In his now infamous frequent but mischevious reference to an “Immediate inglorious past” in Ogun State and the expressed mischief calculated at painting a not-too-noble picture of some people perpetrating political violence, i think it may be good enough to let the Ogun State residents and Nigeria in general into the hindsight and previous conducts of the man who now sits over the affairs of our State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, so that our people can judge by themselves as to who is REALLY the perpetrator and Chief Promoter of political violence and intolerance who has troubles the Ogun State political seas for the past ten years.
1. In the build-up to the 2003 elections. In Ogun State, Mr. Ibikunle Amosun ran on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Ogun Central Senatorial District. It is however on record that the convoy of the then Governor Segun Osoba was pelleted with Pure water during campaign rallies in Abeokuta by supporters of Mr. Ibikunle Amosun, and ostensibly at his instruction.
2. No sooner than he was elected Senator of the Federal Republic in the 2003 election, that Senator Ibikunle Amosun had constituted himself into an ‘alternate’ Governor for the Ogun Central senatorial district, visiting the then incumbent Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel with various acts of provocations, violent attacks and insults.
For instance, as early as 2005, at a meeting of the PDP South West zonal meeting in the House of Chiefs, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Senator Amosun mobilised his supporters to pellet the then Governor Gbenga Daniel with pure water and various forms of abuse. This act which embarrassed the hierarchy of the Party at State/National, resulted into setting up of disciplinary committees, which later endorsed his suspension and eventual expulsion from the party.
3. The people of Ijaiye in Abeokuta could not have forgotten so easily the incident of attacks on the PDP Abeokuta South Local Government Party Secretariat on Friday the 9th of March, 2007 at about 7.30 and 8.00pm. Supporters of Senator Ibikunle Amosun in the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)-his next party abode, who were returning from a rally swooped on the PDP Local Government secretariat, matchetted party members, other innocent citizens and passers-by, fired sporadic gunshots into the air to disperse people, vandalised properties and burnt cars of innocent residents all within the premises and vicinity of the secretariat. The police command in the state under the Commissioner of Police- Mr Joseph Apapa thereafter invited Senator Ibikunle Amosun so as to persuade him to call his supporters to order, but he refused. Instead he decided to lead by trekking with his supporters to the police station on Saturday the 10th of March, 2007, deliberately passing through the premises of the Government House at Oke-Igbein, throwing stones into the premises and doing all sorts to desecrate the seat of Government, chanting war songs and abusing the then Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
This unusual provocative act from a supposed distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic, caused further destructions of properties and attacks on persons perceived to be real and imaginary enemies as Amosun and his supporters, incidentally led by the same fellow been used by Amosun today as Governor, called “Jango”, move on. The police had to keep him in Protective Custody against reprisal attacks.
4. At about the same time in 2007, the people of Aiyepe, Omu, Ososa in Odogbolu Local Government and Ijebu-Ode (Itantebo and Italapo) respectively all have their own stories to tell about the violent disposition of Senator Ibkunle Amosun with various accounts of wanton destruction of properties and attacks on persons perceived to be real and imaginary enemies during his campaign rallies in those areas.
5. Records confirmed that Senator Ibikunle Amosun fired gunshots into the air, at Ipokia Local Government and Ota in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government rallies, all which had ended in violence and attacks on people in a bit to scare away people from scrambling for empowerment items he brought for the people.
6. All these were happening at time when Ibikunle Amosun was serving as a Senator on the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party at the National Assembly, and later as member of ANPP, which rewarded him with the ANPP Governorship ticket as their candidate in Ogun State. Even after loosing the Governorship election as an ANPP candidate in Ogun State, Amosun still sat in the National Assembly as a PDP Senator. Recently, in his open letter to Senator Obadara and the APC NASS Caucus, Governor Amosun made a veiled reference to political prostitution, one is then persuaded to ask, what more could be ‘Political Prostitution’ than this bare faced ‘dual’ identity. At least, Senator Obadara and the APC NASS Caucus remained members of the actual political party that got them elected in the first place.
It is ones duty to remind the State residents of the true pictures of political issues, especially on the kind/type of characters our elected officials are. Indeed the Nigerian Police in their official reports-ref SB-3380/OGS/V.T/267 of 21st March 2007, submitted to the Commission of Inquiry into Political Disturbances in Abeokuta, Ososa, Ijebu-Igbo, Omu-Ijebu etc , with obvious conclusion that “AMOSUN WAS THE MOST VIOLENT PERSON IN OGUN STATE”.
Since Senator Ibikunle Amosun assumed duty as the Governor of Ogun State on May 29, 2011 however, it appears a new chapter has been introduced into the nature and character of political violence in the state. Let us recap. During his campaigns, all manners of lies were told to demonize the immediate past governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel to label him with a tag of violence. Several headlines were cast suggesting the existence of a phantom ‘Killer Squads”, “Ritualism” etc. All these became the campaign manifesto of Senator Ibikunle Amosun. And to suggest in keeping faith with this manifesto, one of the first few things Amosun did on resumption to office was the setting up of the now infamous “Truth Commission” among the myriads of Probe Panels (including but not exclusive to the Audit commissioned to two private Audit firms, the reports of which are yet to see the light of day). Now, the “Truth Commission” sat and had since concluded its findings, and NOT A SINGLE political killing could be associated with the last administration as alleged. The Office of a Governor is expected to be reverenced, the conduct and utterances of the Occupier of such office is expected to be magisterial. And it is important to reinstate that Governance is never practiced or delivered with rumours or doubts. For a governor to have pronounced that 56 of his supporters were killed during election campaigns and could not prove same with all machinery of state in his custody would amount to gross irresponsibility and recklessness in public conduct. Granted that those who were allegedly killed were human beings, they of course should seek for justice on behalf of their missing ones; especially as there were motivations, inducements and promise of financial compensations. Granted that they may not have been able to speak out while the previous administration holds sway out of fear for their own safety and security, here was a great opportunity provided by a new hostile regime, seeking to help them to obtain justice.
Even those who have domestic animals (goats, cats, dogs and fouls) would desire to know who must have stolen or killed any of them, how much less human beings with the reverence, respect and attachment we have for human souls.
However one needs to reiterate herewith that the Nigeria Police indeed arrested and repatriated from a neighbouring country, the self-confessed killers of Otunba Dipo Dina, as against Amosun’s wide allegation of Dina killers on OGD. Infact the murder case against these thief/murderers has been filed by the Nigerian Police since February 2012 at the Abeokuta Magistrate Courts. THE CASE WAS ADJOURNED INDIFINETLY TO ALLOW THE STATE DPP TO ENTER APPEARANCE FOR COMMENCEMENT OF TRIAL. INFORMATION REACHING AVAILABLE REVEALED THAT OUR “OGA ON TOP” HAS GIVEN INSTRUCTION NOT TO PROCEED WITH THE CASE. For what reasons, Nigerians especially the Dina Family deserve direct answer from our Governor Amosun at this time. We also understand that this was one of the many reasons, which borders on ‘FALSE IDENTITIES and VIOLENT TENDENCIES OF THE PERSON OF MR GOVERNOR, that the former Attorney General-Mr Wemimo Ogunde resigned from Amosun’s cabinet last year.
8. Meanwhile, available records have it (and this are verifiable with various newspaper reports and circumstances) that in barely three years in the life of the Senator Ibikunle’s three-year tenure:
(i) Mr. Yomi Bamgbose, a Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO), a member of the ACN, believed to be a strong supporter of Chief Olusegun Osoba, former governor of the state was murdered in mysterious circumstances in Abeokuta;
(ii) Otunba Ismail, the ACN chairmanship aspirant in Ogun Waterside Local Government was killed in a controversial accident while returning from Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital from the screening exercise conducted by the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission for all aspirants. Incidentally, he was also believed to be a strong loyalist of former Governor Osoba in the ACN.
(iii) The Vice Chairman of the ACN, in Ipokia Local Government whose corpse found beside the bush, allegedly killed in the middle of the night on his motorcycle. He was also said to be an unrepentant loyalist of Chief Osoba.
(iv) Toyin Hamzat, former chairman of Ikeja Local Government who was shot and gunned down while visiting his home town in Aiyepe. There are high speculations that Toyin Hamsat’s frequent visits to his town and local government was part of his build-up to playing politics in Ogun State with his eyes on the governorship seat in 2015. This looks more like the circumstances surrounding Dipo Dina’s (the AC candidate in the 2007 election, and likely to be the most favoured on the ACN ticket for 2011) death in the build up to the 2011 election.
All these and many more remained part of the growing lists of unresolved murders in Ogun State.
The recent attacks on the APC secretariat around Sept 2013 where members of the party, innocent members of the public including passers-by and journalists who recorded the scene were violently and forcibly attacked and their cameras confiscated and destroyed with the help of policemen on duty has opened another vista into the nature and conduct of violence and put the credibility of Governor Amosun in doubt.
This is pointing in the direction of State Sponsored terrorism. It speaks to the idea of gross irresponsibility that a state governor charged with the responsibility of lives and properties of its citizen would apologise on behalf of hoodlums whom he now designated as “angry party loyalists”. What would be expected of a responsible state Chief Security Officer is to bring the perpetrators of the dastardly acts to justice, starting with an invitation to those who have been mentioned by eyewitnesses and the media, to serve as a deterrent to others. Instead, the Ogun State Governor merely apologised to the party members (as if the victims were only members of the ACN/APC) with a promise not to have a repeat of such. What this signposts is that Governor Ibikunle Amosun himself has admitted complicity in the violence and ready to take responsibility for it.
Leadership is neither good nor bad, it is the Leader who is either good or bad. As if to pay a lie to the promise never to repeat itself, especially as there was no measure nor steps taken to serve as deterrent after the APC secretariat attack, another mayhem was unleashed on the people of Ewekoro, exactly a week after, during an APC senator’s sensitisation programme preparatory to the party membership registration. No fewer than five Policemen were shot and wounded and several journalists were again caught up in this. Should we then begin to ask who the hoodlums are? Who are their sponsors? Who is the Chief Promoter of violence in Ogun State. Definitely, it couldn’t have been the immediate past governors of Ogun State.
It is important to state that there had never been political violence in Ogun State except the one sponsored by the Chief Promoter, who incidentally is now sitting over the affairs of the State as the Executive Governor.
Is it not laughable that Senator Amosun talks of being the Chief Security Officer of Ogun State in his letter to the APC NASS caucus. But we need to ask if the governor is experienced enough to understand the true meaning of that title and the responsibilities that go with it? For some education, the Chief Security Officer of a State owes it to ALL (emphasis) the citizens of the state the protection of their lives and properties irrespective of their political affiliations, religious and ethnic persuasions. In the realm of security, where there is a General as the title “CHIEF” connotes in civil administration, there are definitely Commandants and Lieutenants, which comprises of the traditional institutions, elected members of the National and State Assemblies, Organised Labour etc which the General (or CHIEF) must be ready to work with.
Adekoya Boladale contributed this piece from Ogun State.
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