Otunba Gbenga Daniel
Otunba Gbenga Daniel
By Victor Olusegun Oluwole
Q: Why was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) enmeshed in crisis when you were Governor?
A: The issue was not that I had done anything wrong, but it was that I had become too strong so the plot to cut me down began: let us cut him down, the usual thing that happens in Nigeria. The issue was that I had spent eight years so the next thing was that the Party’s structure should be taken away from me. - Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Immediate Past Governor of Nigeria's Ogun State.
I beg to differ with the response of Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
Egbon, you know 'I was there,' being a son of one of the major players who made your emergence possible and an active politician myself, I should know and I do know. I remember personally welcoming you to our home on the very first leg of your advent into the Remo political Arena.
During your subsequent and frequent consultative visits to my family home in Sagamu before you eventually joined the PDP, you will recall sir, that you met a thriving, enthusiastic, vibrant and evidently inspired and self motivated group of grass root politicians. Just like every reputable political leader in their zones of Ijebu, Egba and Yewa delivered unto you the various political structures they've self financed and sustained over decades, Remo, led by my humble dad delivered to you the most reputable and reliable political structure in the East of Ogun state, the Bayode Oluwole Group.
Egbon, the truth really, is that you did a lot of things wrong. You estranged all those who made you Governor. You created enemies out of them all in your bid to consolidate yourself as "leader of the State" when in fact you really weren't a politician. This fact was reinforced by your wife - Yeye Funke Daniel when she travelled to my family home in Sagamu to apologise on your behalf; she had rightfully stated in your defence that you weren't a politician, hence, the various early political blunders you made. I'm sure she visited other notable political leaders in the State too.
My love and respect for the political leaders who enthroned you including Baba OBJ (Olusegun Obasanjo) remains till today not because one of them happens to be my dad but because I'm aware that their intentions for you and your political career was unimaginably great; hence their wilful handover of the structures they had worked all their lives to sustain, into your hands.
The truth was that the leaders in the PDP wanted you to take the political leadership presently held by Asiwaju Bola Tinunbu in the Southwest as the PDP then held sway in the Southwest but you betrayed them all. You taught them the meaning of betrayal hence, they began to call you "teacher." You taught them all how unfaithful and power drunk a politician of the younger generation could be. You took their lieutenants and forced them to betray their hitherto Principals. You empowered and encouraged former political hangers-on to run their leaders aground. In fact, you had called some of them and warned them of the gravity of the powers inherent in the office you then occupied. You were ruthless and politically ignorant and the result of your betrayal is evident today for all to see. You went down and took everyone down with you - you, who was once thought to be "Our Awolowo incarnate".
* Excerpts of an article that was first posted to Facebook. Victor Olusegun Oluwole is a journalist.