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Osun APC In Disarray As Oyetola, Aregbesola Battle For Supremacy

Osun APC In Disarray As Oyetola, Aregbesola Battle For Supremacy %Post Title






s the July 16, 2022, off-season governorship election in Osun State draws nearer, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state is in disarray as Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his predecessor, the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, are entangled in a supremacy battle.

While loyalists of the governor are referred to as Ileri-Oluwa, those of the minister are known as The Osun Progressives (TOP).

Daily Trust reports that the feud was worsened by the just concluded congress of the party in the state.

At the congress, supporters of Aregbesola were attacked at St John’s Grammar School, Oke Atan, Ile-Ife. A member of TOP said hoodlums stormed the venue of their meeting with guns, cutlasses and clubs and attacked them.

One of the victims, Mr Sikiru Owojori, said, “I’m one of the people attacked at St John’s; it was so deadly and I know Allah is there to judge.

“The boys that came to attack us were from Okerewe Ward 2. They wounded me on my left leg. They beat and left Tony to die, Hon Rafiu was beaten like a baby. Alhaji Apari was wounded.”

An APC leader in Ife-East LGA, Barr Gbenga Awosode, said, “The attackers injured Alhaji Muritala Lawal, Anthony Adeyemo, Hon Oyewole Rafiu, Kunle Oguntoke, Owojori Sikiru, Iyabo Olufisayo, Ademola Adegoke, Awosemo Kehinde and Ayinla Serifat.”

Also, hoodlums recently attacked Aregbesola’s campaign office at the Old Governor’s Office on Gbongan Road in Osogbo, the state capital, during a political meeting by his supporters. 

The Chairman of TOP, Mr Biyi Adelowo, accused the Ileri-Oluwa group of masterminding the attack, saying the governor’s camp was after the lives of fellow party members. 

Mr Adelowo said, “It is high time President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of security agencies called the governor and his men to order.”

According to him, “The thugs, believed to have been sent by the Gov Adegboyega Oyetola-led Ileri-Oluwa faction of the party, invaded the weekly meeting of TOP. I was just addressing the caucus when the thugs started shooting.

“This led to a stampede as APC members scampered for safety. Luckily for us, there were no major casualties as members ran into the main building for safety. But some of our people were wounded.

“We need to state that officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who usually provide security for the weekly meeting were not on ground.

“Because of the absence of the NSCDC officers, the Ileri-Oluwa group sent thugs to attack us.

“The attack was carried out three days after we raised alarm that the Ileri-Oluwa people had concluded plans to eliminate leaders of TOP and other members of our party.”

Urging the security agencies in the state to step up their game, he said, “They should not wait until one of us is killed before they act on our petitions and reports.

“This is a serious concern for all of us in the state. We have been holding weekly meetings for the past four months. We have not attacked anyone. We urge the president to intervene now.

“Why will the government be using thugs to attack members of the same party openly in the afternoon? On August 16, the same set of people attacked us at the party secretariat.

“We were arrested and arraigned in court instead of the perpetrators of the attack. But the court set us free. During the state congress, they came to attack us again and two of our members were shot.”

Debunking the allegations, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Ismail Omipidan, said the claim by Adelowo was not only mischievous but also wickedly calculated at smearing the good name of Gov Oyetola.

The CPS said, “Adelowo Adebiyi is a discredited fellow and should therefore not be taken seriously. In law, if a witness bears false witness once, no testimony from such a fellow would ever be accepted.

“And in the case of Adebiyi, he has lied several times, and this latest allegation is one of such lies.

“My principal is not a violent man and will never support violence in whatever form. I strongly urge our former governor and current Interior Minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to disown Adebiyi before he rubbishes his good office.

“If by his admission, he is saying personnel of NSCDC had always provided security cover for them, on whose authority were they doing it and who ordered their withdrawal today?

“We want the concerned security agencies in the state to watch Adebiyi closely as he appears to be up to something sinister.

“Finally, I have intelligence report that Abdulrasaq Salinsile, a former APC secretary in the state, met with one of those that were alleged to have carried out the attack.

“I want to believe they are acting out a script already prepared by them. 

“Recall that during the state congress, that was how they lied that someone, who many journalists who covered the congress at the stadium saw, led a purported attack on them at Ogo Oluwa.”

Mr Omipidan further said only an unstable mind and character would accuse a person of the governor’s standing, who in the last three years had not done anything to portray him as a man given to violence or the government he leads of the assassination plot.

Meanwhile, while the clashes among the supporters of Oyetola and Aregbesola continued, the governor is moving on with his politicking with various groups and associations in the state openly declaring their support for Oyetola’s re-election bid. 

However, many believe that Oyetola will need Aregbesola’s camp to be able to win the election.  

Recently, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) endorsed Gov Oyetola for a second term.

Also, workers under the auspices of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and their counterparts in the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) endorsed Oyetola for a second term.

Gov Oyetola described the endorsements as a manifestation of good governance that his administration had provided since inception. 

He said he would not take them for granted, but rather see them as an encouragement to do more for the generality of the people of the state.

Gov Oyetola said, “It is always a thing of joy for people to appreciate your little effort. I thank you for appreciating the modest achievements that God has done through our efforts in almost three years.

“Our administration is committed to making life easier for all, and that is why we have been running an all-inclusive and participatory government for all as reflected in the successes we have recorded so far.”  (Daily Trust)

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