IN the 13th August, 2021 edition of Observation on July 16, 2022 Osun Governorship Elections Postulation, it was stated, “Although, as at today, all these stalwarts are fully back to APC, the party is engulfed with crisis and it is getting messier as we coast to July 16, 2022 Gubernatorial Elections in the state. Instead of working for peaceful co-existence, consultation and inclusive engagement with all these stakeholders and caucuses within the party, Governor Gboyega Oyetola has chosen the path of alienation (and hostility). Apart from his caucus in the party – IleriOluwa – he does not have anything to do with others.” The piece stated further, “If the situation is not radically addressed on time, either of these two will happen. On the one hand, if Oyetola uses his incumbent executive power to manipulate the game and emerge as APC candidate for the 2022 governorship election without the support and cooperation of other caucuses in APC, a worse repeat of 2018 clearly means he will lose the governorship elections.” It concluded, “I want to be optimistic that the shinning sun is still enough to dry the fabric.”
In the run-up to 2014 re-election for his second term, governor Rauf Aregbesola did not only pull together members of his party, he brought into his fold and party, stalwarts of PDP opposition party like Late Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, the first executive governor of the state; Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the former governor that the Appeal Court sacked in November 26, 2010 for Aregbesola to realise his stolen mandate; Peter Balalola and others to defeat PDP by over 100,000 votes! In the history of Osun, only Aregbesola had a two-term of eight years and handed over to a member of his party as Governor. Instead of heeding advice and follow the pattern of his predecessor, Governor Oyetola has intensified his politics of alienation, aggression, provocation and confrontation of party members and stalwarts outside of his cult followers.
December 21, 2021 is a historic day in Osun. The state capital stood still for the major players of Osun politics, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, a pioneer State Chairman of Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Secretary to the State Government (SSG) 2010-2018; Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam, former Speaker, State House of Assembly 2011 -2019; and Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuf, former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives (2015-2019) – who all struggled to succeed Aregbesola in 2018 – when the trio came together to attend The Osun Progressives (TOP) weekly meeting. The three political juggernauts, at exactly 1:50 pm, were ushered into the meeting with thousands of their supporters. They addressed party faithful and openly declared to support anyone of them who emerges as APC candidate in the forthcoming July 16, 2022 gubernatorial elections in the state. Their attendance at the TOP weekly meeting is an open declaration and recognition of Alhaji Rasaq Salinsile APC State Chairmanship as against Prince Gboyega Famodun IleriOluwa’s faction. TOP is a caucus of Osun APC that is wagging a relentless struggle to reposition the party to its progressive leaning towards achieving its goal of massive development of the state and save it from direction of perdition it is snowballing. TOP is peopled by mass members of APC at the grassroots. It had had a parallel congress at the Wards, Local and State where Alhaji Rasaq Salinsile emerged as the APC State Chairman. Again, Salinsile leadership is already in court, asking it to declare its leadership as the one with legitimate congress.
The working relationship and spirit of sportsmanship displayed by these astute politicians is a nail in the coffin of a possible reconciliation with Governor Oyetola who is scheming for a re-election under the 4+4 mantra of a continuity promise that failed abysmally. I don’t know the magic Mr. Governor has in the offing. Logically, one would have thought that a Governor seeking re-election would, in earnest, set up a reconciliation panel and genuinely bring everybody into his fold with sense of belonging. Instead, right from the start, Mr. Governor does not want to have anything to do with his predecessor and any of his associates. While he campaigned on continuity of his predecessor’s legacies, it has been reversal of the legacies all through. What is the animosity about? Mr. Governor believes Aregbesola did not, at the onset, want him to be Governor but for insistence of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu. Assuming this assertion is correct, how could this be a problem when Aregbesola eventually did everything to make him become the candidate and Governor? What kind of petty politics is that? It is against the principle and rule of bourgeois politics to make an enemy of a person who could promote one’s interest, whatever the personal animosity; hence the saying, “no permanent friend or enemy but permanent interest.”
2021 is coming to a close. Thursday 18th February, 2022 is the last day for submission of forms by the governorship aspirants to the APC National Secretariat and primary is slated for 5th March, 2022. The time is too short to salvage the self-inflicted wreck. It is crystal clearer that it won’t be an easy ride for Governor Oyetola to Bola Ige House in Abere. Rather than make amends, we are still sacking a teacher from the civil service (for not being within our cult), who once was a prime witness in our Supreme Court litigation victory! Again, a directive was given to banning OSUN DEFENDER complimentary copies in Government House and the State Secretariat, Abere. Having squandered valuable time and opportunities for reconciliation to which it is even still hostile, Mr. Governor is staring a clear checkmate in the face. Anyway, a hunting dog that will go astray never listens to the hunter’s whistle.