his god is his belly. It is certainly unfortunate for the author of the acerbic piece to say that he worked for the governor but was not compensated. Apparently he is one of those people who believe that public office is an opportunity to enrich oneself. Our writer appeals to corruptive tendencies throughout his piece of sophistry. He says that the governor ought to have shared the finances of the state out as political largesse.

There is no part of the world where a governor can employ all the people who worked for him, and it says something about the character of the author that he was not considered for any appointment. More important, governance is about service to the people and not political gratification. It is about meeting the expectations of the populace whose very survival depends on politicians fulfilling campaign promises. Any governor who wishes to make a change must look for people who are qualified, competent and with track record: people who share the same vision and can help in actualizing specific targets. Thus, whereas the governor could not have stopped anyone from supporting or voting for him, it would be foolhardy for him to turn public office into an all-comers’ affair, what the Yoruba call “iru wa, ogiri wa.” It is not denied that some people may feel that their interests were not adequately taken care of, as they were given lesser positions than they desired. But the point is that like the Biblical parable on talents illustrates, people who utilize the little positions given to them effectively, honestly and diligently stand a chance to eventually get bigger positions. Talents properly utilized will always. If truly the writer is a party person, there are legitimate avenues for ventilating his grievances, to which he is certainly entitled. But he chose to dance in the market square of social media because his intentions are not pure; because his motive is perverse and because he has no sense of self-worth.

It is instructive that “Dr Quadri Ola” has not accused Governor Abiodun of non-performance: the evidence of critical and effective interventions in the lives of the Ogun people is weighty and palpable. He did not accuse the governor of cornering the wealth of the Ogun people for himself. His grouse is political patronage. He lacked the courage to use his own surname bit crafted a pseudonym to mask his pernicious objectives, casting aspersions on the integrity of the governor. His entitlement mentality is beyond compare. He should be ignored.

* Mr Ahmed writes from Odogbolu, Ogun State

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