Dancing on Dipo Dina’s Grave
Who will not die? Who has ever 'bribed' death in history? Has life ever been given by man? We all know that life is sacred and that only God is the giver. Why then will politics in Ogun State be played with so much acrimony, pain, sorrow? The Otunba Gbenga Daniel, OGD, administration unanimously deserve a trophy as 'The Most Violent & Purposeless Government' in the history of polity in Abeokuta, a state under the rock.
In Ogun State, opposition lives far away because their lives are being toyed with by 'tricks'. How about the exit of veteran journalists in the mould of Niran Malaolu and Wale Adedayo from the cabinet of OGD? These two journalists resigned from the administration of OGD when it became clear to them that their lives were no longer safe.
To unveil the personality behind OGD, I'd like to narrate my personal encounter with him. I met OGD before he became the 'elected' governor of Ogun State. Then, I was the Society Editor of Tempo magazine, the now rested fierce weekly newsmagazine. There was a time I did a story on OGD where I made mentioned that he was unsuitable to run for governorship of Ogun State due to some facts. Immediately the edition hit the news stand, OGD, began to call my mobile phone endlessly, mostly at odd hours. And on some occasions, my wife would pick the call and be scared.
Incidentally, this was when Aremo Olusegun Osoba, was governor of Ogun State under Alliance for Democracy, AD, party. OGD asked me on phone how much Osoba paid me to ruin his 'hard-earned reputation', and that he was ready to offer me 10 times the amount Osoba paid. This I dismissed with a wave of hand. OGD became persistent and lamented that the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, had already summoned him to the Villa to enquire why he had to bring opprobrium to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, then unknown in Ogun State.
Thereafter, on two occasions, he drove to my office along Acme road, Ogba, Lagos to look for me. Fortunately, I was not in the office by then. And when he finally spoke with me on phone, he instructed that I see him in his house at Maryland. When his pressure was unbearable, I had to go there in company of a Photo Journalist from my office that hid on one of the floors of Kresta Laurel, which housed Channels Television. I'd ordered my Photo Journalist to click away in case something untoward happened to me in OGD's Lion's Den.
When OGD sighted me from afar, he pointed at my direction and screamed that “this is Omo Ibo (Ibo Boy) that plans to ruin my political ambition.” Some thugs in his terrace immediately surrounded me and were about to attack me when I asked OGD what I had done to deserve a kind of maltreatment 'his boys' were about to unleash on me. He quickly warned me never to ever write on him negatively or else…
Yeye Funke, his wife had to prevail on him to leave me alone and that I looked innocent and remorseful. That was how I escaped the anger of the 'Lion'. But OGD was quick say I'd be automatically be drafted into his gubernatorial media campaign team.
OGD never saw me again until he asked me why I was no longer available for his media rounds to all the local governments in Ogun State. One of the living witnesses is Adedayo, his former Chief Press Secretary, now on exile.
On two occasions that I was prevailed upon by media colleagues to be on OGD's campaign train, the convoy of Osoba was intimidated on the Oke-Mosan highway, and Aremo had to direct his convoy to re-park well.
Since then, I have gone away with an impression of OGD's intolerance and anger in face of opposition. But Otunba Dipo Dina, the assassinated gubernatorial aspirant of Action Congress, AC, at Ota, Ogun State was irrepressible and the most outspoken of all opposition against the 'titanic rule' of OGD.