By OLUSESAN LAOYE
Osun state is not one of those where the issue of god-fatherism and political control has been known to exist. On the contrary, it has been a political haven of peace and decorum. Even with his his loose connection to Lagos strong man Bola Tinubu, former governor, Rauf Aregbesola, had a remarkably quite tenure.
But things seem to have changed since he moved to Abuja as minister of internal affairs. There are strong indications that there may not be an end yet to the crisis going in between the Osun state Governor Chief Gboyega Oyetola and his predecessor and former boss, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Oyetola and Aregbesola had worked together as governor and Chief of staff for eight years; but to many observers, all was not well with the relationship.
But there have been in infighting since his election which some attributed as responsible for the delay in constituting the cabinet. Their point of disagreement, it was learnt, is as a result of Oyetola’s ambition to succeed Aregbesola which did not go down well with Aregbesola who had another person in mind.
Although Aregbesola was said not to have bought the.idea, he was compelled to succumbed due to his relationship with his godfather, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu who is equally the first cousin of Oyetola.
It was even said that the idea of Oyetola becoming the Chief of Staff was initially rejected by Aregbesola when it was discovered that it was a game plan to be at the corridor of power in preparation for him to take over. All these it was said built up till Oyetola became the governor.
Since Oyetola got to power he has been uprooting anything that is Aregbesola and distanced himself from some of the policies they jointly took together which the people regarded as not being favourable to them to portray his former boss in bad light.
The Aregbesola group therefore felt aggrieved and this resulted in the All Progressives Congress in Osun state having two factions. One loyal to Aregbesola and the other to Oyetola.
This now created tension in the state as the two factions continue to clash at any function they found themselves. The animosity led to some of the open confrontations and attacks. The latest was the one carried out at the Freedom Park during the new year party organised by the state government.
During the attack the governor and members of his cabinet were stoned by unknown people at about 1.30 am when the new year party was going on. The governor and the dignitaries present had to hurriedly leave the venue when they discovered that they were obviously the target of those the police later describe as hoodlums.
Although the police arrested about 23 people allegedly involved in the attack, those in Aregbesols’s group were said to be unhappy because they alleged that the governor used that opportunity to clamped down on the members of the Oranmiyan Vanguard, an outfit of youths that was formed by the minister of interior while in office.
It was also said that the group called Ileri Oluwa are now poised for a revenge on the attack launched on the governor during the New Year party. As the situation got to a boiling point, leaders of the party had to wade into the matter. It was said that before Chief Bisi Akande waded into the matter on the New Year day, the leader of the party Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu had intervened in the feud without solution.
It was said that at the meeting with Chief Akande, the governor of Ekiti state Dr. Kayode Fayemi was present along with the APC chairman in Osun State, Chief Gboyega Famodun and the secretary to the government during the tenure of Aregbesola Alhaji Moshood Adeoti.
Although the four hours meeting with Chief Akande was held behind closed door feelers indicated that it was meant to find a lasting solution to the crisis between the governor and the minister of interior because the crisis if not curbed could end up destroying the party.
The source hinted that Aregbesola allegedly accused the governor of having perfected plans to uproot all his legacies in the state and that he was not happy about the victimisation of those loyal to him who worked for the emergence of Oyetola, arguing that when the battle was hot it was his boys that faced the fire.
On the other hand, Oyetola was said to have alleged that the Minister was still interfering with the government. It was not clear whether Chief Akande was able to completely mend the fences, but sources at the meeting believed that the crisis between the duo was far from being over judging from their body language after the meeting
It was said that from what transpired Aregbesola still want to hold on to the leadership of the party but Oyetola is implacable about it and wanted a change of the party executive which he believed is still loyal to his former boss.
While reacting to the feud, the press secretary to the governor, Ismail Omipidan said that the story about the disruption of the new year party and the stoning of the governor was not true. He said the stoning was not directed at the governor but there were some youths fighting outside the venue.
He said that as far as he was concerned the relationship between the governor and the minister is cordial saying that the rumour was the imagination of those who intend to cause problem between two brothers.
Also the chairman of the party Famodun said there is no crisis in the party adding that he was not aware that the party has now been polarised along two factions of the governor and the minister.
But it was learnt that the meeting at Chief Akande’s house was at the instance of Famodun who was said not to be happy about what was going on in the state and the party in the last four months.
.In his reaction, former commissioner of information in Osun state who is one of the close aides of Chief Akande, Mr. lani Baderinwa said that though he was not at the meeting, he believed that the rumour about the feud between the governor and his predecessor must have been part of their discussions.