It is no longer news that the current president of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was never the Ogun State governor’s choice during the All Progressive Congress’ presidential primary election held in Abuja, in which the former eventually emerged victorious despite all odds.
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The former president, Muhammadu Buhari, knew, and there was hardly nobody that wasn’t aware that Dapo Abiodun’s preferred candidate was the former vice president, Yemi Osinbajo.
Asiwaju Tinubu, then as presidential aspirant also knew.
During the flag-off of his presidential campaign in Abeokuta, Tinubu directed a pointed accusation at Abiodun, emphasising the instrumental role he played in the governor’s ascent to power.
Addressing Abiodun as “eleyi” (meaning ‘this one’ in Yoruba), Tinubu questioned the loyalty of the Ogun State governor, hinting at a sense of betrayal.
Watch the video below.
@freelanews Watch the historical speech of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu before election (Part 4) #foryou #trending #naijapolitics #tiktoknaija ♬ original sound – OtunbaVictor – Freelanews
Why did then presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Tinubu, make such a pointing accusation? Was he right to call out Abiodun and reminded him how he saved him from the hands of his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, when the latter was hell bent against his ambition?
Then as the party’s national leader, Tinubu insisted that Abiodun should be given the chance to govern the Gateway state. In the video, he categorically stated, “Dapo couldn’t have became a governor if not for me.”
Tinubu’s influence in Nigerian politics is undeniable. From supporting Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential bid to championing Yemi Osinbajo as the vice president, Tinubu’s political acumen has shaped the nation’s leadership.
No wonder, Tinubu sounded pained and betrayed during his infamous speech in Abeokuta on June 3, 2022 and pointed at Dapo saying ‘eleyi to jo ko leyin mi yi …’.
Let’s quickly run through why Tinubu said so and what happened back then.
During Osinbajo’s visit to the state to consult stakeholders of the APC on his decision to run for president in the 2023 general election, Abiodun publicly acknowledged the former vice president’s significant role in securing his victory during the 2019 gubernatorial election.
He said this when they arrived the palace of Babatunde Ajayi, the Akarigbo of Remoland on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
As reported by the Cable, the Ogun governor claimed Osinbajo’s academic qualifications as well as his pedigree serving as vice-president make him the best candidate for the presidency.
Read his full statement below.
“On behalf of the people, the government of your home state, we are indeed very grateful for all that you did to ensure that there was fairness, equity and level-playing field in that contest that saw us to the government house. God gave us the glory; God gave us the victory despite all odds,” he said.
“Your excellency, your antecedents speak for itself. Ideally, you should just come here and wave to us and go. But you have taken time to remind us of where you have come from, what you have been.
“You are an illustrious son, not just of Remoland but of Nigeria, and one that we are indeed very proud of. On behalf of all of us gathered here today, of which I represent them as a son of Remoland, your antecedents speak for itself.
“If becoming president is by qualification, you’ve earned it. You are in office today as the vice-president of Nigeria. You’ve been in office for seven years. You’ve served your boss meritoriously. You are mature in this office. You’ve demonstrated capacity and capability.
“If presidency is by way of an award, we will just gather here today and will award it to you. However, it isn’t an award; it’s a contest. We do not have a doubt in our minds that with your pedigree, the Lord Almighty that we all serve and that you also serve, will grant you the desires of your heart.
“As we stand here today, I make bold to say that your state is the industrial capital of this country; we are the religious capital of this country. God answers our prayers quickly in Ogun state. The Almighty God has answered your prayer. We will be with you, stand by you, and give you that support.”
Abiodun didn’t stop there as his attempt at sabotaging the current president’s chances at the polls continued even after Tinubu won the APC primary.
On October 16, 2022, Abiodun queried civil servants for attending a pro-Tinubu rally.
Some civil servants in the state claimed that they were handed queries for attending a rally organised to promote candidates of the All Progressives Congress including its presidential flag bearer Bola Tinubu.
On October 2, an indefinite embargo was placed on political campaigns by APC candidates, a move targeting an empowerment programme organised in Sagamu. A rally, where Wale Edun, now minister of Finance and other top associates of Tinubu drummed up support for the presidential candidate, did not go down well with the governor especially as many party stalwarts disregarded the governor’s directive to stay away from the event.
Though political campaigns for the 2023 general elections had officially commenced according to INEC timetable as at that time, Abiodun, who is the state coordinator for the Tinubu presidential campaign failed to constitute a campaign committee in the state nor roll out campaign schedule as at when due.
Thrice the PBAT’s presidential campaign in the state was scheduled and cancelled until PBAT eventually braced the odds himself supported by the resilience and determination of the Tinubu/Shettima Grassroots Independent Campaign Council (TSGIC) to dare to come without the Governor’s approval.
Students of political science are taking notes on how this political game would play out and how disloyalty would be addressed.