With just over a month after the governorship election in Ogun state, the controversy trailing the election, as both are unrelenting in the fight over the governorship seat in the state.
Prince Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and his brother Ladi Adebutu of Peoples Democratic party (PDP), are both from Remo Division of Ogun East Senatorial and their political interests, according to sources, have caused great discontent among the people of their district.
It was said that both Ladi and Abiodun have vowed that the outcome of the election would be fought to a logical conclusion and none of them is ready to back down.
Despite all efforts made to make the two contestants see reason why they have to let go their grievances over the outcome of the election, which for now is in favour of Gov. Abiodunn, who ran for a second term in office.
Before the election, there were sketches of violence in the State as both the PDP and APC, which is the ruling political party engaged themselves in show of supremacy.
When the result of the election was declared with Abiodun winning 298267, as against the 262384 of Ladi Adebutu, which it was said fell short of the of the 49006 eligible voters PVC collection, there had been allegations, as to the game played by the electoral officer, who declared the result.
The PDP accused the Electoral officer of compromise, alleging that he was bribed by Abiodun of the APC, while the PDP is still insisting that Abidun ought not to have been declared winner but should have conducted fresh election in the controversial areas in dispute.
Adebutu still said that the returning electoral officer, Mr. Kayode Adebowale, from the University of Ibadan flouted the electoral laws by declaring Abidun the winner, despite the small margin that fell short of the cancelled votes.
He also argued that a supplementary election ought to have been declared when the margin of lead between the first and second candidate in an election is lower than the number of eligible voters.
He, therefore, said that INEC should conduct fresh elections in 99 polling units in 41 wards in 16 of the 20 local governments of the state.
What is, however, worrisome now with the latest developments, is the allegation by Adebutu that Gov. Abiodun has been doing everything to attack him and his supporters, a situation which the people of Remo in Ogun State are apprehensive, because they can’t bear the situation of their two sons fighting and which could lead to unnecessary violence in the area among brethren.
Adebutu was said to have told gathering of his supporters recently that Abiodun has made several attempts to stall his petition and sent entreaties to him that he should forget the outcome of the election, which favours him and that the victory is not for both of them but for the people of Remo Division where both of them come from.
It will be recalled that Abiodun would be the second governor from the area that will govern Ogun state since the on-going democratic dispensation in 1999. The first was Otunba Gbenga Daniel who got there, through the PDP ticket and he is now in APC and one of the strong backer of Abiodun.
Apart from the facts that both Abiodun and Adebutu have been in war of words and allegations of threat to their lives, their supporters have also joined them. This situation according to one of the leader in APC is not healthy for Ogun state, as this could lead to unprecedented crisis, which Remo, the real battle ground. This could spread to other parts of the state and their strong holds.
Already the APC had slammed PDP candidate Adebutu on his stand that he would eventually flush Adebutu out, with the outcome of the election tribunal verdict, which has not even commenced sitting, not to talk of delivering judgement.
The publicity secretary of the APC Tunde Oladunjoye has been very hard on Addebutu, saying, that his election petition is a wobbling one and described him as a loquacious candidate. He blasted him that he can’t be a petitioner and judge at the same time.
He said Adebutu is chasing shadows, on the social media and peddling lies against the government of Dapo Abiodun. Oladunjoye also alleged that Adebutu is going about with violent gullible supporters whose hopes are hinged on the verdict of the tribunal.
Oladunjoye said that because of the N10,000 ATM card issued to both the civil servants and some gullible followers for the election but still lost, he believed that he could use that to disrupt the peace of the State. He warned Adebutu that he would fail and Abiodun would complete his second term, despite his intimidation and threats.
Oladunjoye further posited that Adebutu is insulting the people of Ogun State State, thinking that because he comes from a wealthy father, he could use the wealth to cajole the people of Ogun State. He said is not capable of governing Ogun State because he has never managed his own private business but has always relied on his father’s business.
According to him, “anyone who wants to run the Gateway and the industrial hub state of Nigeria must have attained a verifiable record either in managing his own private business or must have managed public or private organizations successfully in the past”
However, the PDP Alhaji Sikirulai Ogundele and his Deputy, Mr. Kayode Bamgbose, said that since the illegal declaration of Abiodun’s victory, the state has been in a state of mourning because the people and even the civil servants are fed up with his administration and are now looking forward to have a new government that would end their suffering under Governor Abiodun .
They accused the governor of using all available means to retain power, which he lost in the election but rigged, through INEC.
With the battle over who rules Ogun State still heightened and the two contestants at loggerheads, there are indications that Remo people and rulers are talking to both of them.
Although the Akarigbo of Remo was said to have gone to the father of Ladi Adebutu, Chief Kesington Adebutu in London to broker peace and to appeal to his son to withdraw the case at the Tribunals, which the state governor has not actually denied.
Meanwhile the legal team of both sides are now ready and they have both filed their demands. While Adebutu is still insisting that fresh elections be conducted in disputed areas, Gov. Abiodun has called on the tribunal to nullify his opponent’s prayers, saying that he won without any controversy.
The lead counsel of Adebutu has said that he has the confidence that they will win the petition at the tribunal.