The crisis rocking the Osun All Progressives Congress, APC is far from over as the gladiators have decided to use the weapons of their popularity to shut themselves down.
Legit.ng had reported on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, a motion of urgent public importance was raised by the minority leader of the house, Ndudi Elumelu, requesting that interior minister, Rauf Aregbesola and prisons chief, Haliru Nababa be probed over an alleged misappropriation of about N165 billion set aside for prisons reforms.
The House of Reps expressed concern that despite the increase in budgetary allocations to the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) to support its new mandate to transform the service, the situation has continued to retrogress.
The lawmakers consequently mandated its committee on Reformatory Institutions to investigate the allegations and report to the House within 12 weeks for further legislative action.
This resolution came a few hours after the former governor of Osun state and now minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola threw jibes at both the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola and a former Lagos state governor, Bola Tinubu.
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Aregbesola admits belonging to TOP
Recall that Aregbesola had issued a statement on the ongoing political crisis in Osun state, in which he and the state governor, Oyetola are the principal actors.
Aregbesola and Oyetola have been at loggerheads over the control of the party in the state, leading to two factions emerging under both chieftains. While Aregbesola controls the Osun Progressives also known as TOP, Oyetola controls the other faction of the party known as the Ileri Oluwa group. Oyetola had denied several times that there was another faction in the Osun APC.
Aregbesola vs Oyetola, Tinubu: Shehu Sani recommends solution as crisis tears APC apart ahead of Osun election
Oyetola’s Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, had said, on a radio programme, that Aregebesola was not supporting any group against his principal, adding that the former governor had never made such a comment anywhere before.
But responding to Omipidan’s statement, Aregbesola confirmed that there exists another faction loyal to him in the state.
According to him, he belonged to the TOP, which is the other faction in the state. The Guardian quoted Aregbesola as saying that those who don’t know show now come to term that APC has divided into two in Osun. The minister went further to state that when it’s time, they will settle the matter. He confirmed that his faction of the party was TOP.
“Those wondering whether I belong to TOP or not should open their ears widely. I am TOP, body and soul. And the chairman of TOP is Adelowo Adebiyi."
Aregbesola says Tinubu is playing god
Legit.ng recalls that Aregbesola, again on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 poured out his anger on a former governor of Lagos state and a presidential aspirant, Bola Ahmed Tinubu over his alleged godfather role in the crisis bedevilling the Osun APC.
The minister who is believed to be Tinubu’s right hand man alleged that the former Lagos state governor was playing god in the southwest even when they have been hundred percent loyal to him. He stated further that:
“Unfortunately, for him, we had sworn to God that whoever compares himself to him, we’d beg Him to bring down such a fellow."
Aregbesola in the statement did not, however, mention Tinubu’s name.
Gunmen attack Aregbesola, his campaign office
It would be recalled that suspected gunmen had on Thursday, February 3, attacked Aregbesola’s campaign office in Osun.
Legit.ng had reported that hoodlums armed with guns fired at the building situated around the Gbodofon river. Other property within the building were also targeted.
The incident happened shortly after the TOP faction of the APC ended their meeting in the state.
This was followed by another attack on the convoy of the governor by suspected gunmen on Monday, February 14, 2022 in Osogbo, the Osun state capital.
Nigerians and Osun people are worried that something urgently needs to be done before the situation degenerates into full blown crisis in the state. Many concerned Nigerians have at different fora or via official statements cautioned the political actors in the crisis to sheath their swords, even as the party’s primaries hold on Saturday, February 19.
Many have also wondered what has gone wrong among the politicians who were once strong allies.
The genesis of the crisis
A source in the know told Legit.ng that the crisis resulted from the failure on the part of Aregbesola’s men to adhere to an agreement he (Aregbesola) reached with Oyetola over appointments into his (Oyetola) cabinet as commissioners.
He blamed the crisis on Aregbesola’s foot-soldiers who are aggrieved that they were not appointed into the cabinet. According to him, they believed they were to be appointed into the cabinet automatically.
According to the source:
“Unknown to them, there was an understanding between Aregbesola and Oyetola that anybody that has served as commissioner twice will not have the opportunity to serve under Oyetola, but if you have served as commissioner once or special adviser ones, you can still be given the chance. That is why we have some persons who served under Aregbesola in this administration.
“Unfortunately, Aregbesola did not convey this part of the understanding to his foot-soldiers, so they were now waiting in the wings to be appointed as commissioners. So it was when cabinet was formed and majority of them lost out that the crisis started. It’s about individual interest and nothing more.”
The source went further to disclose that Oyetola was picked by Aregbesola because of his various roles as his Chief of Staff, as there couldn’t have been a better candidate for the party.
He said the way Oyetola resolved the labour crisis in the state gave him an added advantage ahead of others. He disclosed Labour leaders themselves wrote to Asiwaju Tinubu, advising him to recommend Oyetola to take over from Aregbesola if APC must continue to govern the state.
“Aregbesola had no choice but to pick Oyetola based on his track record,” he said.
Oyetola’s fate in Osun
Aregbesola who picked Oyetola as the party’s candidate in the last election has now resolved that what happened to former Lagos governor, Ambode Akinwunmi, will happen to Oyetola. He had boasted at different fora that Oyetola would be disgraced out of office.
But reacting in a statement forwarded to Legit.ng, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ismail Omipidan, said his principal has absolute faith in God and the people of Osun.
According to him:
“In these last three years plus, the people can tell the difference in terms of responsible and responsive governance and politics."
He cited different projects done in Osun West that was literally neglected in terms of infrastructure prior to his principal’s emergence.
He disclosed that a week ago, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, had directed the people of the town to vote for the incumbent governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
He believes that:
“It is God and Osun people that will determine Oyetola’s fate, not an individual trying to play to God.”
Osun 2022: Aregbesola's hometown's monarch backs Oyetola
In a similar development, the Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijesaland, Oba Gabriel Aromolaran, has openly declared his support for the re-election of Oyetola as the governor of Osun state for a second term.
The monarch said the entire Ijesa people are behind Governor Oyetola's second term bid. Oba Aromolaran made the remarks when the Osun state governor visited his palace during a strategic engagement tour to Ijesa-South Federal Constituency on Wednesday, February 16.
Meanwhile, Oba Aromolaran who is the traditional ruler of the hometown of Aregbesola said whoever he pronounces as governor will become one, saying it is a divine gift.