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Dapo Abiodun’s Abuja “Valedictory” Service And Crass Profligacy — Johnson Shodunke



Mr. Dapo Abiodun

On Dapo Abiodun’s ′valedictory’ service and crass profligacy; “wetin Musa eye no go see for gate” is a common Nigerian anecdote which speaks the idea of a gateman who has to attend to all manners of visitors and requests. As comical as that sounds though, there are as many disconcerting and discomforting narratives in the Nigeria public space, especially on the political podium, some of which recalls the “Musa” allegory of odious representation.

I stumbled on a trending video on the social media shortly after the Supreme Court sat and reserved judgement on the Ogun State election petition appeal where the Governor of Ogun State, Mr. Dapo Abiodun and a regimen of state political actors which include his deputy, Commissioners and leaders of some state transport workers union, all gathered in a pensive mood, tired, weary and pitiful singing the dirge which recalls a “Valedictory” service of a forlorn hope in a lost battle. It was clear all is not well.

A few days earlier, I had seen another trending trending image of Mr. Dapo Abiodun handing over the baton of what looks like the bag of corruption to the delectable now suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Betta Edu. Some had wittily inscribed that the very beautiful was indeed Betta inside and outside until she had the unlucky chanced meeting with the Ogun State Governor. The cut lines to the images suggest that Betta Edu’s misfortunes ran the day she met Abiodun in the line of duty.

When I was growing up, elders believed that ‘Olugbodi’, referring to the people with “sixth” fingers usually carry luck around with them. It is not uncommon for traders to always want them to be their first patron even if they (the traders) will have to part with the money for the purchase. Some will require Olugbodi to tap the tip of their trays or baskets, it goes with the same understanding that ‘Aje’ (success in business) is already invoked.

On the reverse side of this, there are some people who many run away from. The assumption is that some people should not be the first to be seen early in the day. Such people are believed to bring misfortunes and calamities upon the person who is so unlucky to encounter them at that spiritual hour. If by mistake you did, the advice is that you go back to bed and pretend to sleep and wake up again so that you can encounter the good man that will brighten your day. Could it have been that Betta Edu shook the wrong hand too early in the day when she got appointed? What was in the basket of (mis)fortunes that must have been handed to her by the Ogun State helmsman when she visited. She really has my deep sympathy for a crime I know she did not commit or innocently committed.

The “valedictory” service video which was released by Mr. Dapo Abiodun media aide and uploaded to the social media was meant as a reaction to another trending news story about the Governor’s whereabouts as the verdict of the Supreme Court awaits; the story had imported that the Governor left the state that he was meant to govern out of desperation and with a mandate to all his political beneficiaries to also go out scouting for help and support against the impending loss at the Supreme Court. The story suggests that Mr. Abiodun and his Commissioners and any member of his government who wants to keep his or her job went on Absence Without Leave (AWOL), grinding the state machine to a halt.

In response to the trending news story, Mr. Abiodun and his team declared a Prayer Parade in Abuja and they were so bold to even upload same on the social media. As far as they were concerned, that was their own strategy to say the Governor is not missing on duty. The Deputy Chief of Staff who led the Prayer warriors even alluded to the story and inadvertently confirmed that the gathering was a circus show, not in solitude conversation with God but a dramatic display from the Ogun State Political Arts Theatre, featuring Dapo Abiodun as a Lead Actor.

Related News:

Now read this: The Ogun State delegation on parade in Abuja include: Mr. Dapo Abiodun; his deputy, Noimot Salako Oyedele; present and former Speakers of the Ogun State House of Assembly; present and former members of the House of Representatives; Members of the Ogun State House of Assembly; several State Commissioners; the Secretary to the Ogun State Government and de facto Governor and Vice Governor, Tokunbo Talabi; Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor; Chairmen of Local Government Councils; Chairman of Ogun State

APC; National Executive members of APC from Ogun State; Members of APC State Executives; Members of APC Local Government Executives; former and present Chairmen and Members of Statutory Boards and Parastatals; Special Advisers; Senior Special Assistants; Special Assistants, former and present Governor’s Liaison Officers (Former) and a retinue of Personal Assistants, security officers and members of the Governors office media.

Others include; National Presidents and State Executive Members of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW); Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN); Motorcycle and Tricycles Riders Unions (ACCOMORAN AMORAN, MOUN & ROMO)

Let us assume, without conceding, that the news story actually misrepresented the whereabouts of the Governor and his team, a checklist of all these people who have led their duty posts in Ogun State did confirm that the state machine has been grounded in Ogun State. This coupled with the fact that Mr. Abiodun has been seen more often around President Tinubu in Abuja than the amount of time he spent in Ogun State in the last couple of months. And this is coming barely a week after President Tinubu in his wisdom decided to cut down on official travel expenditures (local and foreign) by 60%, Mr. Abiodun moved his entire government seat of power to Abuja with costs of feeding, accommodation, air transport fare and “mobilisation fee” all expenses on Ogun State tax payers. It shows how insensitive Mr. Abiodun is to the plight of workers in their thousands who are being owed salaries, pensions and cooperative deductions. But, of course, this is the New Ogun State, prayerfully to be short lived for the benefits of all.

Johnson Shodunke, writes from Ago Oko in Abeokuta.

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