By Gbenga Alani
It is indeed pitiable that someone who has spent eight years as Governor could still be persistently in pursuit of photo-ops and be preoccupied with self-promotion and glorification suggestive of inadequacy syndrome of avoidant personality disorder.
This is exactly the plight of Gbenga Daniel, a two-term governor of Ogun State and presently the Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
Smarting from the thunderous condemnation that greeted his recent ill-motivated and syndicated interview that failed in its shallow bid to put Governor Dapo Abiodun and President Bola Tinubu at loggerheads, OGD as he is called, felt the visit of the President to Ogun State today is an opportunity to redeem his battered ratin in the public domain.
While Governor Dapo Abiodun was at the Dipo Dina Stadium along with APC national leader, Aremo Segun Osoba, to receive Mr. President as protocols demand, OGD was nowhere to be found. Or may be he was hunted by the ghost of Dipo Dina who the stadium is named after, more than his treachery against Governor Dapo Abiodun.
Though he was moved from the prominent position he had earlier placed himself in Awujale’s palace while awaiting the arrival of the President, like the parable of the feast, and was relocated to a corner side, notwithstanding, the man with serious complex still managed to get a photo ops with the President.
Before the President could reach Abeokuta from Ijebu Ode, “Daani Elebo”, as Professor Wole Soyinka described him back then in the days when OGD brought ritual and blood oath into Ogun politics; had already spread the picture and the recognition given to him by the President all over the social media.
In a shocking manner, but not surprising to those who know the emotional instability of this man, Daniel went ahead to appropriate the courtesies extended by President Tinubu to everyone in that gathering to himself. Even his supporters who posted the video and comments of the President shamelessly did so, when the video and voice of the President actually showed that Mr. President after mentioning OGD’s name, then extended his courtesies to politicians, traditional rulers and party chieftains at the gathering.
While OGD can continue to engage in egocentric masturbation along with his half-baked followers, there is a lesson to learn from the scenario at the Awujale Palace today: DO NOT RIDICULE YOUR FRIEND OR BENEFACTOR, NO ONE KNOWS TOMORROW.
In the height of his inglorious rule in Ogun State; better forgotten days, OGD did everything to ridicule and put Asiwaju Tinubu down. He was always portraying himself as Asiwaju’s superior and benefactor. He bragged that he gave his Krestal Laurel office in Lagos to Asiwaju during his campaign. Of course, this was far from the truth. He proclaimed himself the “Lion of the West”! A tag that showcased him as the number one politician in South West of Nigeria far ahead and above Tinubu.
Since Asiwaju had a signature cap, every appointees in Ogun State and notable politicians in PDP must wear a black colour cap called OGD cap, if not, it was said that you were not loyal.
Like a Lion (of the West), he acted like a conquistador and fought almost everyone. His predecessor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, had to relocate from Ogun State. OGD fought Senator Iyabo Obasanjo and fought her father, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. He fought veteran politician, Chief Alani Bankole and fought the son, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole. He fought Baba Adinni, Chief Sule Onabiyi. He fought Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye and his political son, Senator Lekan Mustapha. He fought Tunde Oladunjoye, Alhaji Tele Ogunjobi, Rt. Hon. Tunji Egbetokun and the 14 House of Assembly members then known as G-15.
When Asiwaju Tinubu attended the installation of the present Alake of Egbaland in Abeokuta, one of Daniel’s closest aides, put Tinubu’s seat on the third row at the event, even as a sitting governor. It was Alhaji Sarafa Tunji Ishola who insisted that Tinubu as per protocol must be in the front row. Words must have gotten to Tinubu as he left the event not long after his arrival and unceremoniously. The Chieftaincy title given to Asiwaju Tinubu by Alake of Egbaland may also not be unconnected with the reason that Daniel wanted to dethrone the Alake as he already got a house for his banishment at Ogun Waterside Local Government. Though the reason given then was that Alake complained openly about the tragic state of the roads in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Asiwaju Tinubu was not deterred by OGD and his regressive likes, as he continued to build bridges across not only South West, which Daniel thought he had conquered, but also across the nation. Every bricks thrown at him was used by Asiwaju as stepping stones for greater heights.
As at today, while one man’s cap has vanished from the socio-political scene, thousands of Nigerians are making fortunes from selling Asiwaju signature cap and official portrait as President of Nigeria. Governors, Senators, top businessmen, party people and commoners are voluntarily adorning the Asiwaju caps without coercion.
And when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, came visiting Ogun State on Thursday, the CAGED “Lion of the West” struggled and only managed to perch on the arm of the chair where Asiwaju sat! And that to OGD, from the celebration by him and his tiny crowd of followers, that photo-op was the greatest achievement of his political career. In fact, it is OGD’s Picture of the Year!
What a humbling verdict of posterity!
•Views expressed are strictly that of the author and do not in anyway represent the position of this news medium.