Farewell to Governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD)
By Taju Tijani
The departing governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel will, in matter of weeks, re-embrace life anew as an ordinary citizen. That revelation has its own chilling and cruel symmetry. Yes, there ia a humble lesson to be learned from it all. That power is transient and that everything passes. Nothing lasts forever, even life. For 8 years, OGD is The Governor of Ogun State. His affable and palpable personality bestrides the Ogun skyline like a colossus. There is a dark mysticism behind the universal adulation and almost hero-worship he receives from the people of Ogun state. His governorship tenure is like a merry waltz for his people seen through his unflagging goodness, genial accommodation, even development, harmonious synergy between the traditional institutions and the vociferous elite across the length and breadth of the state.
OGD made history of which one dreams through his natural ability to unify a disparage humanity of intelligent, proud, articulating, educated and sophisiticated people of Ogun state. He made the grinding burden of presiding over Ogun state feel like cutting through a cheese. He has mocked the antics of his detractors and overcome petty chicanery to blaze many unique trails which will tax his successor for years to come. His injection of vision and higher purpose into the womb of governance is like recasting the real meaning and essence of democracy. OGD made Ogun nationalism, should I say that, more muscular, more romantic and this has since turned into an anchor where his kinsmen and women moor their pride. His redeeming vision has been able to form a barricade against political slavery as seen in his open door and political accessibility for the low and the mighty.
Even professional politicians who might want to spar self-righteously with OGD would relaise that it is a featureless contest between his real legacy and the emptiness of his antagonists. However, Ogun politics has morphed from its earlier years of honour, pride and the common tenets of cohesion and development to a disconnected citadel of a General's primordial obduracy, political harlotry, depressing tribal charade, all, leading apace to a future of beastly heritage. We cannot gain say the fact again and again that Ogun is a tough state to govern. It has the largest conglomeration of enlightened elite, cultural sophisticats, brilliant academic overproduction, Solomonical Obas and highly enterprising proletarian human asset. Welcome to a land of unbudgeable giants!
The distillation of Ogun state into one giant amalgam of unity, peace and prosperity provides its own yawning challenge for OGD. But with the herald of a change maker, old certainties had to give way to the new as seen in the political, economic and social statistics of his achievement in the past 8 years in Ogun state. Young and old OGDists herald him as a man of genial, kind and visionary ability. Other OGD disciples reckon that he is a human transformer, who over the arc of short time, transformed Ogun from a forgotten wasteland to mega city viable enough to be seen as an investment destination of choice among foreigners itching to invest in Nigeria. Also, the achievement of Gateway Holding will definitely make any investment analyst blanch with envy. OGD was able to bring renewal to most urban towns in Ogun state and also stymied the long running social polarisation of its jobless youths through the resource of the state youth empowerment programmes.
And to preserve his splendid achievements, those armed with the intellectual ability to preserve are calling for the birth of OGDISM. Tayo Agunbiade is known as a soft, no bare knuckle newspaper columnist. But on GTV studio settee, she morphed into a theoretical tigress agaitating valorously for the creation of OGDISM as an intellectual idea that will serve as a political, philosophical, social, economic and social template for the future destiny of Ogun state. Agunbiade is advocating for a sacred document that will combine the widom of Ghaddafi's green book with Mao's red book that laid the solid foundation of both countries' greatness. The OGDISM project should be pursued with both rigour and vigour against the advancing horde of reactionary forces bent on obliterating Otunba Gbenga Daniel's legacy of development and progress.
Today, Ogun state is in a state of roiling social and political ferment. The arch villain, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, an Owu, is demonstrating his natural instinct to alter set paradigms. OGD's grand plan of equity, fairness and justice toward the subjugated Yewa/Awori is in disarray. The febrile, dirty politics of despoiling something elementally decent shows that our democracy must be ringfenced by ramparts of vigilance or we shall all be faced with a lifetime of contest with betrayal, anarchy, assassinations, stunted growth and political oppression. OGD should embrace life after politics with fresh vigour and the readiness to embrace the verdict of posterity. Murderously betrayed, and bruised beyond belief, OGD has maintained solidarity with his core constituency-the people of Ogun state. His parting shot of "teni begi loju....igi ti ru we" speaks truth to the conscience of every political charlatan. Farewell OGD-The Governor!