Osun: Oyetola would be disqualified —Aregbesola’s group



By Olusesan Laoye

With less than two weeks to the governorship election in Osun State, the situation on ground indicates that the infighting in the All Progressives Congress(APC) is yet to be resolved as the two camps of the Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and that of the incumbent governor Gboyega Oyetola, seeking a re -election for a second term, is yet to be resolved.

It was learnt that up till now, both camps still operate differently, rather than working together as a team to ensure victory for the party and Oyetola.

This situation, means that the party would be fighting the election as a divided house, which political observers believed would not be in the best interest of the party and its candidate, as they have very strong opponents in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Demola Adeleke to contend with.

Others are Akin. Ogimnbiyi of the Accord Party and the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Lasun Yusuf who is contesting under the platform of the Labour party, and Arch Goke Omigbodun of the Social Democratic Party.

The internal crisis between Oyetola and Aregbesola, which started shortly after Oyetola was sworn in as governor four years ago, over supremacy, marginalisation and who controls the party got to the climax about two years ago, when those in Aregbesola’s camp declared point blank that they had nothing to do with Oyetola anymore and went ahead to form a splinter group known as The Osun Progressive (Top).

Since then, the Aregbesola’s group has been operating differently. The crisis became more chaotic during the governorship primary of the party, when the two camps fielded different candidates. While Governor Oyetola stood for his own camp, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti was for the other camp headed by Aregbesola.

The emergence of Oyetola as the candidate of the party and the declaration by the party’s headquarters that it only recognised the primary that elected Oyetola jolted the Aregbesola’s group, which also declared that there would be no retreat and no surrender on their side.

As a result they went to court to challenge the election of Oyetola as the candidate of the party, the Congress and the primary under which he was elected.

The notion and the believe of the people and even the stakeholders of the party, was that the crisis would be resolved before the election, coming up on July 14, 2022 and that the camps would close ranks to fight the election together, has now been dashed, as the warring groups are still on the turf fighting.

As one of the loyalists of Aregbesola confided in the Business Hallmark, he stated categorically that the camp has decided to work against the interest of Oyetola but he did not say who and the party that they would work for.

When he was made to realise that with the APC winning in Ekiti state, which was a plus for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidential bid and as such APC would want to win Osun State at all cost to boos its position in the South West, the aide said, that they would work for Tinubu but will not work for Oyetola. He refused to disclose their next line of actions over the Osun polls

Since the Aregbesola’s camp made it clear that it won’t work for Oyetola’s reelection, there had been speculations here and there as to which party and the candidates they would work for.
While it was argued in some quarters that the group is working clandestinely for Demola Adeleke of PDP, it was also said that the group may be working for Lasun Yusif while it was further argued that some of the members in the group have teamed up with Akin Ogunbiyi of the Accord Party.

Some of them also believed that the court case against the nomination of Oyetola would favour them and would work for their own candidate Moshood Adeoti in the same APC.

As the argument rages, some of the loyalists of Aregbesola were said to have quit the APC for the PDP, an indication that the group may have decided to work for the PDP in view of the caliber of the people that joined the PDP and their closeness with the Interior Minister.
Even from the body language of Aregbesola and his attitude during the party’s presidential primaries when he backed the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo against Timubu, Oyetola’s first cousin.”

It was glaring that the battle was still on in earnest and if Osinbajo had won, the relationship between Aregbesola and Tinubu would have been completely over.


Though, Aregbesola was one of the first persons that congratulated Tinubu, while Tinubu himself had declared that he was ready to work with those who did not support him at the primary, there were notions that big scares have been created in their relationship.

As the former governor of Osun state and current Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it was expected that Aregbesola should have been listed among the team set up for the re- election of Oyetola by the National body of the APC but his name was not included.

They argued that this was done deliberately to spite Aregbesola who is also not in good terms with the National Secretary of the party, Senator Iyiola Omisore who Aregbesola did a lot to frustrate his joining the APC.

Since Omisore joined the APC, Aregbesola and his team have dissociated themselves from him.

There was even a time during the declaration of Omisore for the party, that Aregbesola openly accused him of murder and started that he would never be in the same group or associate with “murderers dancing on Bola Ige’s grave”

Although Omisore was charged for the murder of Bola Ige, he was subsequently cleared of the offence by the court. But despite this, people like Aregbesola have not forgiven him and this is why the feud between him and Oyetola has been compounded.

Omisore is strongly backing Oyetola since he joined the APC and subsequently becomes its National secretary, said to have been engineered by Oyetola.

It was believed that if Oyetola wins the election without Aregesola’s support, it would send he, Aregbesola, to his political grave earlier than expected as he would be rendered irrelevant in Osun politics.

It may also be the end of his relationship with Timubu, as Tinubu may also not want to recognise him, despite their years of associations

Aregbesola served under Tinubu for eight years and it was Tinubu that paved the way for him to be the governor of Osun state for eight years.
On the other hand, if Oyetola loses, his name may be completely wiped out of Osun politics and irrelevant, since he was not known politically in the state and not a grassroots politician like Aregbesola before he came to Osun state as the chief of staff to Aregbesola and now the governor.

While it was believed that Aregbesola as a grassroots person could still pick up the pieces and oil his political structures in the state to bounce back, Oyetola who only stumbles into politics and governance through his cousin, Tinubu would quietly retire to his business in Lagos and live his simple life.

A strong leader in the Camp of Aregbesola who is also leading the Osun Progressive Top, Alhaji Rasaq Salinsile in a chat with Business Hallmark, said that his consideration was for the APC to win the election but it would be the candidate of their group and not Oyetola.

According to him “you know that we have our own candidate who is Alhaji Moshood Adeoti. We have a case in court which we are rest assured would be in our favour and Adeoti would eventually be the candidate of the party before the election.

“That is what I meant that my desire is for the APC to win and that is Adeoti not Oyetola.”
“What I want you to realise is that the Osun ProgressivesTop members, are home based and grassroots oriented and we are sure that if our candidate contest the election we would win”.

One of the loyalist of Oyetola who was the former member of the State House of Assembly and now a strong member of the Oyetola campaigns organisation, Hon Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, has said that he was sure of victory for Oyetola. He said in as much as Oyetola has done well, his work in the state would speak for him.

He said that they are working tirelessly to ensure that nothing comes in the way of his victory. He said the governor is loved by the people and he has endeared himself to the people through good governance.


Also in a chat with the Business hallmark, the Director of Publicity of the APC, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi, said that though he is not actually in charge of the election, he was sure Governor Oyetola would win the election, despite the activities of the Osun Progressives Top.
Barrister Oyatomi claimed that the feud between former governor Rauf Aregbesola, the Interior Minister and that of the incumbent Gboyega Oyetola is being played down in order not to distract the attention of the party and focus on the coming election.

According to him, Governor Oyetola is fully on ground and he has done one or two things that endeared him to the people of Osun state.

“Let me tell you the alternative so much talked about to APC, is no alternative at all and he can’t match governor Oyetola in all ramifications.


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