WHAT could have been a reoccurrence of the 2006 Oroki Day attack on Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, was averted on Saturday, August 28, 2021.
Aregbesola and members of The Osun Progressives (TOP), according to sources, were to be attacked by hoodlums, who were commissioned by some State Government elements at the final funeral of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Pa. G.O. Lawal in Ikirun.
It would be recalled that Aregbesola who was the governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC) escaped assasination when he was attacked by thugs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Oroki Day in 2006, in Osogbo.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the government elements, among who are commissioners in Governor Adegbeoyega Oyetola’s cabinet and caretaker chairmen in some local government councils in Ifelodun/ Boripe/Odo-Otin Federal Constituency, held a meeting on Wednesday preceding the week of the funeral in Iragbiji, where they concluded on attacking Aregbesola and TOP members.
Part of their plans was also to blackmail Aregbesola, turn the case against him and misinform the public that he was the one that came to foment trouble, like it was done on the attack on members of the APC during the sitting of the Ward Congress Appeal Committee at the APC State Secretariat, recently.
Their grouse, according to sources in the Government House, Oke-Fia, Osogbo, was that Aregbesola’s fame would outshine Oyetola’s at the funeral.
The sources confided in the medium that each of eight hoodlum gangs commissioned to do the hatchet job was mobilised with a sum of N500, 000 in cash.
Preparatory to the attack, the canopy erected to accommodate members of TOP at Akinorun Grammar School, Ikirun was removed and moved to an obscure area of the venue by some people to make the attack easy and hidden.
Few hours to the event, some social media users in the government payroll had been posting contents suggesting that something would happen at the funeral.
One of the posts is “You will see film, remain small.”
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the government elements had also resorted to blackmailing Aregbesola before the event and several calls were put to leaders of the APC within and outside the State of Osun to dissuade the Minister from attending the event.
However, the Minister who had earlier been informed on the planned attack, had insisted that he would attend the programme, regardless threats to his life.
But Aregbesola later had a change of mind when some important personalities intervened.
Former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salam, who were to attend the funeral also called it off.
When the news filtered round that Aregbesola would not be coming to the funeral again, the government-paid social media users went into jubilation and embarked on posts like ‘alaye japa’.
The venue of the funeral was filled with hoodlums who were waiting to launch attack on their targets.