News Analysis: Ogun State 2019, War Has Just Started!

News Analysis: Ogun State 2019, War Has Just Started!

Thursday, December 20, 2018 11:57 am

Gov. Amosun


By Wale Adedayo

Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, should storm Abeokuta afresh with troops of his newly adopted Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) in support of Adekunle Akinlade today. And the governor is rolling out big using every available war chest at his disposal – money, boys and closeness to Mr. President.

Each of the 236 Wards in Ogun State has a minimum of N500,000 for mobilisation, sending bus loads of 150 APC members to support the public presentation of the APM governorship candidate. The about 35,400 being mobilised with N118,000,000 should send a clear message to the foot-dragging national leadership of APC that Mr. Governor means business.

But with deft handling, APC can still snatch victory from the jaws of imminent defeat by outsmarting APM. Indications suggest that officials of the Ogun State Government are doing everything possible to frustrate the APC candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun. Billboards are not being allowed in loads of places. Even centres earlier designated for campaigns have not been approved. ‘Boys’ are waiting to ‘deck’ APC members, especially the leaders once they troop out to campaign.

I will never blame Amosun for any of these. The blame should go to the APC leadership, who naively believed appeasement could work. They had no Plan B. Or the one they have remain among those used in the First and Second Republics, thus analogue, not digital responses. Already, they are complaining about how Amosun is treating them, as if the man will just allow them to have their way.

From my Political Telescope, one can see that APC’ll win the first election, President and National Assembly. Both APM and APC members’ll vote for the same tickets in most places. There’ll be confusion in certain places, no doubt. This is where APM has a few National Assembly candidates. The confusion will take a few votes off the ballots from President Muhammadu Buhari’s tally too.

Why? Many voters who are loyal to APC and are being pressured to vote APM by Amosun will certainly make mistakes. Votes will be voided. But on the average, APC will most likely carry the day in those places with quality APM National Assembly candidates IF deft handling by the APC organisers are applied. Digital handling of the current challenges should assist APC, because till date the party has been reacting and on the defensive side.

Right now, the fear of violence is real. And, across Ogun Central Senatorial District, APM holds the key. The average voter either keeps away from voting or vote for the party with quality ‘Stalwarts’ (thugs), which APM has in abundance. APC needs to work on that angle, because it is not a job for the Police. The law enforcement agents will not be there when doors are being knocked at night – Awon omo oru laa se’ka are fully on ground!

Yes, the NWC has dissolved the state structure of the party. But that is coming too late in the day. Every avenue for a politician at the lowest level to make money remains in Amosun’s hands. And, patronage is the name of the game in politics. The Ogun State House of Assembly that should have been deployed against him almost two months ago continue to be treated with disdain by the same APC leaders fighting Amosun.

Meanwhile, from Day One, the Mushin slogan – Ija wa, Ija o si, always Guarding – should have been the watch word of the APC leaders up in arms against Amosun and his APM. Sadly, it appears Amosun understands the game better than them. Till date, he is very free to do as he pleases, continually poking fun at the party that gave him office. He has The Presidency behind him, no doubt about that. But once that scenario changes, IF it is not already too late, things might pick up for the APC.

The Ogun State APC leaders, who are not in Amosun’s camp ought to have known that without Presidential backing, in our kind of democracy, there is very little you can do against a sitting Governor, who does not have challenges with his legislators. If all should go well today, Akinlade might supplant GNI as the governorship candidate with the largest following.

But this one na Act 1, Scene 2. Things might still happen. But it is getting late for APC already!

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