As the scheming and lobbying for slots in the cabinet of Ogun Governor-Elect, Prince Dapo Abiodun, intensifies, the game has fallen within the rank of major power brokers in the state. Damilola Adelesi, in this piece, analyses the intrigues and power plays that will determine the cabinet of the incoming administration in Ogun State. Read on…
The All Progressives Congress national leader and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is believed to be the brain behind the realization of Dapo Abiodun’s governorship ambition. The political stalwart had initially tipped the Lagos-West Senator, Senator Solomon Adeola for the apex seat of power in Ogun State but later withdrew, leaving the game to Dapo Abiodun. According to sources within the camp, Tinubu is believed to have influenced the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and the powers that be at the federal level to ensure Dapo Abiodun clinched the governorship ticket of APC in Ogun state.
Having sacrificed much at ensuring the success of Dapo Abiodun at the polls, feelers revealed that Bola Tinubu holds the ace at determining who and who makes the cabinet of Dapo Abiodun’s incoming government.
Yemi Osinbajo is the Vice President of Nigeria, who just won his return ticket to work with President Mohammadu Buhari in his second term. Osinbajo, who hails from Ikenne-Remo area of Ogun State, was the field captain for Dapo Abiodun’s governorship campaign. Osinbajo hails from same Local Government as Dapo Abiodun and he led aggressive campaigns, deploying his federal influence, to ensure the emergence of Prince Dapo Abiodun.
It is also being rumoured that Osinbajo is nursing presidential ambition in 2023 after the expiration of his boss, Buhari’s tenure. Based on this, political pundits are saying he worked hard for Dapo in order to set a soft ground and build support in Ogun State for his rumoured 2023 ambition.
Akinrogun Olusegun Osoba is a former governor of Ogun State between 1999 and 2003. Osoba is one of the founding members of APC in Ogun State and has contributed massively to the success of the party in the state. Although he went on a brief sojourn to Social Democratic Party (SDP) during the 2015 polls, he later found his way back into the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In the buildup to Dapo Abiodun’s emergence as APC governorship candidate in the state, Osoba played a participatory by deploying his political structure and ensuring that his loyalists supported Dapo to boost his rating during the campaigns.
Osoba, however, is said to have a plan to make one of his subjects the state’s House of Assembly Speaker including other major seats in Dapo Abiodun’s cabinet.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel is the another former governor of Ogun State with high stakes in deciding the next government’s cabinet and fixing his loyalists in Dapo Abiodun’s cabinet. The two-term governor under the umbrella of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also doubles as the Director-General of Atiku Abubakar for President Campaign under PDP. Otunba Gbenga Daniel publicly endorsed Dapo Abiodun for governor, despite the political differences and the fact that his party was the main opposition in the election. Daniel deployed his team and structure across the state to work for the victory of All Progressives Congress at the governorship polls.
Gbenga Daniel’s allies were considered in the compilation of transition and inauguration lists for Dapo Abiodun, meaning Daniel will be a vital participant in deciding Dapo Abiodun’s cabinet.
Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, GNI as famously called, was the candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 governorship polls in Ogun State. Isiaka, a former ally of Otunba Gbenga Daniel, was the Peoples Democratic Party standard-bearer in 2011, and ADC in 2015. Gboyega Isiaka is a technocrat, who has engraved his name in the minds of every Ogun State citizen. Isiaka was rumoured to have been in talks with Allied Peoples Movement (APM) in the build-up to 2019 governorship election which was not concluded. Regardless of his loss at the polls, coming a distant third, Gboyega Isiaka was among the first set of people who visited Dapo Abiodun at his Iperu residence to congratulate him. There were speculations that Isiaka played a spoiler role to ensure Adekunle Akinlade of APM didn’t garner the bulk of votes from Ogun-West against the candidacy of Dapo Abiodun, who hails from Ogun-East.
Gboyega Isiaka was announced as one of the members of Dapo Abiodun’s transition committee, with his loyalists surfacing in various work groups. Isiaka is assumed to be yet another factor that will contribute to the emergence of who and who in Abiodun’s cabinet.
Senator Solomon Adeola is the Senator representing Lagos-West Senatorial District at the Red Chamber of National Assembly. Solomon Adeola, popularly known as ‘Yayi’ was an aspirant who gave a fierce fight at ensuring he gets the APC governorship ticket in Ogun State but met a stiff resistance from the incumbent Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who regarded him as ‘Tekobo’ meaning ‘Lagos Returnee.’
Adeola seemed determined, but was later recalled to Lagos to take another shot at his Lagos-West Senatorial seat.
Having handed over his structure and political loyalists to Dapo Abiodun, Adeola is believed to be a factor in the fixing of Dapo Abiodun’s cabinet.
Also, it is rumoured that Solomon Adeola has basically requested for the inclusion of his core loyalists in the government of Dapo Abiodun to give him a safe landing ahead of his rumoured future governorship ambition.