Osun: Tinubu’s Influence On Trial As Oyetola, Aregbesola Flex Muscles

Osun: Tinubu’s Influence On Trial As Oyetola, Aregbesola Flex Muscles

By Sam Egburonu, Editor

There is tension in Osun All Progressives Congress (APC) as Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s loyalists and former Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s supporters battle for the soul of the party in the state.

NewsOrient reports that with the in-fighting in Osun APC, the outcome of this Saturday, February 19, 2022 primary will finally determine whether former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is still in control of the politics of the state.

This is because both Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Governor Oyetola are political sons of Tinubu and insiders in their political family said Tinubu clearly wants Governor Oyetola to get a return APC ticket and to get re-elected as the state Governor.

 But Aregbesola, a former protege of Bola Tinubu, who is also the current Minister of Interior, is bent on stopping his predecessor, Governor Oyetola, a Tinubu’s close relative and choice, from getting the APC’s return governorship ticket ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

 Punch has reported earlier that some supporters of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola,  under the aegis of the Osun Progressives, had, in a rejoinder to an article titled, ‘Open letter to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu: The Osun calabash must not be broken”, written by one Akanni Omo Oba, said Oyetola is “too weak to win a governorship contest in Osun against a formidable opposition candidate.”

According to Punch Newspaper, among the leaders who signed the rejoinder are Former Chairman, Alliance for Democracy and ex-Secretary to Osun State Government, Osun, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti; former Osun Speaker, Najim Salam; Adelowo Adebiyi.

Others are Osun APC factional leader, Rasaq Salinsile; Alhaji Issa Adesiji; Kolapo Alimi; Adelani Baderinwa; Nureni Adebisi; Mrs. Aina Ogundare and Akeem Olaoye.

Some of the issues raised by the leaders are attacks on Aregbesola’s legacies and alleged imposition of leaders on party members.

They also claimed that by “political arrangement”, Oyetola is expected to spend four years in office.

“The fact is that as of 2018, Osun Central Senatorial District had ruled for 11 and half years and Osun West Senatorial District had only governed the state for one year 10 months and so, the agitation for the Osun West Senatorial District to produce the next Governor was fierce and huge. However, Aregbesola complied with the directive of Tinubu by swimming against the political tide and did everything possible to ensure that Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola emerge as the candidate of the APC.

“That decision alone fragmented the party such that a section of the party decamped to ADP,” part of the rejoinder read.

It also said: “It should be noted that there are so many factors that were responsible for the declaration of the last governorship election being inconclusive, among which was the decamping of a section of our party to another party, but the major factor was the mere fact that Oyetola was a weak candidate and unpopular in his local government, Boripe Local Government,” the factional leaders claimed.

They also complained that Oyetola, from the inception of his administration labeled his predecessor, Aregbesola, as “someone who did not want him to win the election and someone with whom he should not associate.”

They also alleged that Oyetola reversed major policies of Aregbesola’s administration “spitefully”.

As they put it; “Governor Oyetola started a campaign of calumny against Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and politics of segregation within the party such that whoever is perceived to be associated with or harbour any interest in the legacy of Ogbeni or commitment to him is alienated from the government and the party, no matter his contribution to the success of the party.

“Under Governor Oyetola, you have to be pro-him and anti-Aregbesola for you to have any consideration in the government and the party.

“The governor started a vigorous campaign of hatred and hostility excoriating the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to the extent that people were asking question: was this Governor not the same man who served as Chief of Staff to Aregbesola without rancor for eight years?” the rejoinder added.

Commenting on the development, Mr Oni Segun, an APC member, lamented that “the in-house fighting in Osun is unfortunate at a time like this.”

As he puts it, “the development in Osun is unfortunate. For us in APC, it seems there is no way it will not be a minus. I see our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, being in a dilemma here. His influence is on trial for whoever loses in Osun, between Oyetola and Aregbesola, he, Tinubu, would have lost a formidable ally. Yes, we cannot deny that his influence in Osun politics is today facing a dicey trial. I pray the matter would be resolved in a miraculous way.”