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Ogun West: History And The Waiting Game

Opinion:

By Ola Oluwaseun

The sentiment that history repeats aspires to common sense and is simply hard to disagree with. History really does repeat itself.

As George Santayana rightly said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

This reminds me of Yewa people of Ogun State, Nigeria, who are once again divided as the people of Ogun State elect a leader to govern the affairs of the gateway state on Saturday, March 18, 2023.

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has presented himself for reelection. He has also assured the people of Yewaland of his  support for their aspiration after his second term in office. Hence, some believe Yewa should hold on with their quest, allow the incumbent run and look forward to his support in 2027.

This view is also backed by the seemingly uphill task of contesting against an incumbent.

The Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba (Dr.) Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle supports this view. “By the grace of God in 2027, our son will be the next governor of Ogun State. But now, let us all work for the governor to win his second term ticket and then work for our son to emerge in 2027.

“Our son will also do two terms by the grace of God”, Oba Olugbenle submitted while speaking on the agitations for power rotation to the region.

Notwithstanding the foregoing view, the 2023 Guber contest features a candidate from Yewaland, Barr. Biyi Otegbeye. As said in some quarters, divine Providence has gifted Yewaland a rare opportunity of having a single candidate.

The Ilaro-born Insurance guru is the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC). As a philanthropist and community activist, Otegbeye is a household name.

At the age of 29, he founded Regency Insurance Company Limited and led it to the capital market to become a publicly quoted company in 2007.

As a student of History, the call for the zone to jettison the current electoral cycle and wait for four more years before contesting again is clearly absurd. While the proponents of this view seem to be banking on the support of the incumbent in 2027, history shows that no sitting Governor has ever successfully installed a governor since the Fourth Republic began. If this is the case, so why the waiting game?

In 2011 and 2015, Gboyega Isiaka lost to former Governor Ibikunle Amosun, despite being backed by the then governor, Gbenga Daniel. Likewise, Hon. Akinlade lost to the incumbent Governor Dapo Abiodun in 2019, even with the support of Senator Amosun. So why wait on Prince Dapo Abiodun when Barr. Biyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) is the only Yewa son in the race?

Come 2027, expect multiple candidates from Ogun West.

One must also consider the Egba whom, as at 2027, would have been out of power for eight (8) years. The proponents of the waiting game need to ask themselves, “Will the Egbas wait?”

In all, I put it to you that until Ogun West claims the Oke-Mosan seat, it is always West O’Clock.

The waiting game failed in 2015; and with the Egbas at the sidelines, the waiting game only seals a second term for the incumbent with no guarantee of Yewa succession.

The ‘Waiting Gamers’ should desist from causing confusion. While they enjoy freedom of choice, their freedom should not and cannot be built on the aspiration of a people as a whole.

Barr. Biyi Otegbeye deserves Yewa votes on Saturday, March 18; 2023, and for the sake of prosperity and equity, he deserves votes from every part of Ogun State.

Equity should be served at every opportunity given, not a thing of years to come.

Again, it is West O’Clock, and Ogun West should grab the opportunity, apparently to break the 47years jinx of not being able to rule Ogun State, since it’s creation!

*Ola Oluwaseun writes from Abeokuta, Ogun State.

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