Ogun APC Congress And The Limit Of A Ruler’s Interference

The feats achieved by the Prince Dapo Abiodun administration since inception on May 29 2019 point clearly to the need for indigenes and residents to work together in taking the state to the Promise Land.

This spirit of togetherness becomes even more vital in view of Prince Dapo Abiodun’s honest call to all to work hand in hand in actualising the plans he had for the state.

Where challenges could have caused derailment along the way, especially with the unforeseen circumstances occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic which saw Ogun State become the index case for the deadly virus in February 2020, Prince rose to the challenge so admirably that he made Ogun State the standard bearer for the five other South West states as well as several other states to follow with regard to efficient response.

Despite the extreme focus on Covid-19 and its effects, however, Prince Abiodun did not lose focus on other key aspects of governance, like agriculture, education, information technology, tourism, infrastructure and general well-being of the people.

Of particular interest to Prince Abiodun since 2019 has been the state’s traditional institutions and, aside improving on the lot of the royal fathers far more than he met them, he has never failed to let them know that he holds them in the highest esteem as he is always ready to carry them along in administering the state.

Based on the verifiable premise above, it is expected that the traditional rulers would also reciprocate the Governor’s unprecedented gesture in a one good turn deserves another manner. In the light of the above, the decision of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Okukenu IV, to grant the use of the Ake Palace grounds to the splinter All Progressives Congress group led by the immediate past Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to host an illegal state party congress on October 16, 2021 is most unfortunate and unacceptable. For the avoidance of doubt, the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja had resolved that only the congress elections held inside the main bowl of the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta on October 16, where Prince Abiodun and other party faithful were gathered, will be regarded as valid State Congress in Ogun State. The monarch would not have been unaware of the resolve by the party’s national Headquarters. That he still recognised the splinter group says a lot about his lack of neutrality in the very needless political crisis that has threatened the cohesion of APC in Ogun State over the past two years.

Where a traditional ruler should unite warring factions in the state with the sole aim of engendering positive development, Oba Gbadebo has demonstrated his bias for one party in a dispute to the detriment of genuine progress. This is disheartening, to say the very least, in view of the prominent position that the monarch occupies in the state. It is also capable of elongating the friction in the party. Indeed, had Oba Gbadebo maintained his neutrality, the unfortunate incident of October 16 that led to the Ake Palace venue of the illegal congress being cordoned off by Police officers believed to be from the Ogun State Police Command and officers of the Department of the State Security Services while Oba Gbadebo was in the palace on a day he was scheduled to instal Chief Toyin Amuzu as the Asiwaju Leragun Egba at the palace, which constituted assault on the traditional institution, would have been avoided. But, as a responsible leader, Prince Abiodun would not have folded his arms and allowed the state slip into anarchy by the illegal action being perpetrated by Amosun. The confusion that resulted from the monarch’s bias has brought the state to avoidable national embarrassment with both party factions presenting different executives.

Ironically, the Alake, while receiving members of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) in his palace in July this year, sensitised other royal fathers across the state to remain neutral with contestants in elections in the state, remarking that their neutrality was vital to the entrenching of democratic values for the overall interest of Ogun State. He also stressed that their neutrality would help the state to eschew violence and embrace peace during and after elections. The very least that would have been expected of the respected First Class monarch was to break his own neutrality at a time he should have appreciated the limit of interference and encouraged the unity of APC in the state.

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