Of Daniel and the ludicrous letters – By Seyi Bakare
THIS, it seems, is the season of propaganda by the lieutenants of Chief Gbenga Daniel, a former governor of Ogun State and senator representing Ogun East in the Red Chamber. The target is Governor Dapo Abiodun, and the aim is to paint him black and robe the senator in spotless white. The essay, “An open letter to Prince Dapo Abiodun,” written by one Kazeem Adenuga, an entity who claims, for strategic reasons of course, to be “from Iperu,” Governor Abiodun’s home town, is just one out of many darts aimed at the governor. The plot, in case you have missed the memo, is to suggest that even the governor’s flesh and blood are berating him on behalf of Daniel, a politician versed in the art of treachery.
Our writer, “an indigene of Iperu, a member of the APC and someone privileged to know to some extent, the relationship between you and the former Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD),” wants the world to believe that Daniel it was who had “deployed his political structures to support” Governor Abiodun’s “gubernatorial race which”, he says, was “narrowly won with 19,517 votes to beat Adekunle Akinlade, then, of APM.” Hence, “if the OGD’s supports (sic) in Ogun East were to be discounted, no doubt, you couldn’t have become the Governor of Ogun State.”
Just so we are clear, the writer, even if he lacks the courage to use his real surname, has not been appointed the spokesperson of Iperu people, and certainly does not represent the enlightened, politically savvy and culturally rooted people who inhabit that ancient locus. He is just an errand boy of a well-known promoter of dark and devious courses. To be sure, it takes mental decay and utter lack of integrity for anyone to claim, without batting an eyelid, that it was Daniel who assisted Governor Abiodun to win election, that the governor is fighting the same Daniel, and that he would not have won without Daniel. Our elders say even if you are sent the errand of a slave, you deliver it like a freeborn. It is certainly better, as Abraham Lincoln once quipped, to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
It is such a pity that the media handlers of Daniel and their principal like to dress themselves in borrowed robes; to give themselves unearned importance in the political space. It is as if in Ogun politics, there is no one else but Daniel. If you give them the opportunity, they may even say that it was their principal who won election for Bisi Onabanjo of blessed memory; for Segun Osoba or even their principal’s arch nemesis, Ibikunle Amosun. They like to daydream and turn facts upside down just to satisfy their whims. We are not surprised because that is their stock in trade. They are professional fabricators and minters of lies. They lie recklessly and without any thought for tomorrow.
The government Daniel ran between 2003 and 2011 was noted for propaganda, lies and bigotry. Those who followed Ogun politics during that inglorious era would know the political temperature then. How Mr Governor lost credibility among the people and even the legislature is well known, including how members of the state House of Assembly were made to swear allegiances in their birthday suits! It is indeed an era better forgotten! It was a time when, for a long period, the legislators could not even sit in the hallowed chambers. It was no wonder, then, that when election time came in 2011, the sitting governor lacked the capacity to nominate a successor. The PDP having been hijacked from his hands, he had to go and borrow another party for his preferred candidate to run on. How ridiculous that somebody who could not install a successor as sitting governor is now being said to have installed Governor Dapo Abiodun long after his days in the political wilderness! How shameless these political imps can be!
If not that these people like to peddle lies as a vocation, how could they have forgotten that Daniel was in PDP until few days to the gubernatorial election in 2019 and was, in fact, the South-West coordinator of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Committee? Daniel identified with Dapo Abiodun just three days before the election and, in that election, he (Abiodun) lost in Daniel’s ward. Thankfully, though, he won across the state and was declared the fifth democratically elected governor of the Gateway State. Yet in their usual character, Daniel and his lieutenants wanted to take credit for the governor’s election. During the eight years of Amosun, they were in the political wilderness, but now they want to claim glory for themselves. Within that period, if Daniel was so powerful, why was his senatorial ambition consistently defeated by Buruji Kashamu? How did Kashamu wrest the PDP political structure within the state from his control, if he was the political titan that he is now being touted to be? What has given him relevance now, beyond Governor Abiodun’s magnanimity and the demise of Kashamu?
In moving to APC, Daniel indeed played a strategic game. He came to APC alone and retained his supporters in PDP. The plan was for those individuals to start hauling stones into the APC house from outside the fold. When you look at all those supporting him, they are not APC members. It is an incontrovertible fact that Daniel deliberately worked against the governor, who helped him get the Ogun East senatorial ticket following the intervention of the Awujale of Ijebuland. The ticket would have been given to the then incumbent senator, Lekan Mustapha. After reportedly being given electoral logistics by Governor Abiodun, Daniel still went ahead and banded with the opposition in order to undercut his benefactor and ruin his governorship ambition. Yet during his own election, he had received the governor’s full support. How could an aspirant without any structure in Ogun APC have won the ticket without Governor Abiodun’s support?
The revisionism by Daniel and his lackeys won’t cut it. Their principal’s place in history has been firmly fixed in the chapter on perfidy, and no amount of deodorization can alter his fate. Undercutting whoever helped him, whether it is Bola Tinubu or Olusegun Obasanjo, is his forte. These “open letters” only reveal the dark souls of the hack and hired writers peddling them and their principal whose black record is known nationally.
Bakare sent this piece through [email protected]