2019: Ogun Governor, Amosun Visits Osoba

As part of measures for reconciliation ahead of the 2019 general elections, Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and a former governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, met at the latter’s Lagos home on Sunday.

Informed sources at the meeting said they both had a discussion on the Saturday’s ward congresses in the state, which went without violence.

Receiving Amosun, Osoba was quoted to have attributed the success of the ward congresses to the unity and understanding that now existed among party faithfuls.

He added that the settling of the differences between the two camps was a pointer to the victory of the party in the state in 2019.

He said, “The past disagreement among party members is normal in a democratic dispensation. Disagreement is bound to happen in politics, but the resolution of such crisis is a sign of maturity.”

Osoba reportedly commended Amosun for working towards ending the differences that existed between factions of the party in the state, adding that “it is a sure step to protect and sustain the legacies of statesmen like the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.”

Amosun, on his part, said the visit was a sign of respect and appreciation to Osoba, for his role in the unification meeting, recently held in his office, where loyalists of the former governor reunited with Amosun.

He said the party “is now one big, strong and united family in the state.”

It will be recalled that loyalists of Osoba held a meeting with the governor’s team at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, last Thursday, where they discussed the modalities for the ward congresses held last Saturday and strategies for the 2019 elections.

Those who attended the meeting with the governor’s team, include Senator Adegbenga Kaka, Senator Gbenga Obadara, a former Social Democratic Party governorship candidate in the state, Senator Akin Odunsi, Adekunle Adeyemi, Abiodun Adudu-Balogun and Bukola Braimoh.

Ogun 2019: APC Yet To Decide On Zoning – Osoba

A former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, has debunked speculations that the All Progressives Congress, APC, has zoned the 2019 governorship slot to a section of the state.

Mr. Osoba made the clarification on Wednesday at a meeting with party supporters at his private residence in the Government Reservation Area, Abeokuta.

He said party members in the three senatorial districts of the state are eligible to contest for the slot, stressing that‎ no individual in the party, no matter highly placed, can determine where the next governor of the state would come from in 2019.

Mr. Osoba further explained that the party needs to embrace internal democracy in order to brighten its chances in the next general elections.

“As a party, there is nothing like zoning of office in the past. We give opportunity to everyone to aspire, but we always use maturity to settle it amongst us. That is unwritten, it is a convention. It is not the rule but nobody will go against the agreement.

“Now, so many things have divided us. The Ijebu now come together to be claiming the Ijebu agenda. We must leave the field open. We must examine the Yewa and Ijebu agenda.

“We are all in APC and nobody will leave the party for anybody. Go back and be united with the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members that just joined us.

“Go to the wards because it is the foundation. There is no more SDP. We are all APC. Let us bring more people to join APC. We should be in unity.”

Mr. Osoba had defected to the Social Democratic Party, SDP, with his supporters before returning to the APC after the 2015 elections.
He said there is no SDP anymore, insisting, “we are all APC.

“If there is no more SDP, we that were in SDP are back to APC, let’s bring people to join APC, we should bring in people from PDP, we should be in unity with the present administration.
He called for a transparent APC governorship primary in Ekiti ahead of next year’s election in the state which the party lost to the PDP in 2014.

“Anybody that wants to emerge should emerge. Don’t let us underestimate Fayose, you must fight him. We cannot afford to play with Osun either. Those two states are important.

“If we can do clean primaries in these two states and APC wins, then whatever happens in Ekiti and Osun must happen in Oyo and Ogun when it gets to our turn to deliver.

“Also, don’t ignore Ijebu agenda but let’s wait and see what the Ijebu agenda is all about and that will determine our next step,” Mr. Osoba said.

Osoba At 78: A Continuing Political Relevance, By Kayode Odunaro

On Monday July 10, 2017 about 5000 Ogun State women under the auspices of “Gracious Sisters for Yayi Movement” in All Progressive Congress, APC gathered in the specious private residence of Chief Olusegun Osoba at Ataba Close, Ibara GRA, Abeokuta to launch their support  for the ambition of  Senator Solomon Adeola  as a governorship aspirant in Ogun State in 2019. Osoba was not at home. He was not even in the country.

Some weeks back another politician similarly announced his ambition to contest for a position in the state under the leadership of Osoba. Numerous other meetings of APC Ogun state are similarly held at Osoba’s.  That is a trend that was sanctioned by Osoba in his position as not only a leader in his party APC in Ogun state but also a prominent national leader of his party and nation. For many wards in Abeokuta South LGA where the residence is located, Osoba’s house is the venue for their regular meeting of APC.

Not many politicians will so indulge his supporters and loyalists particularly when they are not running for any public office. But such is the democratic and unifying nature of the two time governor of Ogun state that his house is now a rallying point for resurgence of progressive participatory democratic politics in Ogun State. As a former chief press secretary to Osoba as governor of the state, I am aware that many decisions affecting appointments and the governance of Ogun state were taken in a democratic setting under the shadow of the trees in the court yard of Osoba’s residence. For many that are associated politically with Osoba his democratic credentials have never been in doubt. Till date, I have never heard anyone accused Osoba of dictatorial or unilateral tendency in relations to his style of governance. Neither have I heard it said that he  exhibit a “ know it all “, “do it all” attitude in public affairs in spite of his rich and variegated experience as a top notch journalist and successful media executive.

As a governor in Ogun State, Osoba’s development approach was biased towards the rural areas of the state and to his credit, many communities in the hinterland of Ogun State enjoys pipe-borne water and electricity courtesy of Osoba’s administration rural development initiatives. Urban renewal as well as social intervention programmes particularly geared towards qualitative education and payment of qualifying examination fees for students also felt the impact of Osoba. Many will gladly give it to Osoba as impacting on people’s lives as a governor for about 6 years. No wonder many are making his private residence a melting point for all desirous of a people’s government.

Osoba by all standards is an elder statesman that had paid his dues adequately in national development first as a renowned journalist, then administrator and politician. It has not always been smooth sailing for Osoba.  Indeed the story of  Osoba,s life has  many up and down that has seen many associates desert him and later come back as whatever Osoba went through with people, he is not a man that harbours grudge for long and you can  never see him harbor bitterness against even those that are ingrates and back stabbers.  And there are many in that category of ingrates and back stabbers whose bread were once buttered by Osoba. Many that had at one time or the other fell out and strayed away from the Osoba Political Family always still feel proud to be associated with him and many had staged a comeback to the welcoming arms of a man with a good heart and unpretentious ways. Osoba has passed through some harrowing times in his political life and narrowly escaped violent  death as well as survived detention and going underground in the struggle for a democratic Nigeria. In his home state of Ogun, there are probably no political leaders alive except former President Olusegun Obasanjo that has had a more variegated political history over the years than Osoba.

At 78 on July 15, Osoba as a former governor of Ogun state and an elder statesman with an unblemished record of public service, contribution to political party formation and development,  is still expected to play a prominent redemptive role in the good governance of not only his state but the nation at large. In this wise, the expectation is that he will use his wealth of experience to guide and influence positively development in the political arena in his state and indeed Nigeria to enthrone true participatory democracy beginning from internal party democracy that he is noted for. Indeed it was absence of internal democracy that led to his surprising temporal exit to SDP from APC, a party he was one of its brain in the critical formative stages. Today he is back and all eyes are on him to so to speak  to play an active last winning card in ensuring good governance and sustainance of democracy. At all events it is certain that Osoba has carved an enviable record as a peoples politician that endures. Certainly he is not your usual garrulous flash in the pan politician.

Born to the family of Pa and Madam Jonathan Babatunde Osoba at an Egba settlement, Egbatedo, in Osogbo on July 15, 1939, Osoba attended African Church School, Osogbo, Methodist Boys High School, Lagos. He was at University of Lagos for his Diploma in Journalism. He took courses at Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, Indiana University, USA and Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Beginning a career in journalism that spanned 25 years at the Daily Times and moving from the bottom rung to the pinnacle of the profession, Osoba naturally identified with popular causes and advocacy for the downtrodden that the profession of journalism entails in addition to its enlightening role. Osoba is accepted as a role model in the profession of journalism from his days as a reporter in Daily Times, to his managerial position at Nigerian Herald, Sketch Newspapers and Daily Times, all of which flourished under his management. Internationally, Osoba practiced the profession with BBC, Times of London, Newsweek Magazine of USA, UPI News Agency and is a prominent member of the International Press Institute (IPI) being the second African to be a member of the Executive Board of the prestigious international professional body after Alhaji Lateef Jakande, another prominent journalist and former governor.

Osoba who holds several chieftaincy titles across Ogun State is married to Aderionsola Osoba (nee
Adeyemi) with four children and grandchildren.

Chief Kayode Odunaro,
former Chief Press Secretary to Governor Segun Osoba

Media Adviser to Senator
Solomon Adeola.

Osobaphobia? Who Is Afraid Of Akinrogun/Aremo/Araba In APC By Kayode Odunaro

Last Sunday in Lagos, an event took place in the residence of Aremo Olusegun Osoba, the former governor of Ogun State and founding leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, before irreconcilable differences with some APC power brokers led to his surprised exit from the party he helped write its constitution.

From press briefing the highlights of that meeting that included virtually all the Who is Who in Southwest APC was the unification of the Progressives in South West and the return of Osoba to the party he helped midwifed and indeed  is one of the national leaders. Many observers see the meeting as the most momentous event in progressives’ politics following the merger of erstwhile CAN with other parties to form APC and the eventual opposition trouncing of the then ruling PDP. For me, the return of Osoba to APC did not come as a surprise as many saw his exit as one of the fallouts of the mechanism and dynamics that brought APC into being as a merger of sometimes strange bedfellows and the need to win the 2015 election from the marauding, dollar wielding PDP in control of Federal Might.

I recalled an incident around early June last year in the heat of inauguration of the new APC government and 8th National Assembly. I had run into a close acquaintance, Hon. Ismaila Kawu formerly the Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives and now Presidential Assistant on House of Representatives at the lobby of National Assembly. While congratulating ourselves on the victory of APC, having run into each other severally during the presidential campaign, he inquire after my ‘Oga’. Thinking he was referencing Rt. Hon Dimeji Bankole, the former speaker of Reps and his colleague, I told him he got caught up in the intractable politics of PDP in Ogun State whereupon he said he was referring to Osoba my first democratically elected boss in Ogun State Government at the inception of democratic rule in 1999. He said he was shocked at his exit from APC during the campaigns as they worked together to produce the constitution of APC with Osoba as the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. There an then, he expressed the feeling that Osoba should be back in APC as he did much for the merger from his personal observation and interaction and we agreed that it was only a matter of time before Osoba returns back to a house he helped to build.

Our conclusion came to pass when the national Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande led three incumbent governors of Osun, Lagos and Oyo as well as the Deputy National Chairman of APC in South West to bring back Osoba into APC. While many are hailing this development as positive for progressive politics in the South west and Nigeria, others are reading meaning and making calculations on their personal political fortunes with the development. Many close associates of mine called in to congratulate me as a foundation member APC in Ogun State and as one of “Osoba Boys” in Ogun State. Others wanted to know the implication of his re-entry into APC for the
leadership of APC in Ogun State while others conjectured that the move is about 2019 politics both in Ogun State and at the Federal level.

Well as politics goes, it is expected that the entrance of a “Big Fish” into a pond will cause some stir. But my concern is that some are in trepidation about Osoba’s re-entry into APC. Ordinarily, one would subscribe to the philosophy of the more the merrier, more so in a democratic politics of numbers. Democracy defined is about people. Majority of the people.  Any party should always aim to get as many as possible in its fold. Inclusivity should be the name of the game and not exclusivity as some would want their queer democracy to run. This leads one to the conclusion that those in consternation of Osoba re- entry into APC have a personal agenda that is divorced from the interest of the party in Ogun State, his home state, in South West and indeed in Nigeria.

Some are hinting that Osoba’s re-entry is a programmed part of an agenda from ‘Bourdillion’ toward 2019 in Ogun State and elsewhere. The reference here is to Asiwaju Tinubu assisting party men and others to achieve political ambition over time across Nigeria. If this were indeed so, one wonders what is wrong or unethical politically in such assist. Indeed one can boldly say that the incumbent administrations in Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Lagos and Edo and indeed, the Buhari led Federal Government are major beneficiaries of Asiwaju’s large heartedness and strategy. I challenge any one to fault this empirically. At least no less a person than President Mohammadu Buhari asserted
this at the 8th Bola Tinubu Colloquium less than a week to Osoba’s re-entry into APC.  If the opposition to a “Bourdillion agenda” is coming from opposition parties to APC, that will be understandable. But coming from any quarter in APC means that such a person or group want to play politics of exclusion.  As Sola Lawal, the APC publicity secretary in Ogun State stated few days to the re-entry of Osoba in a speculative story of Osoba’s possible re-entry into APC, there is free entry and exit in the party and Osoba is welcome back if he decides to come back.

But some in Ogun APC appears to be having sleepless nights as it is and this is worrisome. A political party is supposed to be an aggregation of several interest and decisions are arrived at through internal democracy. Every and any interest in a party must be accommodated and at the end majority carries the day. Any other tendency is tending toward anti democracy and APC of all party should not be party to this. If there is a ”Bourdilion Agenda” in the offing, there is time and space enough for a “Hill Top Agenda” , an “Abuja Agenda”, an “ Ijebu Agenda” an “Ogun West Agenda” or  whatever location one can conjectured an agenda to reside. The democratic point here is let the people of Ogun State decide as they did for Chief Olabisi Onabanjo, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Otunba  Gbenga Daniel and Senator Ibikunle Amosun. Any unilateralism would not sink down well with the people of Ogun State and as an
APC foundation member in Ogun State I seek unity of purpose for a proposed 16 years rule by APC in Ogun State in the face of a resurgent albeit fissiparous Ogun State and national PDP. And I want to join Aremo Osoba’s recital of Pa Obafemi Awolowo favourite song: “Ija do pin ogun ti tan……..”  Democratically join the recital or……….

Chief Kayode Odunaro JP
Baaroyin of Imalaland
Three times Chief

Press Secretary in Ogun State.
Former Special Adviser,
Communications to Speaker, House of Representatives

Chairman, Oronna Ilaro Festival Planning Committee (2012 -2016)

Media Adviser to Senator Solomon Adeola aka Yayi

5th April, 2016.

Tinubu, Aregbesola Champion Progressive Leadership As APC Welcomes Osoba

Former governor of Ogun State Aremo Olusegun Osoba was yesterday reunited with leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the Southwest at a reconciliation meeting, where they jointly pledged to push progressive ideas to reinvent the country.

The reconciliation meeting at the Lagos residence of Osoba was attended by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and all APC governors from the Southwest with the notable exception of Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who also did not send a representative.

Tinubu, who spoke to newsmen at the end of the meeting, however, said Amosun was with other Southwest governors on the reconciliation.

Also present at the meeting were former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; former governor of Ekiti State, Chief Niyi Adebayo, Senator Gbenga Obadara; APC National Vice Chairman, South West, Chief Pius Akinyelure; immediate past deputy governor of Ogun State, Segun Olusegun, among others.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the nearly four-hour meeting, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State said progressive leaders of the zone had resolved to collectively work towards the revival of Nigeria’s ailing economy.

“The leadership of progressive leadership in western Nigeria, leadership of progressive leadership in the western part of the country met today at the residence of Aremo Osoba and have resolved all the differences within the leadership completely. As such we are happy to tell the world that the leadership of progressive politics is united. And we are ready to jointly prosecute the agenda for growth, purposeful leadership, development, good governance for the western part of Nigeria and we are committed to doing that for the entire nation.

‘’We have resolved to support the effort at the national level to revive the economy and put the people of Nigeria in a better stead than we met it when our party came to power. The Aremo himself is back in the progressive leadership of Yoruba race. I have told you that the progressive leadership of Yoruba race is now ready and charged to reposition our land and integrate with others nationwide in its stead.

‘’Progressive leadership is on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC. All governors of the APC in the Western part of Nigeria are here. With the leadership united, whoever subscribe to the leadership of the leaders must be part of this.’’

On his part, Tinubu while speaking on the sideline noted that the party leaders of the South west extraction resolved to be more progressive in pushing forward with a common vision.

His words: ‘’What is very crucial is forging one front and for us to remain progressive in our party. I am an unapologetic progressive and I will remain a progressive. And that is the only philosophy and principle I believe. Wherever the progressives must unite with their vision, I am for it. Nobody is left out, it is all progressive and no one is left out. The governor of Ogun State is with us. He was elected on the platform of the APC and he is for the APC.’’

The senior special assistant on Media, Adejuwon Soyinka and the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Taiwo Adeoluwa both denied knowledge of the meeting when contacted on the absence of the governor at the meeting.

Tinubu also dismissed news reports that he had endorsed Akande for the chairmanship of Board of Trustees of the party.

“This is not a leaderless revolution, leaders are defined and identified and it is clear that we are all one including governor of Ogun State. We are not in PDP that is why they think of something they are not.”

Osoba Returns To APC

Former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba is back to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Top APC chieftains in the South-West on Sunday met to receive Osoba at his residence in Lagos.

Present were former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Ogun State, Bisi Akande, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Oluranti Adebule, who represented the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Osoba left the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and alongside others, rejuvenated the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the platform upon which his supporters contested in the 2015 general elections.

Osoba has governed Ogun State twice.

He was elected on SDP platform and was in office from January 1992 until November 1993 when he and others were removed from office by General Sani Abacha.

In 1999, he was elected again as Governor of Ogun State on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

Osoba Returns To APC

After over three hours of meeting with the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, former governor of Ogun state and leader, Social Democratic Party, SDP, Chief Olusegun Osoba finally returned to APC.

Osoba, a founding member of the APC dumped the party after a feud with the incumbent governor of Ogun state, Ibikunle Amosun and founded the SDP where he tried to wrestle power from Amosun but the SDP was soundly defeated at the general polls in 2015.

On Sunday, the APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu led party delegates to Osoba’s house in Bourdillon, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria to resolve the lingering crisis.

At the meeting Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola and Oyo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi were present while Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State was represented by his deputy, Dr. Oluranti Adebule.

Also present were ex-national chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Chief Bisi Akande; former governor of Ekiti, Niyi Adebayo while Governor Ibikunle Amosun was absent from the meeting.

After about three hours of meeting, Aregbesola came out with some leaders of the party to address journalists and announced that the feud was over and that Osoba was now back to the fold as a progressive.

“The leadership of the progressive politics in the Western part of Nigeria met today at the residence of Chief Olusegun Osoba. We have resolved all the differences within the leadership and as such, we are happy to tell the world that the leadership of progressive politics in Western part of Nigeria is united and ready to jointly prosecute the agenda for growth, purposeful leadership, development and good governance in the Western part of Nigeria,” he said.

Aregbesola added that: “There was a time when Osoba switched to another party but he is a foundation member of the APC and he was in the APC throughout my election. Yes, he was for a time with the SDP, but with what we have just done today, Akinrogun Osoba, the Aremo himself is back with the progressive leadership of the Yoruba race.”

The governor stated that with Osoba’s return to the party, the progressive leadership of the Yoruba race is now fully united and “are ready and charged to lead our efforts to reposition our land and integrate with others nationwide to put Nigeria in its proper footing.

Speaking with newsmen, Osoba, who was elated, sang a Yoruba song which he called a Awolowo’s song and simply said “the war is over”.

Also speaking, Tinubu said he was filled with joy that the progressives had reunited once again to make the party stronger in all front.

“What is very crucial is for us to strengthen our front and remain in the progressives. I am an unapologetic progressives and I will remain one. And that is the only principle I abide. Wherever the progressives are, they must be united with their vision,” he said.

On why Amosun was not present, Tinubu said “nobody is left out, it is all progressive and no one is left out, no matter your insinuation. Amosun is with us, we can excuse people. The Governor of Ogun state is elected on the platform of APC and we can vouch for him. This is not a medialess revolution. Leaders of the party identified with us and it is clear we are all one, including Amosun. Who told you we are fighting?”

EFCC Squeeze Former Ogun Governor Olusegun Osoba

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday questioned former Governor Segun Osoba of Ogun State for his role in the agency’s ongoing investigation of massive funds allegedly diverted and embezzled by an ex-Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly called Tompolo.

The EFCC recently declared Tompolo wanted reportedly for stealing $108.7 million, illegally diverting N2.1billion, and engaging in a land fraud worth an estimated N13 billion.

Two EFCC sources told SaharaReporters that the 76-year-old Mr. Osoba, a former journalist who from 1999 to 2003 served as Governor of Ogun State, was being questioned over a sub-contract he reportedly received from NIMASA. One EFCC agent told our correspondent that the contract in question was worth N65 million.

When our correspondent reached Chief Osoba he became upset and said he nothing to do with Tompolo or EFCC, further he said he was on his way to the US via London and asked our reporter to call his his hotel in New York

Credit: Sahara Reporters