The once healthy relationship between former Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and one of his close allies, Lekan Mustapha, a lawmaker representing Ogun East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has been torn apart by political ambition of another former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
When Mustapha was pursuing his ambition to represent Ogun East Senatorial District in the National Assembly in 2019, Amosun was instrumental to his emergence as the consensus candidate of the All Progressives Party. After winning at the poll, Mustapha remained loyal to his benefactor.
Trouble started when, in a bizarre twist, Amosun decided to support Daniel’s aspiration for the same elective position for which Mustapha is seeking re-election.
The development did not go down well with Mustapha, who apparently had informed Amosun of his decision to seek re-election and received his blessings. Recall that Amosun and Daniel were at daggers drawn all through the former’s tenure as Ogun governor.
The bone of contention was Daniel’s multi-billion naira conference hotel situated somewhere in the state, which Amosun had kept under lock and key, while accusing Daniel of using state resources to build it. But following an agreement with the current governor of the state, Dapo Abiodun, which saw Daniel quitting as the Director-General of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation and switching allegiance to Abiodun with only a few weeks left to the general election, it became obvious that his (Daniel) hotel would be returned to him if he (Daniel) helped Abiodun to win the election with his loyalists.
A few weeks after he was sworn in, Abiodun kept his own side of the deal. But in another shocking development, Daniel has now joined forces with Amosun to unseat Abiodun and deny him a second term. Both men are already hatching a plan to have their anointed candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, a former governorship candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement in the state, to replace Abiodun.
One may wonder where and how things went wrong between Abiodun and Daniel. The cause of the cold war between both of them is a power plant valued at N9 billion. Daniel had purchased the power plant during his tenure in 2003. He imported equipment for the installation of the plant, which purpose was to generate power independently to Ogun. But the project was abandoned and the equipment allowed to rot away after he handed over power to Amosun.
The abandoned project became a dent on Daniel’s image and that of his administration. Having aligned with Abiodun, he had hoped that the incumbent governor would help to redeem his image and clear the controversy the power project had generated in the state.
When Abiodun failed to resuscitate the project, Daniel was disappointed. He felt betrayed and decided to pay Abiodun in his own coins by working against his re-election bid. This prompted him to join forces with Amosun who wrecked the project in the first instance by not continuing with it and even punished him further by seizing his hotel.
Amosun and Daniel’s plan may likely succeed as Abiodun is currently battling to save his political career, what with APC threatening to disqualify aspirants who refuse to divulge previous criminal histories.
Abiodun was accused of forgery, credit card theft, and other criminal offenses by the City of Miami Police Department in the United States after it filed criminal charges against him in 1986. Despite lying under oath to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the embattled governor claimed that his detention was insufficient ground for his disqualification by the ruling All Progressives Congress.