The African Democratic Congress (ADC) has accused the Ogun state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, of entrenching the culture of intimidation and intolerance in the state ahead of the 2023 governorship election.
The party specifically accused the governor of intimidating Awori Obas from meeting the ADC governorship candidate has earlier scheduled.
In a statement released Friday morning to newsmen, signed by Senator Iyabode Anisulowo, on behalf of the Apex Leaders, Stakeholders and Leaders of ADC in Ogun state said well meaning citizens of Ogun state are disturbed by recent events happening around them.
Other ADC leaders who endorsed the statement include: Hon Muyiwa Oladipo, former Speaker of the Ogun House of Assembly, Dr. Dele Ogunsiji, former House of Representative member, Chief Moshood Akinyele, Hon. Tunde Sanusi, Chief Wole Elegbede, Omooba Tosin Adeluyi, Raheem Ajayi and Bolaji Adeniji.
The former Minister of Education fingered Abiodun on the aborted visit of Barrister Biyi Otegbeye, the ADC Gubernatorial Candidate, to the palace of Olota of Ota, Oba Professor Abdulkabir Obalanlege, Lanlege Ekun II.
Otegbeye had received clearance on Monday to meet with Olota and the Council of Awori Obas on Thursday but the visit was cancelled just hours before the meeting.
She said: “The Freedom of Association and Assembly is one which is guaranteed by the Constitution of Nigeria. The Chatter of United Nations also recognizes this right hence any attempt by any institution or Government – to deny this inalienable right must be resisted let alone by an individual who was democratically elected by the people.
“The intimidation by the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, that led to the sudden cancellation of the planned visit of Barrister Biyi Otegbeye, the Gubernatorial Candidate of ADC to the Council of Awori Obas which was scheduled for Thursday, is shameful. It is sad that our revered traditional institution which is the custodian of our culture and values is being trampled upon by Governor, Dapo Abiodun.
“Whereas, Thursday 3rd November, 2022 had been fixed by the Council of Awori Obas to meet with Barrister Biyi Otegbeye, the event was billed to hold as many of the Obas were excited and ready to meet at the Olota of Ota Palace. It was therefore shocking when Otegbeye received communications, very late on Wednesday, from the Palace that the event is cancelled; for no justifiable reasons.5
“We smelled a rat and from our findings and reliable information that is not controvertible, it was discovered that the State Government had contacted the Awori Obas not to receive Barrister Biyi Otegbeye and his entourage. Pray if not so, why will Obas who were all set for us suddenly become unavailable!”, Anisulowo noted.
Anisulowo accused Abiodun of double standard saying he was not subjected to this kind of treatment when he was seeking the supports of the Awori monarchs to become the Governor.
“It is ironic that Dapo Abiodun who visited Awori Obas without let or hindrance when he was campaigning to become Governor, has now turned our revered Obas to push-arounds. This harassment by Abiodun and his failed party (APC) is a sacrilege and a total desecration of the traditional institution.
“It’s even worse that he decided to wield such draconian powers on Ogun West by preventing Yewa-Awori monarchs from receiving their own Son on their land. This is pathologically hypocritical and a double standard.
“We hereby use this medium to state emphatically that we will not tolerate this descent into autocratic rule and anarchy in Ogun State. Our State is not a banana Republic. This is the State of Obafemi Awolowo, Olusegun Obasanjo, Jonathan Odebiyi, MKO Abiola, Olabisi Olabisi Onabanjo, Prof Wole Soyinka and many other patriots who laboured for democracy, rule of law and a free society which enabled individuals like Dapo Abiodun enjoy the privileges of public office.
“We hereby call on all citizens of Ogun State, people of goodwill and the media, to call Dapo Abiodun to order before Ogun State is set on the path of ignominy, animosity and anarchy. It is bad enough that Ogun State is already in a terrible socio-economic situation occasioned by bad governance; to now add intimidation, harassment and threats to the citizens of the state – would inevitably take Ogun State to the dark ages of human cruelty and slavery. We must forestall the culture of impunity, intimidation and intolerance being promoted by Dapo Abiodun.
“We thank well meaning indigenes of Ogun State like Civil Servants, Business community, artisans, farmers, students and people in the Diaspora who have called to condemn this irresponsible act. We assure you all that we appreciate your support and your unalloyed determination to vote out this non-performing administration.
“The African Democratic Congress is determined more than ever to deliver the state and turn things around. This action has further strengthened our resolve to bring good governance to people with creation of wealth and make life more abundant for all”, Anisulowo concluded.