Temidayo Akinsuyi, Lagos

Following interventions by Asiwaju Bola Tinu­bu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and other leaders of the party, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, and his loyalists have canceled plans to cele­brate 10 years of progressive governance in Osun State scheduled for Friday.

The event was set to clash with the second anniversary of Governor Gboyega Oyeto­la, Aregbesola’s successor and has also pitched their support­ers against one another and has also polarised the APC in the state.

The APC caucus of the National Assembly members in a statement issued by Mr. Remi Ibitola, Senior Adviser on Media to Senator Basiru Ajibola representing Osun Central federal constituency in the National Assembly, said they decided to cancel the lec­ture following interventions at the national level.

The APC caucus which stated that the lecture was or­ganised by them and not Areg­besola as believed in some quarters, said, “Although the legislators viewed their contribution from a broader perspective, hoping to make it an epoch-making occasion to boost the morale of their members and the progres­sives family in the state, the effort was misinterpreted and misconstrued to be an affront to the governor.”

It stressed also that, “The legislators have earlier agreed to the topic of the lecture as ‘Ten Years of Uninterrupted Progressive Government in Osun’ and it was a form of social awareness and sensiti­sation of the good people of Osun to know and appreciate the concepts and benefits of the state’s administration un­der our progressive party.

“But unknown to the law­makers, their innocent contri­bution was not well received in some circles where the legislators’ efforts were seen as disruptive to the activities marking the two years of the governor in office.

“This has generated a lot of undercurrents of misgiv­ings which contributed in sponsorship of stories in the newspapers, alleging that the legislators may be planning to cause civil unrest.

“The first sign that mis­chief-makers may have pol­luted the genuine motive of the lecture which was conceived and considered to have the capability to further the unity of the party in the state and mobilise the party was the emergence of an un­signed statement emanating from some members of the House of Representatives, who appeared under intense pressure put up a rather terse statement that they are com­mitted to 2nd anniversary of Governor Oyetola as if the public lecture was not the event planned by the caucus as its contribution to the 2nd anniversary programme of the governor, as it was done for the first year with a foot­ball tournament.

“The decision to have the public lecture was taken on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 by the caucus in a meeting held in the Office of Senator Oriolowo at the Senate Wing of the National Assembly about 4p.m.

“The meeting decided that it was necessary to sustain the gains of an earlier solidarity visit to the governor by follow­ing up with the public lecture.

“At the meeting, Senator Oriolowo and Hon. L. B. Ayeni were nominated to liaise with key stakeholders like Chief Bisi Akande, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, and Prince Gboyega Famodun. Hon Tai­wo Oluga was expected to tidy up the use of one of the two facilities nominated at the meeting, namely, the Centre for Black Culture or the WOC­DIF building.

“Therefore, the lecture was a decision of the legislators and not organised by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as falsely re­ported by some sections of the media, traditional and social.

“To err on the side of peace and to defer to different inter­ventions by party leaders at the national level, particu­larly, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the legislators have decided to step down the lec­ture so as to make room for party cohesion.”

Also on Wednesday, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a former governor of Osun, called for calm in the state fol­lowing the tension generated by reports about the parallel events.

Prince Oyinlola, in a state­ment, said he noted Aregbes­ola’s explanation that he was coming to the state to engage with the people on the End­SARS crisis as directed by President Muhammadu Bu­hari but advised that the inte­rior minister could do that on another day.

“It is necessary that I put my own experience on re­cord. I took over from Chief Bisi Akande in May 2003 and, I can say that throughout my almost eight years in govern­ment, and despite our politi­cal differences, Akande never gave me any problem.

“It is common knowledge that Mr. Aregbesola took over from me, and, despite the cir­cumstances of his coming to that office, I did not do any­thing to undermine his au­thority throughout his eight years in government.

“That is the spirit with which I appeal that the Inte­rior Minister (Aregbesola) avoid doing anything that will suggest a plan to make the state ungovernable for Mr. Oyetola.

“As a former governor of that state, I plead that we give peace a chance. The state has witnessed enough unneces­sary crises in recent weeks coupled with the coronavirus pandemic which has upended people’s economy and gener­al well-being. Our people are suffering; they deserve a re­spite from all forms of crises as they struggle to make ends meet.

“All of us former gover­nors, as leaders of our people, we all have a stake in making Osun State to work for the good of our people who have had to deal with one hardship or the other.

“We will be seen as doing that when we avoid making the job of the incumbent gov­ernor difficult for him. May God help our state and its people in this difficult time,” Prince Oyinlola said.

He also counseled Gover­nor Oyetola to, at all times, let the welfare and wellbeing of the people remain his priority as he crosses over to the sec­ond half of his term.

Investigations revealed that trouble started between the two political gladiators who are from the same politi­cal camp when Governor Oye­tola reversed some of Aregbe­sola’s unpopular policies like his education policy that was roundly rejected by the people of the state.

It was also learnt that Governor Oyetola rejected the decision taken by the for­mer governor, five days to the end of his administration by launching what he called Osun Development Plan 2019- 2028, a 10-year development plan.

The resistance by the governor, according to an in­formed source, was because “Oyetola has his own devel­opment plans and his own template for the people of the state.”
The plan of Aregbesola to celebrate the 10th anniversa­ry simultaneously with that of the marking of the present administration’s second year in office without the knowl­edge of the incumbent Gov­ernor Oyetola has raised the temperature of politics and security in the state


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