The campaign for 2015 general election which started in 2014 revealed some rots in governance regarding how residents in towns and villages were left in the lurch.
When Prince Abiodun visited Ogun Waterside Local Government, he couldn’t believe the sordid situation he met the people in. No doubt, the people were existing, but they were not living.
It’s shocking when they revealed to the senatorial candidate on the platform of APC that it was over three years they got electricity supply in the communities in the area.
Ordinarily, it should have been an opportunity for a typical politician to leverage on the situation of the people and exploit them by presenting his demand, which is the vote of the people, and promise to help them solve their excruciating problem when he gets to office.
But the expression on his face threw a lot of his followers off balance. He was too emotional for their liking. Rather than talking politics, he started making calls to who matters who matters in IBEDC, the handlers of power in the state.
He couldn’t comprehend how people could be living in darkness when power cables were hanging over the poles everywhere.
It was instant solution he wanted from the IBEDC. He asked how soonest power could be restored in the community.
After his discussion with them, he asked them to do the estimate of what it would cost to restore power in the communities and subsequently a bill of N144 million was presented by the company.
Prince Dapo Abiodun instantly volunteered to subsidize the total cost with N50 million and was agreed that power would be restored in the communities within 30 days.
On Tuesday, January 6, 2015, at the Palace of His Royal Majesty, the Awujale and Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, the APC candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun paid N25m being the first tranche of the N50m he volunteered to pay to provide power supply to Ogun Waterside.
He presented the cheque to the Awujale and Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona who presented the cheque to the Corporate Affairs Manager of IBEDC, the power distributor in charge on the state, Mrs. Bolanle Onagoruwa.
Mrs. Onagoruwa disclosed to the traditional rulers present saying, “Prince Dapo Abiodun took it upon himself to partner with us and basically told us that his objective is that those Waterside communities should have power supply.
We submitted the quotation to him which covers what we call the 33KVA line. It’s quite a long line that will end up in the Waterside. By the time we fix the line, there would be power supply in the area. Along the line, there are what we call T-off lines into various communities in the area. The bill that we sent to Prince Abiodun included those communities because we want to ensure robust network.
Because of the fact that we have 30 days to deliver, we are going to concentrate on the main line, that is the Barrack Road line to deliver line in the Waterside.
We appreciate the partnership and we assure that as soon as we receive the money, we will add our own and our contractors are set to ensure we deliver as scheduled.”
No fewer than seven traditional rulers from Ogun Waterside witnessed the presentation.
The Awujale described Prince Dapo Abiodun’s gesture as unprecedented, adding that the efforts being made by the politician are indications of what to expect when he gets to office.
He therefore charged the traditional rulers present, saying “Alayeluwas, you would now go back home and spread this news to our people about our power supply. One good turn deserves another.
We are not ingrates. So, you can be sure Dapo we will give our commitment and support for you and God will see you through.
And when you get there you would be able to discharge your responsibilities not only to us in Ogun East but to the whole nation.”
In his address, Prince Dapo Abiodun said: “We are here today to present the cheque of N25 million out of the N50 million I promised to support the IBEDC for power supply in Waterside.
And we are also setting up a committee which would include two among the Alayeluwas who understand the terrain to work with the company.”
The Onisin of Ilusin, Oba Adesanya Taiwo Oseni, who responded on behalf of beneficiary communities, said that “this power project is the most important thing we desire in the Waterside. Our sons and daughters don’t come home during festive periods and their major complaint is power supply.
As this project is done, Prince Dapo Abiodun has written his name in gold in Ogun Waterside.
We are highly appreciative of what you have done for us. This is not for us only but for Ijebuland, Ogun State and the nation in general.
People say the morning shows what the evening would be, you have started very well, when we leave here we are going to spread the news to all nooks and crannies of Ogun Waterside and we are assuring you that you will get our maximum cooperation.”
Several other communities in the Senatorial District got various assistance from him, depending on their priorities.
Meanwhile, having recognized the magnitude of philanthropic works he did with the period in Ogun East Senatorial District, the Ijebu-Ode Club on Wednesday, January 29, 2015 honoured him by bestowing on him a honourary membership of the prestigious club.
On the investiture night at the Club House in Ijebu-Ode, the President of the Club, Dr. Tunji Dawodu revealed that what Prince Dapo Abiodun did for the people was beyond politics.
This also robbed on his campaign Director General, Barr. Segun Odubela, as he was also inducted as honourary member of the Club.
However, the election had come and gone. Prince Dapo Abiodun was not declared winner which the people still described as unacceptable despite courts’ verdicts.
It’s an established fact that Prince Dapo Abiodun, who’s currently the governorship candidate of APC in Ogun State is an asset to the people of the state to explore and exploit for the development of the state.
His business acumen could not be wished away having witnessed how successful he is in his personal business ventures.
This he would surely bring to bear in the running of the state to check waste of state resources on white elephant projects.
Political pundits have described the emergence of the APC candidate as an opportunity for the people of Ogun State to elect a governor who would come up with people-oriented programmes. A governor who would draft his policies from the perspective of the people.
They noted that the state would witness an unprecedented peaceful co-existence among the people and most importantly, realistic business-driven economic policies would be put in place.
According to economic pundits, Prince Dapo Abiodun, if elected governor of the state, would see to creation of jobs as various moribund industries would spring back to life due to his experience in the business world.
Small, Micro, Medium Scale Enterprises(SMMEs) are considered as a sector in the state’s economy that would experience a great turn around if the APC candidate is elected.
Observers, however, urged the people of the state to set aside sentiments and vote for their future rather than adhering to jaundiced excuses of some self-centered politicians.
Bolu-Olu Esho is a journalist and political analyst