Editor's note: A public affairs commentator based in Osun state, Samuel Aderogba, in this piece, writes on how former aides to minister of interior and ex Osun governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, worked against him during the recent All Progressives Congress (APC)'s governorship primary in the state.
It was a real walloping for the minister of interior and former Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as his anointed candidate in the yesterday's APC gubernatorial primary election, Moshood Adeoti was served a distasteful meal he never envisaged. He polled paltry 12,921 votes as against Governor Gboyega Oyetola's 222,169 votes across 332 polling wards of the 30 local government areas in the state. Adeoti lost in the whole 332 wards!
In Ilesha, specifically, Aregbesola was decimated by his erstwhile associates. The former governor, from Ilesha east local government, has always boasted to be the political decider in the area and he actually relied on his structure to deliver his godson in the election. But regrettably for him, the combination of his ex-lieutenants like Engr Remi Omowaiye , Rt Hon Timothy Owoeye and Hon Idowu Falade was to much for the Interior minister to break. Of all the 21 wards in the two local governments in Ilesha, Aregbesola could not secure any for Adeoti. He was spanked all through. Whereas Oyetola polled
4,626 votes in Ilesha east, the minister's local government, Adeoti polled measly 480 votes. Similarly, in Ilesha west, Oyetola polled 3877 votes as against Adeoti's 446. Remi Omowaiye, Aregbesola's commissioner for science and innovation, is from this local government and he gave a good and spectacular account of himself. In his Ilesha West Ward 6, Omowaiye, who is now the state commissioner for works and transport, was on hand to return 892 votes to Oyetola while Aregbesola's lackey polled 53 votes. The result returned in Omowaiye's ward is the best in the whole of 21 wards in Ilesha town.
In Aregbesola's Ifofin ward 8, the minister's woes were heightened by his former henchman, Idowu Falade, who ensured all the rigging machineries of the minister were neutralised. Falade is now with Oyetola and he lived up to the billing of being the real election winner for Aregbesola in the area. For instance, at a time the minister's personal assistant and nephew, Olateju Ishola was contemplating to mobilise political thugs to disrupt the election and give Adeoti a leverage in the ward, Falade was reported to have telephoned the security agencies to beef up security in and around the area. This singular proactive action foiled the rigging attempt
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Again, in Ilesha east ward 7, the trio of former health minister, Professor Isaac Adewole, his son, Adedayo, who is the state commissioner for agriculture and Dr Tunde Faleye, the MD of Omoluabi Holdings, got the job done. Oyetola's winning there was equally emphatic as the governor polled 808 votes to humble Aregbesola whose man polled just 42 votes.
Rt Hon Timothy Owoeye, the current speaker of the state assembly, was a cynosure of all eyes as he did not only confirm his unflinching support to Governor Oyetola, he mobilised all his family members, including his aged parents, to vote for the governor in his Ilesha east Ward 10 where 740 votes were returned for Oyetola and 30 votes for Adeoti.
Owoeye, the longest serving honourable in the state assembly who since 2007 has held key positions like Minority Leader and Majority Leader, was Aregbesola's protégé and is his representative in the assembly.
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As expected, the Aregbesola's men put up a good fight in Ilesa west Ward 3 where Adeoti's trusted associate, Alhaji Azeez Adesiji used to hold sway. Adesiji, former Ilesha west chairman and state deputy chairman of APC, was cut to sizes by Lawrence Ayeni, a member of the National Assembly representing Atakumosa East/Atakumosa West/Ilesha East/Ilesha West. Ayeni, a known former ally of Minister Aregbesola, is one of the most loved politicians in Ijeshaland because of his philanthropy and excellent service to the people. That he galvanised 334 votes for Oyetola as against Adeoti's 114, in a ward described to be the stronghold of Aregbesola and Adeoti, is salutary.
Elsewhere in Ijeshaland, it was the same disgraceful outing for Aregbesola and his men for they were equally pummeled with votes.
Hon. Ajibola Famurewa, Oyetola's campaign director general in 2018 and party's senatorial flagbearer in the 2019 election, repelled the political sorte of Aregbesola. He mobilised other party men to ensure the governor aced in Atakumosa with 7302 votes as opposed to Adeoti's 470 votes. In the same vein, the upwardly mobile aide of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Seun Odofin commendably held fort for Oyetola in his Ijebu-jesa ward 3 of Oriade local government. The 2,549 votes returned for Oyetola in just Ijebu-jesa compared to Adeoti's scornful 47 votes, has become a talking point in the political arena in Osun.
No doubt, the yesterday's primary election, forecast to be the determinant of Aregbesola's political future, has validated the claim that the interior minister is now a political pariah who can't germinate or procreate in his hitherto stronghold and that his hold on the July 16 governorship election would be insignificant.
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