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Femi Ogbonnikan: Dissecting OGD, Wale Adedayo’s Attacks On Gov Abiodun



Ogun is one of the states in Nigeria where there is always an intriguing but continuous play of adversarial power politics. So much intriguing that one often begins to wonder what politics means to some people and what they intend to achieve by their desperation for power. Over time, this has kept my minds busy searching for the right answer.

Fortunately, stumbled on this rightful submission by Ernest Benn, who aptly summarised “Politics as the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy.”

And so recently, as I was cringingly reading with an incredible sense of loss the shocking story of Wale Adedayo, the impeached former chairman of Ijebu East Local Government, accusing Governor Dapo Abiodun of diversion of funds belonging to local governments in the state, what readily came to my mind was the eternal wisdom of this American political scientist in putting together this beautiful and intriguingly interesting definition. No others like it. It is a practical characterization of the immaturity, irrationality, and eccentricity of an average Nigerian politician. I, therefore, immediately came to the conclusion that, indeed, irrationality is another name for power politics. Of course, depending on the character, pedigree, and integrity of the individuals involved, when it comes to power acquisition, most politicians are generally irrational, immature, and sometimes myopic in their thinking. Wittingly and unwittingly, they will commit a blunder and expect the world to queue behind them. Here, I single out Adedayo and former governor Gbenga Danial as a case study.

Since Adedayo’s story broke, I have tried, times and again, to dissect the motive behind his allegation, paradoxically, the more I tried to look the less I see. For me, his case is confusingly confusing. It looks more like a tale by the moonlight. It simply doesn’t add up. On one hand, he claimed that the funds were being diverted. He said they had zero allocation.

Granted! But where did he get the money he allegedly mismanaged for which he was impeached by the elected councilors in his local government? Can you embezzle the money you didn’t have? Queer and strange, he didn’t ask himself these questions before he went to town telling a cock and bull story. He was playing to the gallery. It is an absurdity of some sort that a man who cannot account for the money in his charge will stand up to accuse the Chief Executive Officer of the state of shortchanging the local councils. Whereas, like other LG chairmen, he collected N3 million every month as imprest, while his council also shared from all the allocations given since 2019 when Governor Abiodun came on board, including the N5.1 billion allocation shared in August this year; the N4.4 billion shared in July, and the 5.1bn shared in June and the N4.5 billion shared in May from the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC)? All this is in addition to N1.8 billion given to the 20 local governments to undertake infrastructural projects with close supervision of the state in order to ensure the development is not concentrated in one area. Yet, he could not account for how these funds had been spent and on what project.

To be sure, Adedayo had been under investigation over an alleged financial impropriety before he decided to “spill the beans.” As they say, ‘he who comes to equity must come out with clean hands. To prove his innocence in the circumstance while a threat of his impeachment was looming, one would have expected him to allow the investigation to run its full course to show to the world in the end that his hands were clean. But he didn’t do that.

Instead, he rushed to the Court to file an ex-parte motion seeking an order restraining the Defendants, their agents, and privies from further proceeding on the letter of invitation asking him to appear before the Legislative Council on September 14, 2023, or in the alternative to order parties to maintain the status quo. However, Ogun State High Court sitting in Ijebu Ode presided over by Justice A.A. Omoniyi dismissed the application in “its entirety.” The Court noted that the application by the plaintiff was not timely since he had received a notice on 31st August 2023 of the said resolution but waited till September 11, 2023, before filing his application. “Delay defeats equity,” the judge said.

When he eventually appeared before the legislative council to respond to the allegation of financial mismanagement, he could not put up any meaningful defence. According to the Leader of the House, Akindele, “he (Adedayo) agreed that he spent the Council funds till August 2023, even when the budget was yet to be approved, whereas the laws only allow him to spend till March 2023.

“He also opened up that he used N5.2 million to produce 20 pieces of chairs and tables instead of the 290 chairs that the money was meant for as approved by the state government.

“On the issue of illegal levies and stickers to commercial transport operators in the Local government, Adedayo said he thought the House had passed the Bill to that effect, but the Leader of the House reminded him that a bill if passed by the House, would have been jointly signed by the Leader of the House and the Council Chairman.”

When eventually the impeachment proceeding was put to vote, he fell like a pack of cards. Five councillors voted for his impeachment, four voted against, with one abstention. Has the truth not prevailed?

Now, having secured his freedom from the DSS following the loss of the battle to save his job, he must be ruining the day he decided to play the ostrich to please some desperate henchmen who are tirelessly working to see the back of Governor Abiodun.

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What Adedayo has done by telling the whole world lies is to create an atmosphere of confusion in the state so as to avert the threat of the looming impeachment just in the same way Otunba Gbenga Daniel appealed to the emotion of the populace for the partial demolition of DATKEM plaza even when it was obvious that everything about it was fake. This is one distraction too many. But one thing is sure: truth must triumph over darkness. No matter how intense, darkness must succumb to the overwhelming power of the light.

Though the Governor has taken up the challenge calmly, describing the whole scenario as a mere diversionary tactic by the opposition to slow down the wheel of progress, there is a seething cauldron of anger within the rank and file of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state for the disruptive activities of those individuals behind the distractions. Yes, it is one of the intrigues he has to contend with as a price for his victory in the last election. But many of the party faithful are enraged because of the valuable time that is being wasted in the pursuit of defence of frivolity at the expense of the good people of the state who are yearning for the dividends of democracy. Nothing will stop his desire to deliver on his electoral promises.

In one of his recent parleys with the stakeholders, Governor Abiodun made one fundamental remark about Adedayo. He said he had known him as an unstable character but deliberately decided to overlook his shortcomings while opting for his candidacy as the chairman of Ijebu East Local Government.

That was quite instructive. Attitude is the most difficult thing to change in life because it is the totality of the processes of an individual’s upbringing. Though childhood experience, sociologists say, may be lost to subconscious memory, it often plays a dominant role in the adult stage as well.

That is why the renowned Motivational Speaker and Author, Jeff Keller, adopted “Attitude is everything” as the title of one of his bestselling books. He made that choice based on his experience of an intense study of personal growth principles.

He succinctly posited: “Everything can be taken for granted from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedom is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…”

It is not only that Adedayo has an unstable character, as the governor has rightly said; he also lacks the right attitude to be a leader of men. You cannot give what you don’t have. We have read so many telltales about his antecedents which actually confirm that he is not a person with a stable character.

Listen to the Governor: “I have known Wale Adedayo for so many years. I had been supporting him before I became Governor. When I became Governor, I appointed him as a consultant on media. I did not ask for the input of leaders of Ijebu East Local Government before I appointed him, so, Wale is not my enemy.”

Will a person of conscience suddenly make a 360-degree U-turn to become an enemy of his destiny helper? When a person has lost his conscience, what else can he not do? He can do anything under the sun without a sense of guilt. Good or bad, you will only reap what you have sown. Those who sow the seed of discord, those who take delight in fueling the ember of disunity, should continue their political trajectory.

At the appropriate time, they will get the reward for their deeds. Abiodun did well to OGD just as he did to Adedayo. But now they are both working in cahoots with the opposition to bring the roof down simply because of a selfish political ambition. As Yoruba will say, there can be no smoke without a fire.

By any stretch of the imagination, Adedayo cannot wake up one day, even if from the wrong side of the bed, to confront the governor with a frivolous allegation without the backing of some powerful individuals who think they can control the lever of power perpetually.

We have watched with consternation all the underhand methods being used by OGD to distract Governor Abiodun from delivering on his electoral promises. At one point, he said he was the unseen hand behind his electoral victory in the last election. Nobody gave him attention because the whole world already knew that he actually worked for Oladipupo Adebutu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while masquerading as a loyal supporter of the APC and its candidates.

The result of the governorship election at his polling unit was to later expose the treachery that played out during the governorship election as against the votes recorded in the presidential and National Assembly polls. In the end, he lost his face. But then, he never seized playing destructive politics.

The sea never runs dry. Now that he has found a willing accomplice in Adedayo in the like manner, we can expect to see more adversarial politics in the years ahead of the administration.

It is, indeed, more intriguing to note that this same person who is now disparaging the government had also one time accused his former boss, Gbenga Daniel, of running a squad. They may not directly be working together to achieve the same political purpose but overtly and covertly their plan is to derail this present administration which is already on course. Therefore, their respective antics are a reflection of their enfants_terrible.

To these two individuals and other like minds, Governor Abiodun has made a rightful declaration that there would be no looking back.

“Those who think that they can distabilize this state won’t sleep. They won’t even rest. This state will continue to move forward, either with them or without them because it is God himself that has appointed me as the Governor of this state at this particular time.”

That is a good takehome for other Enfant-terrible like OGD and Adedayo.

Ogbonnikan wrote from Abeokuta, Ogun State capital

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