Political activities in Ogun State have taken the front burner since Senator Ibikunle Amosun (SIA) declared his total support for Barrister Biyi Otegbeye (BOT), the Gubernatorial Candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC), in the 2023 elections. Amosun, who is the immediate past Governor of the State, broke his silence last week on who he intends to support. Amosun who represents Ogun Central Senatorial district in the National Assembly expressed his support for Otegbeye while speaking on BBC Yoruba programme which was monitored by NigerianEcho last week. Amosun said he has thrown his support behind Otegbeye in the next election. This pronouncement appears to have caused some panic within the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC )circle and the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has reacted saying he would not be deterred by the move.
Amosun has shown an uncommon consistency and unwavering commitment to ensure the emergence of a Governor of Yewa-Awori extraction. Since the creation of Ogun State in 1976, no one from Ogun West, which is populated by Yewa-Awori people, has been elected Governor while the position has been rotated between the other two Senatorial districts, Ogun East and Ogun Central.
In 2019, Amosun threw his weight behind Mr. Adekunle Akinlade, who was edged out of the APC after winning the gubernatorial ticket of the party. He later contested on the platform of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM). Akinlade who is from Ogun West lost to the incumbent Governor with less than 20,000 votes. By supporting Otegbeye, Amosun, again is proving that his support for Ogun West in 2019 was genuine.
Amosuns’s decision to support Otegbeye, an accomplished lawyer and a successful chartered Insurer with a Masters degree in Finance Management, has been described as an attempt to revive a culture of excellence in leadership that Ogun State is known for. Commentators have insisted that Ogun State at the moment lacks a political leadership that reflects her exceptional history.
Amosun who holds a Masters degree in International Finance from University of Westminster is an associate member of chartered institute of Taxation and is also a chartered accountant. His impressive resume reflects a tradition known with past Governors of Ogun State.
Chief Olabisi Onabanjo who was Governor between 1979 and 1984 studied Journalism from Regent Street Polytechnic, United kingdom.
Aremo Olusegun Osoba who was also Governor in 1992 and 1999 had a diploma in journalism from University of Lagos. He also studied journalism at Indiana University. Osoba later went for his postgraduate studies in journalism at Harvard University..He is the first Nigerian to win the prestigious Nieman fellowship in journalism.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD) was Governor between 2003 and 2011. He studied Engineering at University of Lagos and has an MBA. OGD later studied Advanced Engineering in Finland and he is a fellow of the Nigeria society of Engineers.
Speaking with NigerianEcho, Chief Olawale Adebajo who is a social commentator from Odogbolu, noted that Amosun has done well by supporting Otegbeye who is a man of high integrity.
“Former Governors of the State have verifiable educational background unlike Governor Abiodun whose educational background is enmeshed in controversies. In 2015, Abiodun claimed he graduated from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University. However, in 2019, he said he did not graduate from the same institution.
“If discipline and dogged determination had a face, it would be SIA and BOT. The two have shown levels of resilience, courage and persistence in their political career.
“Without doubt, Amosun has shown a great level of courage and conviction in aligning with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s unity agenda. Since Otegbeye’s ADC party recently suspended and expelled its Presidential Candidate, this move has given Otegbeye a reason to show a total support for Tinubu just as Amosu. The three chords are complete with Tinubu in the centre: Tinubu, Amosun and Otegbeye”, Adebajo noted
Comparing the harmony between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with that of Amosun and BOT, Adebajo said in them Ogun people have found men of honour.
“The way Osinbajo and Buhari have managed their faith devoid of religious rancour can be likened to the chord that binds Amosun and Otegbeye. The former are bound by unity of faith. Same value system also binds Amosun and Otegbeye, irrespective of their actual stance. Their synergy is dynamic in its diversity.
“The good people of Ogun State have found favour in the sight of God with the gift of Asiwaju, Amosun and Otegbeye, an alliance that will become political thematic for further studies. These patriots are genuine loyalists: their commitment to people and to a good cause does not depend on favours or benefits. Amosun’s support for Otegbeye is solely because he has seen what others have not seen: a fertile land who is ready to serve the people of Ogun State. This coalition and affinity are examples of unity of purpose.
“This unexpected decision is still causing some uproar in Ogun State, owing from SIA’s known affection for Adekunle Akinlade. Since the latter defected to PDP and SIA decided to take his hands off the political wheels of Akinlade and people began reflecting on the connecting dot between SIA and BOT, the glaring similarities between these two no doubt, must have led to this unanticipated political marriage”, Adebajo concluded.