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[DIARY OF AN OBSERVER ]Osun APC Primaries: And Oyetola Castrated TOP

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The engine is old but it still starts and rumbles to life after a smoking struggle. The body of the vehicle is rickety and falling apart but the driver’s flailing arms, screaming above the noisy engine somehow convinced a few unsuspecting passengers to board. His eyes are red and teary from the soot and smoke of the dying engine, he keeps his foot on the accelerator to keep the engine from disgracing him.

‘ This is TOP.TOP straight. One passenger more.’

He’s virtually foaming in the mouth. Poor guy . He revs the engine some more, invading everywhere with his poisonous black emissions. A few more passengers squeeze into the contraption. Slowly the smoke cleared. The passengers expected the vehicle to move out of the park but to their dismay, they discovered that they are in a wheel-less vehicle. All smoke, no substance. One Chance Bus… going nowhere. Poor folks stuck in the TOP bus of deception. The driver’s disgrace begins.

That is the story of TOP, its deceptive driver, the deceived passengers and their date with fate last Saturday at the Osun Governorship Primaries. February 19, 2022, the day Osun whipped TOP into submission.

Last Saturday, the nation stood still in baited breath for the news that would emerge from Osun, the State of the Virtuous. Avid observers of Osun politics particularly must have been glued to their television screens, or fervently listened to the radio, or even passionately clutched to the social media to get updates on how the APC primaries would unfold.

The reason for this, expectedly, was traceable to the hues and cries generated by the leading gladiators of the splinter group of the ruling party, otherwise known as TOP, prior to that exercise. In particular, the frustration and the venomous outrage of the immediate past governor of the state and the current Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in Ijebu-jesa on the election should go down as one of the most hotly discussed topic in the Nigerian media since the turn of the new year.

So, rightfully, and for good reasons too, one had expected that the elections, on account of the decibel of ‘noise’ from the TOP gladiators would be a cracker.

Well, if anyone had thought that TOP was significant in the scheme of things in Osun, the election results that streamed in from the 332 wards of the State did not confirm it. Or how do you explain the total annihilation of the Aregbesola camp by a whopping difference of 208,788 votes as against the paltry 13,381 votes shared between Moshood Adeoti and Lasun Yusuff? To even think that neither Aregbesola, nor Adeoti and Lasun, nor any of the vociferous TOP associates won their wards should be instructive enough of the futility in their shenanigans!

If there was anything the election showed, it was the fact that Oyetola is loved by his people and that he had done an excellent job of making a good impression on the party membership as to have earned such an eloquent and widespread endorsement from all the wards.

One can only hope that common sense prevails soon enough for the aggrieved members of the party who make up TOP to sheath their swords and return to work for the growth of the party and, the victory of the party come Saturday, July 16. Their One-Chance-Bus ain’t going anywhere. It has no tires. Its engine is tired.

Already, Governor Oyetola, in his characteristic manner as a stateman has extended an olive branch. The TOP camp would do well to take it. The Osun Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation could not have put it better in her recent Arise TV interview: ‘‘The TOP vehicle is a stuck truck without any wheels. It therefore makes sense that the TOP members should join the Oyetola truck which is now honking and about to leave the station before it is too late’’.

I agree with her. Osun people have spoken loud and clear. They, with their votes, supervised the castration of TOP.

One can only hope that this is enough a word of wisdom for the wise.

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