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Osun APC crisis deepens, as Aregbesola rejects President Tinubu, Akande’s leadership

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The latest development in Osun State All Progressive Congress (APC) has indicated that the party is still going through serious crisis, as Aregbesola’s new group, Omoluabi Progressives caucus, appear to be building up seriously ahead of the 2026 governorship race, in which some aspirants have been showing interests, in both the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and the opposition parties.

The actions of Aregbesola lately, pointed to the fact that he no longer believe in the leadership of President Bola Tinubu and that of Chief Bisi Akande, as he was said to be fully prepared to paddle his boat alone, in Osun State, without any reference, to the leaders of the party, especially, Chief Akande, who has been a father figure to all APC members in the State.

Although the PDP has shown that there may not be any other contestant in the party against the incumbent, Senator Nurudeen Ademola Jackson, Adeleke, where the trouble is now intense is the APC , which has been in disarray for the past seven years and rather than the crisis engulfing the party being resolved, what is happening on daily basis has shown clearly that there may not be an end till 2026, when the governorship would be in contention.

The picture on ground has shown that, both the Aregbesola group and those, who claimed to be the mainstream of the party with the former governor and Minister of Marines and Blue Economy, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, as its leader, are likely to fight the next battle for the state governorship separately.

Aregbesola, it was learnt is already showing his relevance in Osun politics with the time he has been devoting to organise and strategize his group, which he believes has more numbers in the APC than those in Oyetola’s group regarded as the mainstream.

Since Ogbeni Aregesola left his ministerial position as Minister of Interior under former President Muhammadu Buhari and even shown the way out as the party’s leader in both Alimosho, Lagos, and Osun state, after his brush with President Tinubu before the presidential election of 2023, he is having more time to concentrate on Osun,State politics, his main base, where he governed for eight good years.

In fact, there is no doubt that it was Aregbesola, who built the APC to a very strong level before he contested the governorship and when he became the governor, he solidly consolidated on what was on ground, to have full grip of the party.

His rival for the leadership of the party in the State, Oyetola, who succeeded him in office, after he served under him as Chief of Staff, for the eight years they were together in government, is also the party leader.

It is no gain saying, that Aregbesola played an important role to ensure that Oyetola governed after him, in a crucial election, which the PDP up till now, believed APC robbed it of victory.

According to one of Aregbesola’s men, Lowo Adebiyi, the home coming of Aregbesola fully to Osun State politics has been a big blessing to the Omoluabi group.

He argued that the former governor and former minister is actually finding it very easy to navigate the state and reposition the party, through the Omoluabi caucus in APC. He further argued that since Aregbesola is now fully on ground, he has been a big threat to those parading themselves as the mainstream.

It is not only Aregbesola, whose leadership in the party is in contention, due to the coming governorship election, the party is also parading the leadership of the former secretary of the party, Iyiola Omisore, and the present, national secretary of the party, Senator Tajudeen Ajibola and a host of others, who are sort of standing on their own as factional leaders.

Although some of them denied being leaders of their separate groups for their aspirations, their body language indicate that when real fight for the converted position in the state is set, they may go against their so called leader, iOyetola, because, they too are nursing to be in the governorship race like him, who is keenly interested too, to come back to spend another four years, which Adeleke’s victory denied him.

On day to day basis, both groups in APC have been throwing brick bats at each other. While Aregbesola pointed out that it was Oyetola’s group that betrayed them for not abiding by the agreements they reached with Tinubu and Chief Akande, that his team should be given one-third of appointments in Oyetola’s government but Oyetola failed to keep to the agreements.

Oyetola’s groups too, while defending themselves, point accusing fingers at Aregbesola’s group, arguing that they neglected them and decided to go solo, which did not bother them as their grievances extended to the last governorship election, which resulted in their anti-party activity against the APC and the governorship of Oyetola.

This, they further argued, made the APC to lose the election to PDP.

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Just recently also, the Oyetola group came out to declared that Aregbesola and his team were no longer members of the APC, but, according to Aregbesola, their pronouncement had no significance on him and members of his group, as what they were concerned about is how to reposition the APC.

Oyetola too, who claimed that his group would claim back Osun State, had sought the experience and the good will of the former Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole to help reposition the party.

The in-fighting within the APC last week, reached a crucial situation in which Aregbesola had to denounced the leadership of Tinubu and Akande, in a style not expected of him, with the cordial relationship, which had existed between him and his erstwhile god father under whom he served for eight years as Commissioner for Works in Lagos State and the leader of the APC in Alimosho area of Lagos.

The Oranmiyan House, which has been the political strong room of the Aregbesola’s group and the Oranmiyan organisation formed by Aregbesola to launch himself into Osun politics and, which was embraced by the youth both within the APC and other stakeholders in Osun State, was renovated and the main symbols of Chief Akande and that of President Tinubu, which have been there, since Aregbesola was in the bid to govern Osun State, were unceremoniously removed. This, political watchers believed, is a move that signaled that he was done with the leadership of the two leaders.

After the removal of their pictures boldly in front of Oranmiyan House, he superimposed the pictures of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief Bola Ige as those he recognized as true Progressives.

This move has been receiving different interpretations, since last week, why it was carried out.

A public commentator and former President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Comrade Lanre Ogundipe said, “it is Aregbesola, who could answer why he did that but there is no doubt that both the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief Bola Ige, are genuine Progressives, which others like Tinubu and Akande are following their footsteps and as far as we know, they are apostles the two great late leaders. I think it won’t be out of place if such people who tutored the likes of Chief Akande and President Tinubu are singled out to be honored, in a state like Osun, where, especially, Bola Ige was from.”

He said, no doubt, the intention could be a political game, as “Aregbesola may have decided that it was time to eulogize the duo of Baba Awolowo and Chief Bola Ige, who fought for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria, especially, in the South West and ensured they died with the spirit of Progressives in their blood, which others today, are emulating.”

A member of the Omoluabi group, who wanted to be anonymous, told Business Hallmark that all their actions in the APC are carried out in good faith without any ulterior motives, saying that it is those in the other camp that had something to hide.

He posited that to them, the group is waxing stronger and that “we on a daily basis, are recording members and we now have our strong tentacles spread across all the local governments of Osun State”

“Let me tell you, let the people in Oyetola’s group continue to rant, we have our joker and we shall surprise them when the time comes.

“Again, we are in the majority and I want to ask them where they were, when Ogbeni, our great leader, who is brave and very courageous, was building the party. Majority of all of us in his group are foundation members of the APC and we are bold to say that we controlled the largest followership in the party.”

On the logo of the APC and the pictures of Chief Akande and of President Bola Tinubu removed from the Oranmiyan house, he said, it was just to symbolize the true Progressives, who died with the progressiveness in them, rather than eulogizing their followers just as we are their followers as well.

 

 

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