About Otunba Gbenga Daniel

Political Career

Democratic struggle

As one of the youngest kitchen cabinet members of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Daniel was in charge of the student wing of the Unity Party of Nigeria in 1978 but his sojourn in the UPN was short-lived after his father drove to the University of Lagos with a clear instruction to concentrate on his academic pursuit and leave politics.

After graduation and establishment of Kresta Laurel, Gbenga Daniel joined the Yoruba social-cultural group Afenifere under the then leadership of Pa Abraham Adesanya.

During the struggle against the military juntas and campaign for the reinstatement of the annulled June 12 election, Gbenga Daniel became one of the financiers of the National Democratic Coalition (Nigeria) NADECO providing supports to members who were fleeing the country to seek asylum abroad.

Governor of Ogun State

Gbenga Daniel’s campaign for the seat of the governor was described by political analysts as “electric” considering the fact that as a businessman, he defeated a sitting governor.

His campaign was a revolution in the state in 2003 as he visited all the 236 wards of Ogun State, meeting with every stakeholder of every street and area in the state to sell his ideas. He received commendations for redefining campaign for political office in Nigeria.

Daniel was elected governor of Ogun State in the 2003 Ogun State gubernatorial election, running on the PDP platform beating the incumbent with 217, 353 votes. His victory remains the biggest electoral victory in Ogun state. He scored 449,335 votes against the sitting governor who scored 231,982 votes recording the widest margin ever in Ogun state governorship race.

He acquired the chiefly title Otunba of the Egba and Ijebu clans of the state during the course of his first term. He was re-elected in April 2007. His April 2007 election was disputed by rival candidate Ibikunle Amosun of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), but in August 2009 the Ogun State Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed the petition.

He promoted entrepreneurship amongst young people through voracious youth development programmes. The Nigerian Youth Council of the state was massively empowered to help youths all over the state and many young people were appointed into notable political positions.

Some of his other achievements while in office include building roads, recreational centres and stadiums in the three senatorial districts of the state, and setting up a University of Education. The Gateway International Stadium was a site of the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup which was held in Nigeria.

In February 2009, Daniel authorised reduction of fees at the State-owned Moshood Abiola Polytechnic to ₦7,000. This followed negotiations with the National Association of Nigerian Students after parents and students had protested recent increases to fees.

Daniel started the Ogun State Agro cargo airport in Ilishan-Remo. An international air cargo port dedicated to offering direct export of agricultural products in Ogun state and Southwest Nigeria to the international community.

The airport plan also shows the provision for regular carriage for passengers plane for international flights. He established three free trade zones in each of the senatorial districts in Ogun State. The Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone Limited, Igbesa, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area; Olokola Free Trade Zone (OKFTZ); Olokola Deep Seaport and Kajola Free Trade Zone in Ifo.

Goodluck Jonathan campaign

In 2010 Daniel was appointed to lead the Goodluck Jonathan for president campaign in the Southwest, Nigeria. True to his assignment, Jonathan won the election in the southwest overwhelmingly in 2011 and became the first South-Southerner to ever rule over Nigeria.

PDP National Chairmanship

In 2017, Gbenga Daniel contested for the position of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party. His campaign was adjourned by many as the sturdiest campaign at the time. He visited the entire 36 states and FCT to campaign for a fresh start for the party. However, on the day of the convention, he submitted his letter of withdrawal after a consensus was reached by the party’s leadership to zone the position to the South-South.

Atiku Campaign Director-General

In 2018, Atiku Abubakar announced the appointment of Gbenga Daniel as the director-general of his presidential campaign organisation. Daniel led the former vice-president to victory in the presidential primary of the PDP in Port Harcourt despite the predictions of bookmarkers.

Joining APC

In February 2021, Gbenga Daniel officially joined the All Progressive Congress (APC) after two years of leaving partisan politics. In his remark during the ceremonial handing over of the broom symbol of the party, Daniel stated that his main goal in politics is to foster national unity and the development of the country.

He was received into the party by five governors namely Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello.

Shortly after joining the APC, Daniel was appointed by the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) to head the Media and Publicity Sub-Committee of the party as well as a member of the contact/strategy sub-committee.

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