- There’s nothing like that – Commissioner
A fresh crisis is brewing in Osun State’s chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged plan by Governor Rauf Aregbesola to dump his Chief of Staff, Adegboyega Oyetola, for his Commissioner for Finance, Bola Olabamiji.
Oyetola, who is a cousin to former Lagos State governor and National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Amed Tinubu, is from Osun Central, while Olabamiji is from Osun West.
Daily Sun gathered that the crisis, which is already causing ripples in the relationship between the governor and his political leader, Tinubu, is responsible for the shift in the date of the party’s governorship primary from Saturday, July 7, to Thursday, July 19, and may be a straight fight between the ruling APC in the state and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Zoning, it was further gathered, will play a decisive role in the contest. As in every state, Osun is politically divided into three senatorial districts: West, Central and East.
Its first civilian governor, the late Isiaka Adeleke, who spent about two years in office, was from Ede, Osun West. Next was Bisi Akande, from Ila Orangun in Osun Central. He spent four years, but lost his re-election bid in 2003, to Olagunsoye Oyinlola; from Odo-Otin council, also in Osun Central. Oyinlola spent seven years.
Cumulatively, Osun Central alone has had 11 years in the saddle, governing the state. Aregbesola is from Ilesa. By the end of his tenure, Osun East, where he comes from, would also have had eight uninterrupted years governing the state.
But, sources said Aregbesola’s camp is in disarray already as cabinet members are confused as to whom to mobilise support for, ahead of the rescheduled primary.
Although Baderinwa, insisted it is wrong to describe what is happening, especially in the camp of the governor, as ‘crisis,’ he, nonetheless, said: “We can resolve between and among ourselves and get on without any difference.”
Speaking on the seeming crisis in the party, a staunch supporter of Oyetola put the blame squarely on the doorsteps of the governor.
“Religion, and not zoning, has always been the issue in Osun politics. Suddenly, people from the governor’s camp are now championing the issue of zoning.”
Daily Sun also gathered that, from the day it became public knowledge that the Finance commissioner was going to run, all commissioners and other cabinet members who, hitherto, were on the campaign trail of Oyetola, who, at the time, was going round the councils in the state to seek support, were said to have withdrawn their support and refused to continue the tour with him.
But, a source close to Oyetola denied it. The source, however, admitted that “it is true that they have slowed down. But, we still have six commissioners with us. However, I think Oyetola is not perturbed. I am sure they will resolve it. The elders of the party are talking to one another.
“Truth is, Aregbesola cannot afford to offend Asiwaju. His fear is that he may not have control over Oyetola if he becomes governor. But, this was the man who helped him stabilise the government during the time of turbulence. I think Aregbesola needs to let us know where he stands, and the earlier, the better.”
Two other cabinet members who spoke to Daily Sun confirmed that they are, indeed, in a state of confusion, as their leader (Aregbesola) has not come out to tell them who to back. They, however, confirmed the strong sentiment in favour of Osun West, as far as the contest is concerned.
It was also further gathered that those in the Oyetola’s camp, who are already accusing Aregbesola of betrayal, see the governor’s latest action as an attempt to get back at Tinubu, for denying him the opportunity to return to Lagos, after his tenure as governor.