Home Opinion The Ibarapa Bye-Election And The Looming Trajectory, By Prince Dotun Oyelade

The Ibarapa Bye-Election And The Looming Trajectory, By Prince Dotun Oyelade


The name of the hit was ”AIN’T NO STOPPING US NOW”. The year was 1979 just before summer and two years before Stevie Wonder released his cracker, ”HOTTER THAN JULY” whose lead single  ”Happy Birthday” was able to halt ‘Ain’t no stopping’ on its box office track.


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After the shock victory of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, or more aptly put, after the defeat of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the Ibarapa East bye-election on Saturday June 2, 2018, that 1979 disco song by the R&B duo of Mcfadden and Whitehead came to my mind and I began to hum it by reflex throughout that fateful weekend.


The result of the election was steeped in its unpredictability yet predictable in the face of the free falling image of a party that promised everything but marred it all through serial unforced errors, arrogance, befuddling mistakes, miscalculations and straight forward lies.

The two major parties needed to win that election very badly. For the APC, coming from the ruins of an embarrassing one-sided local government election, which it organised, supervised, umpired and which it predictably won on May 12, to the Oorelope house of assembly bye-election which it lost last year the incumbency factor notwithstanding and the fatal internecine battle of supremacy currently ravaging the party,  winning the Ibarapa East bye-election became a matter of life and death.


As for the infamous May 12 local government election farce, the APC realised that the party will be the butt of political, sublime and beer parlour jokes if it loses the Ibarapa East bye-election 21 days after “sweeping” the LG polls. Unfortunately that was exactly what happened.


For the PDP, still reeling from the effective mud splattered on it by the efficient propaganda of the ruling party and struggling with a divisive internal crisis but buoyed by a wide spread dissatisfaction and disappointment by the masses who felt they have been conned by the ruling party,  PDP believed that the Ibarapa East bye election was the best way to test what 2019 would be like.


Recall that in 2015 during the Presidential elections in the South West, President Muhammadu Buhari  scored the highest number of votes in Oyo state thus, the dwindling fortunes of the ruling party stuck out like a sore thumb and unless the party digs down to the highest level of performance in the areas of economy and particularly security, in the perceived sense of accommodating and protecting certain tendencies who are perpetrating wanton killings all over the land, the ruling party will implode and go back to opposition which as we now know,appears to be its comfort zone.


With brazing savageries and slaughtering going on under the President’s watch and a provocative announcement by the Security Council asking states not to implement the anti-grazing law, the President is set to be done in, in places like Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Plateau where he performed well in 2015. The quick fix decision to edify MKO Abiola, as deserving as it is, is a classic Greek Gift that cannot obliterate the incompetence of the past three years.


In Oyo state it is an irony of fate that the APC’s comeuppance will finally arrive via an unexpected route and a unique family.


Eruwa is home to that diminutive, fair- skinned, taciturn and deep pocket politician and business man who between 1978 and 1991 almost single-handedly financed with millions of naira the establishment of conservative political tendencies in the old Oyo state from National Party of Nigeria (NPN) 1978 to 84  and the National Republican Convention (NRC) in the early 90s.


Chief Adeseun Ogundoyin before his sudden death bought brand new station wagon 504 cars for each local government area and funded most of the party’s activities. One of the most unique features of his philanthropy was that he never wanted to contest for any political position other than to see the ideals of conservatism entrenched in the polity.


He loved his community Ibarapa with passion and his kinsmen, while he was alive were the cynosure of all eyes as they lived privileged lives.


It was therefore a fitting compensation that 27 years after, his son, Debowale who was barely five years old at the time of his death has now, by classic providence been elected as the Honourable, representing Ibarapa East constituency consisting of Lanlate, Maya and Eruwa.


If Adeseun Ogundoyin were to be alive today, he will decidedly be a prominent member of a conservative party though we must quickly admit that the difference between the PDP and the APC is that between six and half a dozen.


Ogundoyin had friends where it mattered. He was not only a very close pal to General Ibrahim Babangida, the father of Babangida’s wife, Maryam, was  Mohammed was the chairman of Ogundoyin’s multi-million dollar construction company.


When in 1988, Fountain Publications, the company where I was General Manager published HOME FRONT, written by Maryam Babangida, her brother the famed Sunny Okogwu, the Kaduna billionaire bought a copy of the book for N1m and Chief Ogundoyin and a few others came close to that amount.


Two years later in 1990 at Spectrum Books Ltd I was going to Kaduna for the launching of our book BECAUSE I AM INVOLVED by Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, Chief Ogundoyin asked me to see his friend General Hassan Usman Katsina. I was surprised at the way the reclusive Katsina Prince received me.


By the time I came back I had firmed up the idea to personally write the biography of Chief Ogundoyin. We were on the project when he passed on but his company was graceful enough to complete the book which was launched posthumously.


On the Ibarapa bye election, kudos must go to two politicians who made the victory possible. To Senator Rashidi Ladoja who led the campaign and to Engr Seyi Makinde whose sense of belief in the project and his unalloyed trust in the youths made him to provide all the necessary wherewithal, may be because he is a youth himself.


Prince Dotun Oyelade, Director Strategy and Communication Seyi Makinde Campaign Organisation, writes from Ibadan.

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