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Aregbesola’s Conspicuous Absence At The 30th Anniversary Award Ceremony, An Insignia Of Lingering Schism

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Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Gov Gboyega Oyetola

The historical event recently organized by the Osun State Government served as a beam light into the purported rift between the incumbent governor, Alhaji Isiak Gboyega Oyetola, and his predecessor, Abdulrauf Adesoji Aregbesola. The landmark occasion, has once again, incontrovertibly and
serendipitously, brought to the fore existing political tussle between the duo.

Certain happenings during the historic event may have confirmed that there is an ongoing battle for the soul of the Osun State architecture of APC.

The supremacy contest appears to be between the erstwhile governor, who is now Nigeria’s Minister of Interior Affairs, and his former Chief of Staff, who succeeded him as Osun State governor.

It could be recalled that prominent Nigerians from all walks of life, on Thursday, converged in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, to felicitate with the government and people of Osun. The week-long 30th-anniversary celebration of the creation of Osun State was concluded with a glamorous awards presentation session in honor of distinguished citizens.

Some keen observers of the occasion jumped out of their skins upon learning that the magnificent event, that had in attendance former governors of the state, serving governors from other states in the Southwest, great personalities from all the regions of the country, first-class traditional rulers and other notable individuals, went ahead without the presence of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. The question on the lips of several concerned stakeholders in the area is that ” was ex-governor Aregbesola not invited to the event or did he decide to play hooky by staying away?

Without a shred of doubt, Aregbesola should have been the first among other former governors to get to the venue of the event. This was expected because he is the immediate past governor of the state and should have made himself available to be honored; bedecked with trinkets as one of those who have immensely contributed to the growth and development of the state.

The banquet and awards ceremony should have been an avenue to show to the world, especially to the opposition, that the rift rocking the Osun Chapter of All Progressives Congress(APC) has now been put to rest. Unfortunately, it became a platform to irrefutably keep people abreast of the intensity of the feud.

It is disheartening that, at this point in time, a reconciliation committee is yet to be set up by the national body of the APC to holistically look at the causes of this in-house dispute and halt the crisis once and for all. It is imperative, to know that the earlier the needful is done to end this lingering conflict, the better for the ruling political party. The reconciliatory committee reported to have been created, a week or several days back, should have extended its scope of assignment to capture the grievances of leaders of the TOP, a factional group within the party, in a bid to put an end to this scuffle that is capable of causing havoc at the forthcoming governorship election.

Acknowledging and accepting the critical role that can be played by the Honourable Minister of Interior Affairs, before and during the next governorship election in striding to victory, is certainly the beginning of wisdom.

It is also pertinent for Ogbeni Aregbesola to bear in mind that better opportunities await him in the nearest future if his political party retains power after the next Osun gubernatorial election.

Similarly, the Minister should consider pardoning his political opponents. This move is very critical because if he fails to mend fences with his successor before the election, and the ruling party eventually wins the coveted seat without his input, he may lose his relevance in state politics.

I have never met Governor Oyetola physically, but I like his personality and manner of addressing problems. Ever since he assumed office as governor, Oyetola has demonstrated a high level of humility and intelligence in handling several sensitive issues. In addition to his splendid leadership prowess, he has achieved a lot in propelling the state to greater heights despite the paucity of funds and the short time available. Governor Oyetola has made a mark in terms of infrastructural development and prompt payment of civil servants in the state.

As good as his scorecard appears, I still can’t wrap my head around why he malleably listens to sycophants and credulously accept whatever they tell him. He should be mindful and careful of the empty assurances he continues to be fed with by some stray gadflies lurking around him. He should not allow himself to be misled by those who are hell-bent on feeding him with superficial reassurances about his chances without the support of Aregbesola. Not even a political ostrich would roundly dismiss Aregbe’s political sagacity or any group or consider anyone as irrelevant during this critical period.

As the 2022 Osun Governorship Election draws nearer, in addition to the PDP, the other cynosure of all eyes is the lingering rift between the governor and his predecessor.

Sanusi Olayemi(YEMCO)

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