Published On: Sun, Aug 5th, 2018

Osun 2018: Crisis rocks APC, PDP

By OLUSESAN LAOYOE

With Osun state governorship election just few weeks ahead, the two major political parties the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are fire-fighting different crisis over choice of candidates. The crisis facing were the fallout of the primaries of the two parties in which allegations of malpractices were alleged. Since then, the two parties have been embroiled in series of issues which are yet to be resolved. It has been one problem after the other.

The primary of the APC which produced Gboyega Oyetola, currently the Chief of staff to the incumbent governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, who is said to be a cousin to the APC leader APC Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu from Iragbiji in Osun central senatorial District; it was allegedly fraught with manipulation and distortion of delegate list in favour of Oyetola.

As a result of the outcome of the result of the primary notable leaders and their loyalists left the APC for other political parties where they felt that their aspirations would be fulfilled while those who are still remaining but not satisfied as well have vowed that they would not work for the party because their interests were not taken in into consideration by the leaders of the party who manipulated the primary to favour their anointed son.

According to one of the leaders from Osun West Senatorial District Alhaji Iyanda Kasali, the imposition of Oyetola on the party was a slap on the people of Osun West who naturally are expected to produce the governor based on the zoning arrangement in the state which APC refused to adhere to. He pointed out that what they expected was that the party would pick its candidate from Osun West.

Since the present governor, Aregbesola was sworn in for a second term four years ago, there had been speculations that Tinubu’s cousin, Oyetola was being position in government to take over from him but the governor kept denying the rumour that he did not know who will succeed him noting the person who will must be someone who is conversant with the way they are doing things in his government.

Eventually when the primary was conducted Oyetola who has been rumoured since four years ago emerged as the candidate of the party.  According to a member of the party in Aregbesola’s camp but from Osun West, ‘’what got them angry was the fact that they have been fooled by both Aregbesola and Tinubu. He argued that was how Aregbesola was imposed on the people of Osun state due to the respect and the love they have for Tinubu but I must confess to you, Tinubu has gone too far and he will be surprised that the people of Osun state would speak on the day of the election.

He said that Aregbesola deceived them because   a week to the primary of the party some of them got to know that Asiwaju called the state executive of the party to Lagos and instructed them to work for Oyetola whom they have programmed to take over from Argbesola.

This order eventually leaked to other members of the party and the aspirants and this caused a rift between the executive of the party in the state and when the chairman of the party Chief Gboyega Famodu, called the party chairmen in the Local governments to inform them of the outcome of their meeting in Lagos with Tinubu, the Local chairmen flared up, blast Famodu and worked out on him.

This then led to the purported suspension of Famodu and the secretary of the party in the state. The issue was not however resolved before the primary was held which produced Oyetola who is now facing serious opposition within the party. It was learnt that series of meetings held after the primary had been deadlocked as they are still finding solution to the animosity which the emergence of Oyetola has caused.

A prominent leader of the party who was instrumental to the second coming of Aregbesola through his defection from PDP to APC Alhaji Diekola, when he announced his exit from the party, said other aspirants were robbed to favour Oyetola, saying that the result that was announced did not reflect the true  position of the primary. He said that he was surprised that the figures announced for him was not the same with what his agent and what all of them saw.

‘’What Aregbesola and his cohorts did was to rub peter to pay Paul’’ and since they have shown dishonesty of the highest order, he could no longer work with the kind of people in APC who did not have respect for dignity  and hard work.’’

He further said that they were deceived to spend money because if they had known that their man would emerge, some of them would not have been concerned coming out to contest.  He argued that in a normal contest Oyetola cannot match some of the aspirants and that was why he was brought in as the winner through the back door.

He pointed out that the result was not what the people of Osun West expected and because he felt cheated he had to go elsewhere where his aspiration would be realized.

Also,  it was learnt that one of the aspirants tipped for victory in the APC primary, Dr. Ezekiel Oyemomi, and who refused to talk on the issue though not pleased with the outcome accepted the result in good faith and he is already back to his business but he is still in the APC.

Meanwhile, the impression in Osun State now is that they would not allow Tinubu to dictate the pace for them and that imposing his cousin was an indication that if Oyetola wins the election he would be the one ruling the state and they would forestall that happening. Some of the people who spoke with Business Hallmark believed that both Aregbesola and Tinubu want to continue trading with the resources of Osun state as the only plan they have was to enslave them.

They also warned that any attempt to rig the election this time would not augur well for the country as they argued that Osun is not Ekiti State and reminded those in government that the ‘Wild Wide West’ started from Osun State and not Ekiti.

The Chairman of the APC in the State Chief Famodu said that those who are condemning the outcome of the primary only refused to accept defeat. He said the primary was transparent enough for everybody to see and it was the true winner that emerged. He called on all members of the party to come together and work for the victory of the party in the coming election

While the APC is still battling to put its house in order after the primary, the PDP is now in turbulent times as the primary too has put leaders and members of the party apart. Contrary to what happened in the APC where the candidate of the party was picked from Osun Central Senatorial District against the zoning arrangement for the governorship, the PDP picked its candidate from Osun West which has been yearning to produce the governor of the state since 1999.

But as good as it sounds to the people of the Osun West the selection has somehow turned an albatross for the party.  Although the candidacy of Senator Ademola Adeleke, who rode on the popularity of his late brother Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke to be a senator in a controversial election that is still being contested in court as some of the aspirants who contested the primary with him are not happy with the outcome, he is personally in trouble over certificate scandal.

The issue of his certificate has gone virile and it is now been challenged by his opponent in the party. Although he is still the nominated candidate of the PDP, sources said that his opponents are working hard to get him removed.

Top on the list of those on his throat is Chief Ogunbiyi who came second in the primary. He argued that Adeleke did not win the primary but rigged it in a fraudulent manner and he would not go to sleep until he received justice from the party or the Law court.

Right now, Ogunbiyi is still being persuaded to drop his legal action against Adeleke but his action has caused a sharp division in the party. While some members and leaders of the party believed that those against Adeleke were unfair to him, and have gone too far his name has been forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the governorship election coming up next month.

For the past two weeks leaders of the party both at the national level and the state have been putting heads together to resolve the crisis in Osun state which emanated from the primary.  Sources hinted that to placate the aggrieved aspirants and members, political positions have been shared among them and the governorship candidate on equal basis. The final outcome of the meetings being held in Abuja at the weekend would be made public today Monday or tomorrow.

Meanwhile the Deputy National Chairman South of the PDP Elder Akinwoni said that the issue in Osun would be resolved amicably as the party is set to win the state from the APC.  He said that they would do everything to ensure that the party did not go to the election divided and that was why positions were shared equally among the aspirants so that it would not be the issue of the winners take all. He pointed out that they want everybody to feel committed and have sense of belonging because PDP is a party that gives equal opportunities to all his members.

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