A former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the State of Osun, Barr. Kolapo Alimi, has pointed accusing fingers at Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, saying he was responsible for the division in the party.
According to Alimi, Oyetola embarked on politics of segregation after his mandate was affirmed by the Supreme Court in July 2019.
Alimi, who featured on a private TV Station in Lagos on Monday evening, claimed that the governor had been segregating everybody that has connection with the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
He said: “The Governor, Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, immediately after the July 5, 2019 Supreme Court judgement started his politics of segregation. The moment you have a connection directly or indirectly with the former Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, you are bound to be segregated from the party.”
The Legal Adviser to The Osun Progressives (TOP) was on the TV to speak on the Ward and Local Government Congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
He said the Governor had taken all the leaders of TOP as perceived enemies.
When asked about the local government congress, Alimi said: “I am only aware of the congress we (The Osun Progressives) participated in. I am saying that because the last Saturday’s congress ordinari-ly supposed to be a delegate congress. The party members were elected at the last Ward Congress, the ward executives and the local government delegates were the ones that were supposed to vote during the last local government congress.
“The only ward executives that I know are the ones that were properly elected. So, we participated in the local government congress of the party in 27 Local Governments and one Area Office and we have our results which we are sending to the National Secretariat of our party.
“Though, I read in the news that some groups loyal to the Governor, the IleriOluwa group, also conducted their own congress, maybe that is why people are talking about parallel Congress. As far as we are concerned, the only congress that took place in Osun is our own and it is the legal congress.
“If you could recollect, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye was the one who came to conduct the Ward Congress and during that period, we contacted him, we thought he would be an arbiter, to let him know that we also obtained forms.
“During that period, what the Governor did was to pay a sum of N28.6m with a single teller of UBA bank to purchase all the forms brought from the National Secretariat. So we made efforts to get in touch with the people that brought the form. They said the Governor wanted to buy all the forms to whoever he likes, and that the Governor actually wanted a consensus. We said if that was the case, everyone should be carried along. We then approached the National Secretariat of our party.
“Our people contributed money individually and we bought forms. Elegbeleye came on the eve of that congress and went straight to the Governor’s lodge, where they organised a stakeholders’ meeting and agreed on consensus. They held the stakeholders’ meeting and none of us was invited. We contacted him that in a situation whereby two or more people have obtained forms, you cannot say you are doing consensus by virtue of Article 20 of the party constitution.
“Hon. Rasaq Salinsile, the Secretary of the party in Osun today, has been left out of all the activities of the party. The moment you have a connection directly or indirectly with the former Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, you are bound to be segregated from the party.
“Based on that one, he (Elegbeleye) knew who and who to be invited. I as a person have never been invited for anything. Salinsile has also been left out of the party activities.
“Let us now assume and agree that even if all of us, the stakeholders, were present at the Government House, but a party member in a particular ward has obtained form and the National Secretariat had issued a form to the person, for that position alone, we cannot say we want to impose a con-sensus. What we are going to do is election. That is what the constitution states.
“Consensus is when you all agreed. In a situation whereby thousands of people have obtained forms and Elegbeleye now came and said they had agreed on consensus and went ahead to about three local governments, that is fraud.
“The meaning of consensus is that they wanted to impose some candidates, their surrogates and when they got to the venue of the congress and presented the list, the people rejected it and we held proper congress. We sent the information to the National Secretariat, which constituted an Appeal Committee.
“Let me point this out that we have written petitions against Hon. Elegbeleye. If you had come for this kind of assignment, the first point of call is for you to address the press and to announce to the whole world that you have arrived. Elegbeleye did not do that. The Governor has taken all the leaders of TOP as a perceived enemy. But as at today, the only properly conducted Ward Congress in Osun is the one we conducted.
“If truly the Governor is not afraid of election, he should let us have an election. If a governor should be afraid of internal election within the party, you should know what is happening. Party people in Osun are aggrieved and saying that ‘we want our party back’.
“People actually want to choose their leaders. The Governor wants to have imposition. He is using his position as a member of the National Caretaker Committee of the party to sort for people who could do his bidding. But we will let the whole world know that his impunity will not stand.”