…Akande, Agoro intervene
This is certainly not the best of times for the political dynasty of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), former Governor of Lagos State and political godfather in the southwest, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Reason: The generally upheld view that it enjoys a formidable United Family appears to have recently whittled down due to an ongoing friction between two principal stakeholders, Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, former Osun Governor. The ephemeral feud was at the verge of throwing the Tinubu dynasty into disarray when the pioneer interim national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, and Dr. Olapade Agoro intervened to contain the impasse.
Albeit, Governor Oyetola and former Governor Aregbesola denied being involved in any conflict, their aides overtly were on war path on behalf of their principals and political blocs with minimal restraints. This precipitated the request for the intervention of elder statesmen in the southwest to mend the broken fences and re-unite the two political principals engaged in seeming cold war and their loyalists who dominated the battlefield.
Loyalists of the two principals engaged in acrimonious altercations in prosecuting the war on behalf of their principals.
There was the insinuation that loyalists of Aregbesola were shut out of the state government under the leadership of Oyetola. It was alleged that supporters of Oyetola before the 2018 governorship election dominate the Osun government. Thus, there has been latent acrimony over the composition of the state government.
The acrimony, however, became manifest in rancorous special media alterations between the Special Adviser on Education to Governor Oyetola, Jamiu Olawumi, and Bola Ilori, an aide to the Interior Minister, Aregbesola; both warriors engaged each other on their Facebook walls. A source revealed that the sudden outburst of hostility was not allowed to deepen and was nipped in the bud by political elders in the state.
There was also the innuendo that Governor Oyetola purportedly declined to support the nomination of Aregbesola for ministerial appointment. It was alleged that Governor Oyetola had nominated Senator Iyiola Omisore as representative of Osun State for ministerial appointment. This was identified to be a source of friction between the two blocs in Osun State. However, the governor was perceived to have taken that step to compensate Omisore for mobilizing the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to support him in the September 27, 2018 governorship runoff election that upturned the APC loss to Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the initial governorship election that was declared inconclusive by the INEC.
Thirdly, both political principals were said to be engulfed in cold war over control of APC in the state. It was disclosed that Aregbesola firmly controlled the party structure while he was governor. He presided over allocation of party tickets for the various elections into the state House of Assembly, the local governments and the party leadership. He was said to have ambition to continue to control the state party from Abuja but there is resistance.
Governor Oyetola was said to have, however, lured the APC State Chairman, Gboyega Famodun, to his side.
Again, the tenure of Famodun was said to have ended in October 2018 but Governor Oyetola, inheriting the state chairman from Aregbesola, has continued to retain him and ignoring conducting state congress to elect new leaders of the party in the state.
It was gathered that the Aregbesola bloc recommended power shift of the state chairman to Osun West Senatorial District as the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye, is from Osun East Senatorial District while Governor Oyetola is from Osun Central Senatorial District. But the governor insisted on Famodun, who is also from Osun Central, to remain in office.
Subsequently, at the turban of Aregbesola as the Amirul Wazirul-Mumin of Osun State league of Imams and Alfas, the Interior Minister, was gathered to have expressed perturbation and suspicion of silent dispute over the absence of Governor Oyetola from the event. However, the governor was said to have explained that he notified Aregbesola of planned pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on lesser hajj.
Governor Oyetola, represented by the Deputy Governor, Benedict Alabi, at the Iwude Day Celebration in Ilesa, refuted reports on conflicts between him and the minister. He was of the view that the reports were figment of the imaginations of the detractors, saying that his administration is consolidating on the legacy of Aregbesola. “It’s only the agents of distractions and the antagonists of peace that will carry unreasonable rumours to disintegrate the current administration and its predecessor. We’re consolidating on what the previous administration has done and Ogbeni Aregbesola is our leader. We are following his good Steps,” he had declared.
Curiously, the refutation of friction between the governor and the minister appeared sheer political gyration. This reflected in the statement of APC chairman in Osun, Famodun, who had expressed perturbation that party members were using the social media to make acrimonious utterances against themselves. He had admonished that the state party leadership will be compelled to sanction any member causing disaffection in the party.
The state chairman had in a statement by his media consultant, Kola Olabisi, bemoaned that it is appalling, strange and unethical that some party leaders and members engage in reducing the profile of APC in Osun with their unguarded utterances on online publications, which cause unimaginable damage to the fortune of the party in the state. “It is a pity that some of the leaders and members of the party are bereft of when to talk and when not to talk, forgetting that meanings could be read into whatever they say as the response of their principals,” he decried.
There was rising apprehension that the friction touches on the foundation of the Tinubu dynasty. Aregbesola is the strongest loyalist Tinubu has; and is perceived as the lieutenant of Tinubu in the political dynasty in the southwest. Oyetola is known as blood relation of Tinubu.
The threat the friction has on the Tinubu dynasty precipitated the demand for urgent intervention pf some political leaders in the southwest. The erstwhile APC interim National Chairman, Chief Adebisi Akande, former Governor of Osun State, and former presidential candidate of National Action Council, Dr. Olapade Agoro, were political leaders in the zone who intervened to contain the impasse.
Agoro had remarked that, “There is no need for the two leaders to engage in any fight except if they have skeletons in their cupboards.”
Thereafter, Governor Oyetola and the minister, Aregbesola, at a special prayer session at the Government House in Osogbo in commemoration of Aregbesola’s 62nd birthday, insisted they maintain cordial relations and have no rift.
Governor Oyetola had declared: “People have said a lot of unprintable things about us and our relationship, but as true leaders, we don’t allow such to separate us.
“Our relationship is age-long to the extent that we have become a family; we are fond of each other and no one can intrude.
“One thing that those peddling rumours do not know is that Aregbesola will share in the praises when we succeed.”
Aregbesola had also declared support for the Oyetola administration.
It would appear, therefore, that the friction had been quelled and the Tinubu dynasty had overcome the threatening consequences of the conflict and regained harmony.