Dateline January 6, 2016, Hon. Oladipupo Olatunde Adebutu declared his interest to run for the highly coveted Ogun Governorship seat. Most pundits believed it was too early in a race towards the 2019 elections, especially when the financial implications is factored in and the physical exertions involved in political campaigns. Only a superman can dare.

Adebutu
Hon. Dr. Oladipupo Adebutu

The Odds that Adebutu had to face were many, far beyond the funding for his campaign; he contested against a PDP power structure, in itself that was wobbling and clearly tilting towards a fall. Adebutu lost in the contest for the control of the party and not at the Primary which he never contested. The 2019 elections never had Adebutu on the ballot, because he had lost in a power game deliberately skewed against him and in favour of an establishment that eventually undid the party, not only in Ogun State, but in Nigeria. PDP lost in both Ogun and at the Federal level and was bleeding profusely at the political intensive care units.

At a point when it appeared no one was ready to take paternity and pay the medical bill for resuscitating the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State, Adebutu again rose up to the challenge. And no sooner than he discharged the party from the prostrate form in which it was lying than another struggle for paternity arose. From nowhere, PDP became the prized orphan that is about to be adopted by a foster parent, led by Jimi Lawal.

But for all relevant documents approving formal adoptions by Adebutu, Jimi Lawal would have ran away with the weak political party child right from the hospital bed without paying any medical bills for its well being. No doubt, Ladi Adebutu was bruised but not wounded in this struggle. Starting from various High courts in Nigeria and closing at the Supreme Court in about eight different times, and Adebutu won all. Certainly not without winning more political enemies, and many they are, in those who lost and eventually formed an unholy alliance to try to stop him.Adebutu

Adebutu went ahead to contest on the ticket of the PDP against an obviously unpopular candidate of the APC whose only political strength is being the incumbent. He did not only win the election, but convincingly too as no court right from the tribunal all through the Court of Appeal up to the Supreme Court could muster sufficient courage to look into his evidence. All they expected his team of lawyers was to scale through the booby traps of legal technicalities . This, to me is sufficient victory for Adebutu. The courts did not declare Dapo Abiodun winner, rather they only said Ladi Adebutu’s lawyers did not prove their case.

The strength with which Adebutu sustained the legal battle further endeared him to the people and won for him the conscience and trust of many more who saw in him a great leader who can stand by the courage of his personal conviction; an empathic kind of leader that Ogun State people actually needs

Dapo Abiodun might have partially succeeded in the realm of intrigues and blackmail to rally APC Governors against the President with subtle threats about Security Reports and of possible break down of law and order upon his loss, but Adebutu holds the legitimacy of popular mandate. While Abiodun might strode the town over Ogun State People’s commonwealth, the people know who they voted for and who their true leader is. And surely, there is always a tomorrow, not too far.Adebutu

In some Yoruba culture when the throne is rigged in favour of the wrong person, the oracle warns that such an illegitimate Holden must be to serve the person who was cheated, Dapo Abiodun’s illegitimacy and calabash of pepper is Holden onto Ladi Adebutu who selected the Calabash of honey.

A very significant ups for the Adebutu campaign was such that he touched and changed lives, not only of those who were aligned with him on the journey, but his name became household and opened doors for otherwise unemployable individuals in the opposition who got appointed by the Dapo Abiodun administration on account of every odious names and negatives references that they can throw at him.

Johnson Shodunke, a public affairs analyst writes from Ago Oko, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

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