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Fifth Columnists In Osun APC By Kunle Oyatomi

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Barr Kunle Oyatomi

Although the specific source of the term, Fifth Column, isn’t clear, it is generally traced to the early days of the Spanish Civil War. According to Wikipedia. “it gained extreme popularity in the Loyalist faction media in early October 1936 and immediately started to spread abroad.’’ Later the military commanders spoke of ‘’four Nationalist columns approaching Madrid and a fifth column waiting to attack from the inside.’’ Since then, the term, fifth column, has been applied in broader and less martial perspectives. Any activity from within an organization that undermines its progress, deliberate or unplanned, is categorized as the work of a fifth column.

That is the tag we can put on the mission of the subversive group, The Osun Progressives, TOP, within the All Progressives Congress, APC in the State of Osun. To all intents and purposes, members of TOP are conducting themselves as outright enemies of the people, party and government of the state. They are working to truncate the progressive feats of the Administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, wildly getting to the point of suggesting the governor’s resignation from the APC National Caretaker Committee. Obviously, this is one of the characteristics of the opposition.

But, that was the extreme swing of TOP when members of the APC National Reconciliation Committee arrived in Osun and interacted with the group as part of their nationwide drive to reposition APC for the poll this year and in 2023. The dissenting fifth columnists presented bizarre allegations along with an outrageous petition.

TOP wants the Reconciliation Committee to recognize its so-called Congresses, a stand that disdains the credible congresses, that have since been described as ‘’acceptable by all’’. TOP has also accused the governor of nepotism, an allegation objective watchers have labelled as ‘’baseless’’ and ‘’spurious’’. TOP is also known to have claimed that its members participated in the Ward, Local and State Congresses. Again, this has been dismissed as laughable.

But according to Sunday Akere, the Secretary of Osun State Congress Committee, what TOP is doing represents a rebellion against the APC government of Oyetola. Akere, speaking for the administration, said: ‘’…This so-called TOP members have constituted themselves into a team more vicious than the opposition. They don’t have respect for the Governor or the leadership of the party headed by Prince Gboyega Famodun. The manner in which they deride the programmes and achievements of the Governor shows clearly that some of them have made up their minds on leaving the party if they cannot get what they want. They are already holding meetings with the opposition and a faction of the said opposition in the State now takes the responsibility of protecting and defending them as a matter of life and death.’’

Close to the July poll in the State of Osun, it is disheartening that a group from within should embark on a mission to tear the ruling party apart when it should join hands with the governor and his team to leverage the achievements of Oyetola for a formidable front to trounce the opposition. Nothing destroys faster than the enemy within. For two reasons they constitute a far more potent force to those outside. First, the internal activists would open a new theater of war against its own organization, thus preventing a full onslaught on the known enemy as its country’s lean arsenal are dissipated. Secondly, the fifth column would reveal war strategies to the enemy outside to enable them overrun their foes easily.

This is the reason sponsors and patrons of TOP should be called to order to retrace their steps in the interest of the people of Osun. The Senator Abdulahi Adamu-led National Reconciliation Committee from Abuja should let the chieftains of the party at the national level know that for the party to retain power in Osun this year, we must strive to maintain the harmony, progress, peace and development engendered by the policies of the Oyetola Administration.

We must also remember that APC’s fortunes in the 2023 presidential and legislative elections in Osun would be adversely affected if the undermining activities of TOP are not checked now before they escalate.

On his own Governor Oyetola has said that as the ‘’leader and father to all’’ parties in the polity, he is ready to ‘’embrace back those willing to retrace their steps.’’ He is prepared to join hands with those desirous of sustaining the progressive legacy in the State of Osun.

Oyatomi Esq is the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy of the APC in the state of Osun

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