Dapo Abiodun: APC Governorship Candidate Of The Next Level In Ogun

Next level is best defined as the new or upper stage of transformation that supports people in unlocking their power, passion and purpose. Something or someone on the next level is above others in reasoning intelligent gathering and proffering solutions. It does not necessarily mean he is better than others but it means that he is willing by virtue of his conquest of audacity to stand in the terrain others find difficult to stand in or uncomfortable. He is just willing to seize opportunity and take action to effect a change whenever he find himself. However, the concept “next level” comes with leadership skills.

One of the best minds on this subject, Scott Williams outlined five (5) leadership skills to the next level. But first all is (i) Challenge Things: they challenge things because they are supposed to be challenged. They, not only challenge the thoughts / methods of leaders, but they challenge their own methodology. They realize their boss puts pants on just like they do and embrace the fact that just because a person is a supervision does not necessarily mean they are smarter or better leaders, or that they can’t add valve to the conversation. Challenging things is not about being combative, but rather raising every one’s leadership game to the next level. It’s okay to respectfully disagree. (2) Ask the right question: They always ask the right questions.

They begin sentences with what if?, have you ever thought about? This might sound crazy, but do you think we can…”anytime they have the opportunity to sit down with a next-level leader that they desire to learn from, they have a list of questions and not a list of answers. They take their leadership game to the next level by asking the right questions. (3) Dream, Big: They are always dreaming and imaging. Some of these dreams may seem to be a fairy-tale to some, but not to a Next-Level leader. A Next-Level leader will schedule an appointment to dream, they go to starbucks dream, they close their office door and dream, they take a vacation alone to do nothing but dream. They take their leadership game to the Next Level by dreaming BIG, encouraging those around them to dream BIG, writing their dreams down and making those dreams a reality. They dream BIG, think BIGGER. (4) Learners: They are always learning from books, blogs, history, culture, governance, failures, followers, other Next-Level leaders. They have a mantra something like will Rogers’ Mantra (I never met a man I didn’t like). The Next-Level “I never met a man, woman or situation that I didn’t learn from. They elevate their leadership game to the next-level by realizing that learning is fundamental. (5) Produce Next-Level Leaders: Next Level leaders produce Next-Level leaders. Next level leaders contribute to the world of leadership by truly caring about those that they lead and always developing Next-Level leaders. They confuse management with leadership managers manage people and things…Next-Level leaders produce other Next-Level leaders. Simply put “If you are not producing and developing Next-Level leaders…you are not a Next Level leader”. Next-Level leadership is not about how tall your tree can grow but the type of fruit your tree can produce.

The question now is, is Dapo Abiodun the Next-Level leader? Ogun State is clamouring for or expecting? However, it will be good to note that all the above Next-Level leadership qualities are what the legendary politician has schooled himself with and learnt. Dapo Abiodun is bent and inclined to challenging nearly everything around him including his being. He will ask questions and these are the right questions in the right place and at the right time. He is ever curious and his curiosity is directed to things in particular. His motive is to know why A is like A and B is B. He needs answers to his questions. Dapo Abiodun dreams BIG, perhaps this is what he has prepared himself for, a task he loves to accomplish all his life, in taking Ogun to the “Next-Level”. He is also a learner and learns from everything around him. He learns from books, music, blogs, history, governance, failures, followers including other Next-Level leaders.

Dapo Abiodun As APC Choice:
Dapo Abiodun’s emergence as the APC choice in Ogun State did not just arrive like a rocket from sky, it came amidst of years of preparatory training / learning, experiences: pains and gains, failures and successes. It came up amidst long expectations of skillful work and perseverance on the template of the good pedigree which Dapo Abiodun has built. The eight-member Electoral panel of the party’s National working committee led by Mr. Muhammed Indabawa a retired Commissioner of Police with a distinguished and unblemished record of service, declared. Dapo Abiodun, in the camp of federal might, as the winner of the APC gubernatorial primaries. In his speech he asserted “having polled the highest number of votes in a freely and fairly contested direct primary elections”. Dapo Abiodun polled 102, 305 party: Jimi Lawal 51,153, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru 29,764, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade 23, 44, Senator Gbenga Kaka 17,771 and Abayomi Hunye 9,610.

His victory came amidst controversies and political imbroglio ravaging the party in Ogun State which the incumbent Governor Ibikunle Amosun is alleged spearheading faction within the party as he led the Ogun State APC to endorse his choice of successor, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade as the next Governor of Ogun State. The day before Indabawa-led panel made its announcement, the chairman of APC in Ogun State, Chief Derin Adebiyi addressed journalists at the party’s secretariat in Abeokuta and announced that their candidate Hon. Adekunle Akinlade had emerged as the consensus candidate of the party. This development came after the decision of the Yewa Elder’s council at their own conducted “direct primaries”.

The National Working Committee came in to counter the announcement of Chief Adebiyi, affirming that Dapo Abiodun, not Mr. Akinlade, was the official and preferred choice, and the declared winner as the Ogun State conducted primaries was illegal. President Muhammadu Buhari with the national leaders of the party had earlier on convened series of meetings to appeal to Governor Amosun to accept and recognize Dapo Abiodun as the legitimate winner and preferred choice of APC at the national level.

Meanwhile at the earlier stage of things, Com. Tunde Oladunjoye once reported of how a meeting was held at the valley view of the state House Isale-Igbehin where he claimed to have been coerced to endorse the Governor’s supposed success or, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, against his wish to which he declined. Oladunjoye had used the social media to announce the official conspiracy, perhaps this among many things had spurred up reaction from the federal Government and APC’s national body. The question is why couldn’t Governor Ibikunle Amosun consider Dapo Abiodun as his preferred choice? Dapo Abiodun remains a useful tool in the hand of APC. The Governor has even been alleged of breaching the contract that existed between him and Dapo Abiodun despite the massive support the latter had given the former in the past. An undisclosed source maintained that Hon. Akinlade is one of Amosun’s boys and is readily at the Governor’s control. Mr. Akinlade was the Governor’s choice and that the Governor had been taking him round the state, unveiling him as his successor. The Governor in his characteristic dogged conclusion and state’s might, had gone far, introducing him at public functions and social gatherings as his successor. He had also introduced him to the Chinese Contractors working in the state as the “Next Governor” in clear violation of rules and regulations that given the democratic process. Senator Ibikunle Amosun worsened the case for ignoring the status quo, disregarding the leadership of APC, thus single-handedly picked a deputy for Mr. Akinlade and all the 38 candidates for electoral offices in the State. It was to this effect that the stage was closed against Amosun’s sticknedness in lording his preferred candidate on the people of Ogun State to usher in the “executive order” of the central authority of APC which led to the emergence of Dapo Abiodun as APC gubernatorial candidate in Ogun State.

Assessing Dapo Abiodun’s Master Strategies:

That Dapo Abiodun had already created master strategies for himself is not an oversimplified expression. He created a structure that puts him far ahead, above his fellow candidates to show that he is highly experienced. He has a sound articulation of programs that could not be matched with any. His are masses-oriented programmes that add valve to lives. He has vowed to open up rural roads so that farmers can get their farm products to the market in good time and to provide link between towns and villages, in fact create rural-urban and urban-rural accessibility. However, for Dapo Abiodun who knew how to warm himself into the masses favour, he went ahead to recreate leadership-followership relationship, thus canvassing for vigorous membership as new and more members were being added to the party. But unknown to the Governor who was busy introducing his preferred candidate, Dapo Abiodun had vigorously commenced an exercise that would pave his way for victory at the primaries. He had embarked on a registration exercise of members that would add more 50,000 new names to the party’s register of voters. These were card carrying members who had already been given acute knowledge that in a possible future direct primary election, might be crucial for his victory at the poll. It was a registration exercise that brought him in close contact with the grassroots leadership of the party as well as the poor, ordinary voters who were just interested in the outcome of the primaries. He penetrated into the party’s working details gained access into the whims and caprices of things yet took control of things with sublime faith and humility, an action that caught the attention of the incumbent Governor unawares surprise of the leadership of the party. This paid off well. The jubilation that greeted his success at the primary elections was quite resounding. The question now is, for all the people that presented themselves as gubernatorial aspirants, who really merit the APC gubernatorial candidacy? To answer this question one needs to consider the suitability of each of these candidates, who they are and where they are coming from including their political manifestoes whether they conform to the present needs of the people. Can they serve in their best capacities as Governors? But to answer this question once and for all, Dapo Abiodun has a unique background. Having been born to Dr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Abiodun from Iperu-Remo on May 1960. It’s a honour able family in Iperu-Remo where education was considered as a necessity and indeed, they gave Dapo the best legacy he could think of. He schooled both in Nigeria and USA and worked in both countries with his engineering and Accounting background.

His investment into private business, no doubt, has made him one of the largest indigenous players in t he downstream, main-stream and upstream sector, precisely oil and gas industries with his companies conglomerate e.g. Heyden Petroleum Limited, First Power Limited to name few. He has provided direct employment to over 10,000 Nigerians and 25,000 people indirectly. He had also served as a member of various presidential committees and organizations including the presidential ThinkTank in 2001. He was appointed as the chairman of Oil and Gas committee, Ogun State in 2009. He was the chairman of Depot and Petroleum Product Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) in 2012 and later, chairman, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in 2018. He’s financial skills and prowess was given recognition in July this year at the 23rd Convocation ceremony at Ekiti State University where he was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Finance (honoris causa). He was elected as a Senator at the of 33 on the platform of United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in 1992, making him the youngest Nigerian ever to be so elected.

Dapo Abiodun for Governor
As Yoruba adage says “The head that will wear the crown cannot do without wearing it”, so it goes for Dapo Abiodun. Talk about challenges, he had already had his shares, talk about hope again, he had his shares. However, there comes a moment of victory for every battle that is successfully fought and like the book “The Art of War” written by a Chinese Philosopher, Sun Tzu who in his expression of he ancient Chinese classic of strategy, opines that conflict is an inevitable part of life, but everything to deal with conflict wisely, honourably, victoriously; is already present within us. That there can be victory without battle, and unassailable strength through understanding the physics, politics and psychology of conflict. According to the Tzu’s Art of War, A general must see alone and know alone, meaning that he must see what others do not see and know what others do not know. Seeing what others do not know is called genius. Brilliant geniuses win first, meaning that they defend in such a way as to be unassailable and in such a way as to be irresistible. Prince Dapo Abiodun has clear cut programmes as Ogun State Governor to be. These are clearly spelt in his political manifestoes. He intends to tackle the endemic problems of unemployment and wealth generation through the deployment of Farm Ranches as part of massive revolutionary Agricultural programmes in a manner reminiscent of the days of the old western region, under Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Dapo’s prospective transformational agenda are particular geared towards all in the state but he will also do to carry along the bulk of the workforce of young star, whose entrepreneurial prowess could drive the economic wheel of the state. Prince Dapo Abiodun is committing a huge amount of resources to education and healthcare. He has plans to engage in genuine quarterly town hall meetings for all the people once he becomes Governor. There are greater lofty plans of Dapo Abiodun in stock and if elected as Governor of Ogun State in 2019, he will make things better for the people.

– Written by Oluseun Oduneye

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