Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun has demolished the DATKEM Plaza, owned by Olufunke Daniel, wife of former governor Gbenga Daniel and incumbent senator representing Ogun East.
In a statement, Olusegun Lawal, the Project Manager and Developer for the building, revealed that the demolition of the five-storey building located at Folagbade Street, Ijebu-Ode, was carried out at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Mr Lawal said that the building, which had been under construction since 2009, had the full approval from the state government and was scheduled for commissioning by the end of September before the demolition, adding that the building had no structural or quality issues.
He disclosed that the third floor of the now demolished building was to house the Ogun East Senatorial Office.
The demolition comes as rumours proliferate about a raging rift between the incumbent governor and former governor Daniel now senator for Ogun East.
It was unclear when the rift began, as Mr Daniel backed Mr Abiodun for governor in 2019. But as 2023 election drew closer, there were suggestions that Mr Daniel did not openly back Mr Abiodun’s reelection, but instead worked quietly to support Ladi Adebutu, the candidate of opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Speaking to Peoples Gazette, Mr Lawal said the demolition was “very shocking, very cruel and a heinous act committed by someone who is supposed to be saving our lives and properties; by somebody who is supposed to protect the rule of law in this state.”
He added that, as the developer of the building, everything that was required from state government officials was done, therefore, the demolition was shocking.
“We’ve done what was needful from our side regarding this project. They complained of contravention and we made amendment to the approval, submitted since last year. This is a building that’s almost two years now. Every queries raised, we answered them.
“When they partially sealed us, they asked us to pay unsealing fee of half a million (N500,000) which I paid. They received it and the next thing they did was to give us a letter in which they said within 24 hours, the amendment submitted doesn’t confirm with what we’re building. I said can we perform magic in this life?”
Neither the governor nor the senator has publicly acknowledged an ongoing feud, and their respective spokespersons did not immediately return our requests seeking comments on Sunday morning.
Today’s development, provoked or not, is all but assured to escalate their rancour into the public glare.