Aregbesola, Oyetola Feud: Genuine reconciliation not in sight

Posted by News Express | 7 December 2020 | 794 times

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The intervention of some national leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the simmering feud between Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his predecessor in office who is presently Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola may have douse tension within the party in the state at least for now.

Reason for the closed door meeting which lasted for about three hours held at the residence of Chief Adebisi Akande in Ila Orangun in Osun State last week with former Lagos State Governor, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu in attendance was not immediately known to the public but some political pundits viewed the meeting as good omen for the party to reconcile the two warring political gladiators as well as some aggrieved members ahead of the 2022 state governorship election.

The two feuding leaders had severally claimed that there is no rift between them but actions and behaviours of their supporters and loyalists portend that things are falling apart within the ruling party in the state.

Before now, attempts had been made by Chief Adebisi Akande and Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu to settle the simmering differences between them which could not yield, and has since affecting cohesion existing within the party.

Though, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola claimed in his social media handle that his visit to Osun State along with his entourage from the Ministry of Interior was to kick off the stakeholders engagement meeting as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari but reliable source told Independent Newspapers that the meeting was actually to broker peace between Oyetola and his predecessor in office, Rauf Aregbesola.

The simmering feud between the two leaders had polarised the ruling party in the state and if urgent measures are not taking in good time, it may spell doom for the party.

The outcome of the closed door meeting were not immediately known, however, investigation conducted by Independent Newspapers revealed that intervention of national leaders in the crisis may not after all bring genuine reconciliation as the two camps were on each other throat.

Without being pessimistic, the crisis between Aregbesola and Oyetola who emerged from same political tutelage seems to be more dipper than mere political reconciliation held with them by leaders of the party.

Credible sources within the party revealed that the leaders were able window dressed the crisis without attempting to identify the root cause and find solution to it.

In other words, efforts at resolving the crisis may be dashed.

It was gathered that the crisis on ground predated the formation of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s government. It was learnt that Oyetola was still nursing grudge with his predecessor in office, Aregbesola that he never wanted him (Oyetola) to succeed him in the first instance and that Aregbesola was prevailed upon by Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu to back his candidature.

Oyetola was embittered and lamenting that his emergence was ordained by God and through the support of Tinubu and other others.

The source added that this was reason why attempts to control and teleguide the current administration by Aregbesola was being frustrated and major policies and programmes executed by last administration that generated public outcry especially those in education sector were reviewed while others were jettisoned.

But a swift reaction from Aregbesola’s camp, revealed that without Aregbesola leading Oyetola’s campaign team and back it, there was no way the current governor could win 2018 governorship election in the state adding that if Aregbesola had allowed other governorship aspirants to contest with Oyetola for party’s ticket, it will be extremely difficult for Oyetola to win the seat.

The source stressed that Aregbesola government skewed all conditions for contest to favour Oyetola even when the election was declared inconclusive by INEC.

Another factor that may not engender genuine reconciliation within the party ahead of 2022 gubernatorial election in the state was the accusation that Governor Oyetola reneged on the agreement of who becomes the Secretary to the State Government. It would be recalled that the immediate past Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Nojeem Folasayo Sallam was tipped to be appointed SSG in the political arrangement to be formed by Oyetola but then he (Sallam) was yet to complete his term as Speaker and the seat was agreed to be reserved for him but alas somebody else from his zone was actually picked.

There was also an argument that Governor Oyetola sidelined all loyalists, supporters and aides as well as political office holders who served under Aregbesola despite the fact that they all worked and campaigned for his emergence just because they are from same political family. It was gathered that Governor Oyetola made all his major appointees, not considering loyalists and supporters of Aregbesola except those that shift the tents and loyalty to him.

It was also learnt that the political survival of Aregbesola loyalists and supporters had been at stake in the last two years because they had been sidelined and had vowed not to bow to any pressure from national leaders prevailing on Aregbesola to talk to them to sheath their sword and work for the second term ambition of Governor Oyetola.

Another factor that may thwart the reconciliation being muted by national leaders of APC was allegation that current government also sidelined returning members especially those from ADP. Already, there was suspicion within the party while returning members are at present at cross road due to existing factions because they don’t know which of the factions to belong.

Attempt to control the soul of the party is another burning reason that may shatter the reconciliation efforts of the leaders. The issue of who lead the party has also been a recurring issue affecting the unity and chances of the party in the state. The tenure of the current chairman of APC, Prince Gboyega Famodun had lapsed since October 2018 even before the governorship election and all efforts to put in new executive of the party had been futile.

While Aregbesola’s camp was clamouring that the seat be zoned to another zone of the state, Governor Oyetola insisted that Famodun who had been in the state exco since the formation of APC, served as State Secretary of the party and now Chairman for more than six years, must continue.

The line of argument was that Famodun who hails from same constituency that share same seat in State House of Assembly with Governor Oyetola should not continue in office in the interest of fairness and justice.

However, Oyetola’s camp also accused Aregbesola of same allegation that when he was the state governor, he appointed Mr. Adebiyi Adelowo who is an Ijesaman state chairman of the party and heaven did not fall then.

Another reason generating tension within the party which may frustrate genuine reconciliation the leaders and party members were championing was the clamour for the disbandment of political group that struggle for emergence of Aregbesola, ‘ORANMIYAN’ and replace it with ‘ILERI-OLUWA’, the political group formed by Oyetola.

The line of argument was that during Aregbesola’s tenure, there was no any other political group championing the course of the incumbent Governor other than Oranmiyan adding that since Aregbesola is no longer in office, his political structure should key into that of the current Governor Oyetola which is Ileri Oluwa instead of having different mission and vision.

The last but not the least underlining factor that may affect cohesion of the party ahead of 2022 is that who becomes the leader of the party in the state and ensure that party is independent of governance.

In Osun State, there is a claim that State Governor is the leader of the party and henceforth must be accorded such due respect and recognition but Aregbesola’s camp maintain contrary view that if Governor Oyetola is the leader of the party, what will be the role and place of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, now Minister of Interior, who used his political structure, Oranmiyan to campaign and ensure emergence of Oyetola as his successor.

Aregbesola’s camp used happening in Lagos State to buttressed their claim adding that Governor Sanwo Olu is not the leader of the party but Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and all the political structures that he (Asiwaju) used, such as ‘The Mandate and others are still in existence, the reason why Oyetola’s camp should not call for disbandment of Oranmiyan and fuse into Ileri Oluwa.

Aregbesola’s camp is believed to be calling for the adoption of Lagos formulae where Tinubu is the leader of the party and the party be independent to governance.

A chieftain of the party from Aregbesola’s camp revealed that the only way the house can be put in order and work as a united force is for Governor Oyetola to follow the Lagos approach since the two of them are from same political school of thought adding that attempts by Oyetola to control the party with government would amount to relegating Aregbesola to political oblivion, which they argued could not stand. But Oyetola’s insisted that there is nothing of such.

For genuine reconciliation to take place in Osun APC, Governor Oyetola must start all over again by involving supporters and loyalists from other camps and allow them to have sense of belonging while returning members must also be treated well and not as foreigners. Other factors also enumerated above should be addressed in order for the party to move forward and as one united house ahead of the 2022 governorship election.

Aregbesola’s camp must also be ready to shift some grounds to allow genuine reconciliation and ensure factions are phase out within the party since both camps are from same political ideological family.   (Daily Independent)



Source: News Express

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