Rift between Governor Abiodun, Daniel deepens

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  • Ex-governor shuns reception organised for ministers by Abiodun
  • APC National Secretary flays Aregbesola for floating fresh caucus
  • Kwara PDP suspends youth leader for asking Saraki to account for Atiku campaign funds

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR AND BRIGHT JACOB

The frosty relationship between Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and one of his predecessors and senator representing Ogun East, Gbenga Daniel, is getting messier by the day.

The deepening political feud which owes its genesis to the build-up to the 2023 general elections manifested again on Monday as Daniel was conspicuously absent at a reception organized for ministers from Ogun State by Governor Abiodun.

The ministers are the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun; the Minister for Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, and the Minister of State for Environment, Iziaq Salako.

According to sources, the appointment of Tijani and Salako has deepened the political feud between Abiodun and Daniel.

It was gathered that Daniel and the Senator representing Ogun West at the National Assembly, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, influenced the appointments of Tijani and Salako respectively while President Bola Tinubu handpicked Edun.

Governor Abiodun, who is the leader of the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, was left without any candidate at the Federal Executive Council.

The emergence of Salako has also dampened the good relationship between Governor Abiodun and Senator Adeola.

The two Senators, Daniel (Ogun East) and Adeola, well known as Yayi (Ogun West), were absent at the reception.

Adeola is aspiring to take over from Abiodun in 2027.

The third Senator from the state, Salisu Afolabi Shaib (Ogun Central) was prominent at the occasion.

While Daniel and Adeola are the powerhouse politicians that helped Abiodun to win his first term election in 2019 and won a second term election in March 2023, Shaib owes his present status to the benevolence of Governor Abiodun.

Shuaib was the Deputy Chief of Staff to former Governor Ibikunle Amosun in his first term (May 29, 2011 to May 29, 2015).

He was also the Chief of Staff to Governor Abiodun from May 29, 2019, to May 29, 2023.

While reacting to the absence of Adeola at the reception held at the SilverBird Galleria, Zone 4, Abuja, his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro, told The Point on Tuesday that he was not in the country.

“But he was fully represented and he equally organized a befitting Ogun West reception for the minister (Salako),” Odunaro said.

Also, a media aide to Daniel, Steve Oliyide, told The Point that his principal attended another reception on Monday in honour of Wale Edun, Ishiak Salako, Bosun Tijani, Dele Alake, Dave Umahi, Tunji Alausa and Festus Keyamo, at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

He also said that Daniel paid a congratulatory visit to Salako in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.

Other prominent politicians from Ogun State that were present at the Abiodun-funded reception included the Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako-Oyedele; Afuape Afolabi Moruf (Member, House of Representatives, Abeokuta South); Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka (Member, House of Representatives, Egbado North, Imeko Afon), Abiodun Isiaq Akinlade (Member, House of Representatives, Egbado South, Ipokia).

A former Deputy Governor of Ogun State under Governor Daniel, Salmat Badru, and a former Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Titi Oseni-Gomez, another Speaker of the Ogun State Assembly under Governor Amosun, Suraj Isola Adekunbi, as well as the acting Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Adeolu Egbetokun, were also not left out.

Traditional rulers present were the Alake of Egbaland Oba Aremu Gbadebo, the Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and the Olota of Ota, Oba Abdulkabir Obalanlege.

The Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, was represented by the Asiwaju of Remoland, Solomon Onafowokan.

The occasion also attracted important dignitaries including the governors of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and his Imo State counterpart, Hope Uzodimma and the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Taiwo Oluomo.

APC National Secretary flays Aregbesola for floating fresh caucus

In another development, the National Secretary of the APC, Ajibola Basiru, has lambasted the immediate past Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, for launching a new caucus within the party in Osun State.

Aregbesola disclosed that he launched Omoluabi Caucus to reclaim power from the ruling People’s Democratic Party in the state and restore the party to reckoning in the state.

He restated his commitment to progressive ideals and the APC in the state, noting that political parties are amalgamation of different interests and tendencies.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by Aregbesola’s Media Adviser, Sola Fasure, the former governor of Osun State renewed his commitment to the party during the launch of the caucus in Ilesa.

Describing the Omoluabi Caucus as one of the many caucuses in the state, the former minister said the caucus was not a faction of the party, but a union of like-minds in the state.

Reacting, Basiru described Aregbesola as a hypocrite and claimed that he worked against the APC during the last elections.

Basiru made this known on Tuesday when a political group within the APC, Osun Restoration Forum, paid him a courtesy visit at the national secretariat in Abuja.

The APC national scribe flayed Aregbesola and others behind the formation of the caucus, describing them as “hypocrites who worked against the interests of the party in the last elections.”

“He cautioned the promoters of the Omoluabi Progressives not to overestimate their influence as they would not succeed in their game of balkanizing the party because the party under the chairmanship of Tajudeen Lawal in the state is strong and working towards the goal of actualizing the dreams of the founding fathers and the developmental agenda of President Bola Tinubu,” the statement issued by Basiru’s media aide, Yusuff Akeem, read partly.

Kwara PDP suspends youth leader for asking Saraki to account for Atiku campaign funds

In the same vein, for demanding a probe into how the funds released by Atiku Abubakar campaign organisation to Kwara State were expended, the leadership of the PDP in the state has suspended its State Youth Leader, Haliru Dansoho Mahmoud.

Mahmoud had through a viral video called out one of the leaders of the party in the state and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and asked him to account for how he spent multi-million naira campaign funds that he received on behalf of the party in Kwara State.

The Youth Leader’s demand was greeted with harsh reactions from the party stakeholders.

Having received a report of a disciplinary committee the party set up to look into Mahmoud’s outbursts, the party, in a statement issued on Tuesday by ‘Tunji Moronfoye, Kwara State PDP Publicity Secretary, found the Youth Leader guilty and consequently suspended him indefinitely.

The statement read, “The Kwara State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has resolved on a decision, after the State Working Committee (SWC) met today, Tuesday 22/08/2023, consequent to receiving the report of the disciplinary committee set up to look into the matter of the ungentlemanly outbursts by the State Youth leader, Prince Haliru Dansoho Mahmoud against the Party.

“The report received from the disciplinary committee showed clearly that the state Youth Leader was guilty of all the charges brought against him by party members who petitioned the state party echelon. After a consideration of the disciplinary committee’s report, the SWC of the party, has taken the decision to suspend the state Youth Leader indefinitely.”