•How AC Lawmakers Were Recruited To Rubbish Him
IF there is one prayer Osun State chapter of the embattled ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wants a quick answer from God to, it is the abstinence of the Action Congress (AC) torch bearer, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola from the state of the Living Spring, as his unannounced homecoming to his ancestral town, Ilesa, last week has raised hysteria of the ruling party’s inner caucus.
It was reliably gathered that the unusual solidarity, which compelled the whole of Ilesa township to standstill for the former Works and Infrastructure Commissioner in Lagos State has forced the kitchen cabinet members of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the PDP executive into an emergency session, where it was learnt that the homecoming of the Ijesa-born politician was discussed extensively.
Findings revealed that the discussants at the meeting expressed their fear about the soaring popularity of the AC governorship candidate among the masses, premising their fear on the electoral consequence of the popularity against the PDP in future.
It would be recalled that the PDP petitioned the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Moronike recently, when the party got wind of his invitation for a press chat by the state Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), expressing what a political pundit described as phobia for the presence of the political gladiator in the state.
As a matter of fact, it was reported that some PDP stalwarts celebrated the eventual absence of Aregbesola, who was said to have shelved his plan to honour the invitation based on an intelligence report.
In order to prevent hues and cries that greeted the last invitation, Aregbesola did not disclose his movement last week to any AC loyalist or supporters, except few trusted aides, who he asked, according to a source close to him, to join him in Ilesa, where one of his kinsmen was turbanned a Muslim chief;
…but when he alighted from his four-wheel drive and sighted by passers-by; the news spread quickly like harmattan fire and in a snap of hand, the entire city had stood still for him.
When the news of his emergence and the massive solidarity of the people got to the camp of the governor in Osogbo, Osun State capital, it was learnt that some PDP chieftains and the two councils’ bosses in Ilesa-West and East were summoned to an emergency meeting, where the matter was discussed.
A source, who was privy to the discussion at the clandestine meeting confided in OSUN DEFENDER that one party chief rose up and flared up at the meeting, raking against the investment of the governor on the AC lawmakers, when they, according to him, were not capable of diminishing the influence and structure of Aregbesola.
According to the politicians, “Let us face the reality for once, Aregbesola is a force in Osun politics now, and I could not see the reason for the governor’s investment on the eleven AC lawmakers, when it is obvious that they are liabilities to our strategies because they are not capable of diminishing Aregbesola’s influence and political structure. And what happened in Ilesa last week Saturday had exposed their political emptiness”.
According to an investigation conducted by OSUN DEFENDER, the ruling party, in order to consolidate the alleged compromise of the election petitions tribunal headed by the embattled Justice Thomas Naron, prevailed on the governor and the Speaker to bring the AC lawmakers into the loop through monetary inducement, with a view to causing rift in the fold of the AC, a ploy meant to weaken Aregbesola’s stronghold and diminish his popularity in the state.
Checks showed that some gullible AC lawmakers played into the waiting hands of the ruling cabal, when they went to the Speaker, Adejare Bello, prostrating and apologizing for their grandstanding over the controversial Constituency Development Fund (CFD); as they were quickly recruited into the agenda of the PDP in 2011, with a promise of adequate rewards for each of them.
Findings revealed that when the AC lawmakers chose to play ball in defiance of the party’s directive, the governor enthusiastically arranged for their foreign trips together with their PDP counterparts in the House to celebrate a new-found relationship, while N10million and N20million were released to the individual AC lawmaker respectively, for a lawmaker in a constituency of one council got N10million, while a lawmaker with two councils got N20million.
Information has it that instead of embarking on the projects the fund is meant for, the AC lawmakers, just like their PDP counterparts, were busy amassing houses and automobiles, a situation that has drawn the irk of their constituents against their persons, not party.
OSUN DEFENDER further learnt that another dummy sold to the gullible AC lawmakers was that the Court of Appeal would not be constituted to hear Aregbesola’s petition on time, only to be dumb-founded, when the case took off earlier than imagined.
However, the last week’s visit of Aregbesola to Ilesa, his hometown, with fanfare, had exposed the opprobrium people have for the AC lawmakers, when some of them, who came to the venue of the ceremony, the governorship candidate graced, were conspicuously ignored.
By GOKE BUTIKA