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Things Fall Apart In Osun APC Over Power Shift

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The sour relationship be­tween Governor Gboye­ga Oyetola of Osun State, and his immediate predecessor and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola has deepened with the plan by the latter’s associates to deny the governor a second term ticket.

An aide of the governor blamed the situation on the plan by Aregbesola to re­duce the governor to a mere puppet, saying the Minister never wanted Oyetola to succeed him as governor in the first place.

He cited an attempt to frustrate the governor during his campaign days when the former governor stalled their rallies while he travelled to Malaysia and allowed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to dominate the political field.

He noted that the refus­al of Oyetola to be answer­able to Aregbesola in run­ning the state’s affairs was responsible for the feud, which their associates are using to further widen the gap between the two leaders.

The aide who does not want his name in print, not­ed that efforts by Chief Bisi Akande, a former governor of the state, to end the feud failed because Aregbeso­la wanted to have his way at all cost, saying the wise counsel of the elder states­man was jettisoned by the Minister.

He said Akande had told Aregbesola that as a former governor, he never inter­fered in the governance of the state while the Minister was in charge, wondering why he wanted to dictate to Oyetola how to run the gov­ernment.

But another aide of the Minister who claimed that Akande was biased in his intervention, said the feud only exists amongst the associates of Oyetola and Aregbesola, stressing that the two leaders talk from time to time and exchange ideas.

He said all the governor needed to do is to rein in on his associates to stop beat­ing drums of war, even as he said Oyetola has been caged by his associates who were trying to create empires for themselves.

However, an associate of the governor disagreed that his boss was being ill-ad­vised by his associates, cit­ing the alleged nomination of the former deputy gov­ernor of the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore, for minis­terial appointment by the governor, which did not go down well with Aregbesola who claimed that Oyetola ought to have informed him before the nomination.

Though he said the gov­ernor never knew that Areg­besola was interested in the ministerial appointment, he quickly backed the Minister when he got to know.

According to him, Areg­besola was never happy with the reception accord­ed Omisore by the governor even when he knew the con­tribution of the senator to the victory of the governor at the poll in 2018.

He pointed out that the minister worked against the party’s candidates in Ife area in the last election so as to reduce the influence of Omisore as a leader in the party.

“He went further in op­posing the governor’s bid for second term; the Minister had lined up two people to contest against Oyetola for the APC ticket. They are the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bola Oyebamiji and the Senator representing Osun West Senatorial District, Adeyemi Oriolowo, who have backed out of the plot and are supporting the gov­ernor’s second term bid,” he claimed.

Also, he said the name of the present senator rep­resenting Osun Central Sen­atorial District, Dr. Ajibola Basiru is also being men­tioned by the Aregbesola group to help displace the governor in 2022.

The aide said last week’s advertisement by the Areg­besola group in a national newspaper is one out of many, which they have lined up to embarrass the gover­nor but stated that Osun people are happy with Oye­tola , adding that “all their activities will lead them to nowhere.”

Further investigations by SUNDAY INDEPEN­DENT revealed that series of meetings had been held by Aregbesola’s associates in wards, local government councils and districts on how to achieve their aims through various means us­ing human right groups to perfect their plans to zone the next governorship tick­et from Osun Central where Oyetola hails to Osun West Senatorial District, the pre­ferred area of Aregbesola.

While Aregbesola wants the party chairmanship position to go to Osun West since the Speaker is from Osun East and Governor from Osun Central, Oyeto­la is insisting on retaining Prince Adegboyega Famo­dun from same senatorial district with him whose tenure of office as State APC chairman had lapsed since October 2018.

All efforts to have the par­ty’s state congress and new executive installed had been practically difficult since Oyetola does not enjoy ma­jority support of the party structure as well as appoin­tees and elected officers on the platform of the party.

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Former Lagos State Gov­ernor and National Leader of the APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Akande had made several efforts to resolve the seemingly im­passe between the governor and his predecessor, but the efforts may not have made a fruitful impact as the duo’s interest is to control the soul of the party and the state ahead of 2022 governorship election in the state.

Indeed, a group, Osun Network for Equity and So­cial Justice allegedly traced to Aregbesola’s camp, re­cently came up with a news­paper advertorial appealing to Tinubu, Akande, Oyetola, Aregbesola and other stake­holders on the need for Oye­tola to sacrifice his second term ambition in 2022.

They argued that there is a great responsibility on Governor Oyetola to sacri­fice his second term ambi­tion of another four years, which would have taken the numbers of years spent by Osun Central Senatorial District (the Ikirun zone of the district) to 19 and half years to Osun West Senato­rial District.

They also called on the stakeholders to immediate­ly work on how to zone the APC gubernatorial ticket in 2022 to the West Senatorial District, in the interest of the party and overall inter­est of the state by impress­ing it on Oyetola, the need to yield to this call.

Osun Central Senatorial District of the state (Ikirun Zone) has been dominating the state political scene since its creation in August 1991.

Out of the 29 years of existence, the district has ruled the state for almost 20 years, while Osun East Sen­atorial District comprising Ife-Ijesa has ruled for eight years and Osun West Sena­torial District has ruled for just 22 months.

Before the emergence of Oyetola as Governor in 2018, there had been agitation for Osun West to be allowed to take the slot, but the candi­date from the district on the platform of the PDP, Sena­tor Ademola Adeleke did not win the gubernatorial poll.

In a swift reaction, some party leaders in Osun West Senatorial District includ­ing lawmakers and others distanced themselves from the renewed agitation that Osun West should be al­lowed and that Oyetola should be persuaded and pressured to jettison his second term ambition.

They frowned at the ad­vertorial in which their po­sition was made known at a press conference held in Iwo on Friday and submit­ted that the position was selfish and not generally ac­ceptable to all in the district.

The leaders said the spon­sored crisis within the Osun APC family has failed and is dead on arrival and the new slogan is “Oyetola Lekansi.”

Another leader of the party who preferred an­onymity, said the issue is “very cautious, and plead that the media should allow us to be for now.”

He added that Osun Net­work for Equity and Social Justice, is a faceless group not known to anyone in Osun State.

“Oyetola has the consti­tutional right to seek re-elec­tion, and it is the people of the state that will determine who will rule them,” he add­ed.

However, the position of the party leaders from Osun West Senatorial District is not without dissenting voices as some party lead­ers who are allegedly loyal to Aregbesola from the dis­trict did not turn up for the conference.

Former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Nojeem Sallam, Sen­ator Mudasiru Hussein, APC State Secretary, Rasak Salinsile who are party lead­ers from the district and ex­pected to sign the rejoinder were conspicuously absent.

No reason was given for their action, but it was reli­ably gathered that they were not disposed to the stand of those faulting the agitation.

Another socio political group in the party, Dynam­ic Reformers Group headed by Durojaiye Olaleke has described sponsors of Osun Network for Equity and Social Justice as enemies within who are collaborat­ing with enemies outside to cause friction within the party, adding it is ridiculous and unpardonable.

According to Olaleke, “I sympathise with the Osun Network for Equity and So­cial Justice over its unusual, strange, undemocratic and frivolous demand of asking the incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola who has only spent two years in of­fice to step down his future political ambition.

“Such a call is frivolous and undemocratic in the sense that the Constitution of Nigeria allows two terms of four-year each for any state governor. Governor Oyetola could not be found to be breaching any known law of our country by his choice to spend two terms.

“As a result of this, the unpopular demand that seems to be orchestrated, sponsored and teleguided by the opposition within who are apparently working in connivance with those out­side the party, can neither sit nor fly as such needless agitation is not backed up by any known law of our country.

“Once it’s the constitu­tional right of Governor Oyetola to seek re-election for another term, no Jupi­ter can constitute any clog to his aspiration in this regard. Asking Oyetola to step down his re-election by the opposition through an unknown human rights organisation, which name doesn’t ring a bell amounts to an attempt to ambush the governor who has been pro­viding quality governance since the inception of his administration when all other options to stop him have failed.

“It is even pertinent for the hurriedly-put- together Osun Network for Social Jus­tice to ask itself what Oye­tola has got to gain or lose by ceding his right to recon­test for the second term. Of course, it’s the people who are enjoying his qualitative government that would be needlessly made to suffer while there would be brazen denial of the constitutional right of the governor.

“Another request by the suspected partisan human rights organisation for the leaders of our party to zone the 2022 governorship slot to the Osun Senatorial District of the state and put pressure on the incumbent Governor Oyetola to jettison his sec­ond term ambition is equally undemocratic to the person of Governor Oyetola.”

Source: Independent

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Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

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