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Former UK High Commissioner Offers Solution To Ogun’s 12-Year Succession Crisis

Daud Olatunji

In a momentous gathering at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, distinguished sons and daughters of Egbaland came together to honour the immediate past Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sarafa Isola.

Amidst the accolades and celebration, Isola seized the opportunity to address the pressing issue of the 12-year succession crisis plaguing Ogun State.

Isola, a native of the Egba division of Ogun State, highlighted the detrimental impact of hostile succession in the state’s political landscape. 

He emphasized the need for political leaders and traditional rulers to unite in putting an end to the ongoing hostility over succession plans.

PLATFORM TIMES reports that the succession plan began in 2011 while Gbenga  Daniel who was elected in 2003 and  after serving two-term of eight years got enmeshed in crisis over his planned successor .

The crisis continued eight years after, during the administration of Amosun which led to his failure plan to have his choice as his successor .

Also, another plan to make Biyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress, the next governor to replace the state governor, Dapo Abiodun failed in 2019.

Speaking on the development ahead of 2027, Isola argued that sustainable development could only be achieved if the political class embraced continuity and collaboration, urging them to overcome the current political divisions.

He said  “what we have seen here today transcends beyond Egbaland because what has happened today was a kind of conglomerate, consisting of good people across Ogun state and beyond who believe in this course and have identified with this course. 

“In Ogun state today we are too politically divided and it is very clear that no state can develop within two terms  which is the maximum term of any state government.

“What develops a society is sustainable development. I will continue to mention that Navy Captain Oladeinde Joseph (a former military governor of Ogun state)  spoke to me and identified hostile succession as the problem with our state.

“I want to enjoin all of us, particularly our traditional rulers, because that happens to be the only permanent feature, to work towards ensuring that hostile succession is a thing of the past in Ogun state. 

“And I’m challenging everybody in the political class to also take up the challenge, the potentials of this state is quite enormous, I look forward to a state where all us we see ourselves as partners in progress”, Isola said.

The former High Commissioner stressed the immense potential of Ogun State and envisioned a future where all stakeholders viewed themselves as partners in progress.

 Isola acknowledged the diasporic community for their exceptional cooperation and the dedicated staff at the High Commission in London, emphasizing the importance of effective leadership in achieving collective success.

In a touching moment, Isola thanked his wife for her unwavering support during his demanding schedule as High Commissioner. He also celebrated the unity among traditional rulers, sharing anecdotes of joint celebrations and camaraderie that transcended geographical boundaries.

The celebration took a political turn as Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, former governors Gbenga Daniel,  Ibikunle Amosun, and first-class traditional rulers in Egbaland delivered heartfelt tributes to Ambassador Sarafa Isola.

 They collectively praised Isola for his outstanding performance during his diplomatic tenure in the United Kingdom, projecting Ogun State positively on the global stage.

Abiodun, represented by former Speaker Titi Oseni-Gomez, described Isola as a pride of the country and the state, attributing his sterling performance to the positive image projected for Ogun State. 

Gbenga Daniel, represented by Dr. Niran Malaolu, commended Isola’s commitment during his tenure as Secretary to the State Government, acknowledging his excellent representation of the country and the state.

Amosun, addressing a diverse audience, succinctly captured the sentiment, declaring, “Ambassador Sarafa went, saw, and conquered.” 

He highlighted the crucial role played by spouses in achieving success, emphasizing the indispensable support provided by Isola’s wife.

The paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Osile of Oke-Ona, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, and the Olowu of Owu, Oba Prof. Saka Matemilola, eulogized the former UK High Commissioner for his exemplary representation of Ogun State and Nigeria.

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