UPDATED: South West United To Produce Next President – Akande
A former governor of Osun State Chief Bisi Akande says the South West is united and will work to produce Nigeria’s next president.
He made the comment while speaking to journalists at the end of a meeting of presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the South West.
Akande said it was agreed that the aspirants should shun divisiveness and go about their campaigns with maturity.
The meeting, which was held on Friday at the Lagos House in Marina, had Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; a former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, and some governors in the region in attendance.
Others were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. The ministers of works and housing; trade and industry and investment, and interior amongst others also attended.
The meeting was convened by Akande and a former Ogun State governor Olusegun Osoba.
Aregbesola blames devil for rift with Oyetola, seeks forgiveness
Ex-Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has blamed the devil for the misunderstanding between himself and his successor, Adegboyega Oyetola during the latter’s administration.
Aregbesola who spoke in Yoruba language during a welcome rally organised by his loyalists to welcome him back to the state at Freedom Park, Osogbo, said the devil successfully allowed animosity to thrive between them after the Supreme Court victory party in July 2019.
The former Minister had attributted his political successes to President Bola Tinubu, who identified and supported his political aspirations since 1999 from Lagos state.
He however asked for forgiveness from everyone who felt slighted by events of the last four, saying he was in the state to seek reconciliation and development of the progressive tendency in the state.
According to him, politics in this part of the world is about acrimony but today, I am not here for that. We are here to seek reconciliation and forgiveness. My successes as governor were a collective achievement, including those who turned themselves into our enemies today.
“In July 2019 after the Supreme Court victory, we were together in this venue where we call on ourselves to be united. I said on that day that I’d concluded my tenure and hand over to the person I preferred but warned that it was left for my successor to be a good person and that I will be the godfather.
“But my statement was misconstrued and the devil took over leading to the rift that lasted four years. I did not request anything from my successor talkless of being denied such a thing but some people just feel envious of our presence. Despite all of these, I seek forgiveness from those who felt offended by some of our actions.
“After this, I will not beg anybody again. We didn’t offend anyone and we don’t believe anyone offended us but it’s possible that they believe we offended them, that’s why we are seeking forgiveness”, he said.
Meanwhile, the former governor was received into the state by jubilant residents of Ilesa and Osogbo following the completion of his appointment.
Escorted by his wife Sherifat, the duo was visibly elated by the warm reception given him by residents of the two major towns after visiting the palaces of Owa-Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran and Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji
Osun APC begins strategies towards 2026, holds stakeholders meeting
The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, on Wednesday, said it was determined to return to government in 2026.
The Osun APC leadership directed party officials in wards and local government areas across the State to resume meetings and other political activities in preparation for future elections.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting held in Osogbo, the acting State Chairman of the party, Alhaji Tajudeen Lawal said no effort would be spared to ensure return of the party to power and continue its good and people-centric leadership.
The meeting which was held at the instance of former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola was aimed to bring together members of the party with a view to chart a new course for the progress and success of the party and its members.
Lawal who commended leaders and members of the party for their loyalty, resilience, perseverance and commitment throughout the litigation period, said right mechanisms had been set in motion to properly and genuinely restructure the party for the betterment of all.
According to him, the main motive behind the meeting was to restrategise and further foster unity between and among members of the party as they resolve to wrestle power from the incumbent government in the State.
“I want to start by appreciating our immediate past Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola for initiating this meeting. He was the one who facilitated this very important meeting.
“As we all know, this family meeting is very crucial particularly at a time like this that we have made frantic efforts to put our house in order and work towards reclaiming power from the incumbent administration.
“As a party, we recognise the fact that after the Supreme Court judgment, we have not met with a large house like this, so, this is to let the whole world know that we remain united, resolute and committed to strengthening the party, promote internal democracy and indeed, set the motion for the all-round success, progress, growth and development of our party and the State.
“I want to assure you all that former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is solidly behind the party and he had promised to continue to support the party. Though what happened is divine and we have taken it in good faith as God’s will just as we believe strongly that our party, APC will come back to government soon.
“Let’s return to our various units, wards and councils to start mobilising our people across the nooks and crannies of the state as we know that the journey to reclaim the state for our party has begun right from now.
“I am assuring you all that this type of meeting will be coming regularly and we want to instruct you all to return to the party fully and begin to hold your ward and council meetings as usual.
“The doors of the state party secretariat are always open. Feel free to walk in anytime, everyone will be welcomed to share lofty ideas that can aid the progress of the party. This is not the time to fight but to remain united and build a formidable frontier. We are open to reconciliation and genuine moves to take the party to enviable heights.
“Our symbol is broom and we all know what it stands for. Let us continue to be our brother’s keepers. We are valiants and not cowards.
“God has been very faithful to us. What happened had happened but in reality, what we got in return was marvellous. Today, we are proud that we have president from our great party. This was achieved through our collective efforts. It is indeed a rare feat”, Lawal added.
Speaking on behalf of the party’s Elders Forum popularly called “Agba Osun”, Chief Kunle Odeyemi, said efforts would continue to be made to ensure the party remains united and formidable.
He said, “what we stand for is unity. We are for unity of purpose. We are for progress. Though the committee set-up for repositioning of the party has not reported back, but we should be conscious of our actions and inactions. We should avoid anything that can further divide us. We want more friends than enemies. We should know the meetings to attend at this time.”
In their separate remarks, the immediate past Chairman of Ifedayo Local Government, Hon. Biodun Idowu extolled members of the party for their commitment throughout the ‘thin and thick period’ just as he urged them to remain united as the party is ready to return to government.
“It is high time for us to resuscitate and stimulate activities of the party at the grassroots”, he added.
Speaking on behalf of the immediate past cabinet members, former Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Rasak Adeosun, called on members of the party to remain resolute in the collective interest to move the party forward.
He encouraged them to continually support the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saying what God had bestowed on Osun in particular, Yoruba and Nigeria in general was large enough to accommodate and serve the interest of all.
Powers Behind the Throne: Era of ‘Go and See Rauf’ Appears Gone!
Powers Behind the Throne: Era of ‘Go and See Rauf’ Appears Gone!
By Ismail Omipidan
In every corridor of power around the globe, there are people who call the shots. Some are seen. Others are invisible. But you hear and see their exploits. They are real. They wield enormous powers such that the real occupier of the office, on behalf of whom the powers are wielded, most times, defers to them and relies on them to take certain critical decisions. Most times, when they are not within reach, critical decisions must be delayed. Unless they have their say, nothing moves, nothing works. They are called the powers behind the throne!
Around President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in those days, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the immediate past Interior Minister, was the de facto Power Behind the Throne. You hardly get anything without his input and final stamp. Once you encounter President Tinubu, the next thing is ‘go and see Rauf’.
As Governor of Osun State, unless certain Lagos matters get to Osogbo, they are never resolved. Tickets into certain offices in Lagos are got from Osogbo, with the express approval of ‘Rauf’.
With Tinubu, Rauf’s words were law. Fall out with Rauf, then you are out of favour with Tinubu.
But somehow, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola mismanaged the relationship, abused the trust and even attempted to play God. Now, he is left in the cold to leak his wounds.
Curiously, rather than retrace his steps, show remorse and find a way to be reintegrated into the fold for possible political rehabilitation, Aregbesola appears to be grandstanding. Unfortunately, those he misled and turned into political orphans in Osun are still urging him on. They are the ones who say they are welcoming him back to Osun. For what really, I do not know.
As minister, he was treated to a celebratory banquet by the APC Government in Osun, led by Adegboyega Oyetola. Today, he is being welcomed not by the Osun State APC.
While in Abuja, he never participated in any election here in Osun. He never showed any iota of concern for Osun as a minister during the raving COVID-19 pandemic. It is on record that as a member of the Presidential Committee on COVID-19, Aregbesola behaved as though Osun needed no support from the FG to the extent that after Osun successfully contained the famous Ejigbo 127 Ivory Coast returnees, he almost forced another set on Osun.
If the so-called ‘welcome home’ gathering is to relaunch himself back to political reckoning, I think Aregbesola and those behind it have missed the point again.
But if it is to continue his political war against the party and persons that brought him to political reckoning, it is a good start. Unfortunately, he and those behind it may not go far either, unless the Osun State PDP government is willing and ready to fund the political war. Historically speaking, since 1999, those that are today waging war on the progressives in Osun have never spent their personal money to advance any political cause. They have always relied on Tinubu’s financial war chest and government’s money. Once these two sources of funding are blocked, give them six months from now, the market will seize to exist and the traders will go their separate ways.
But one thing Aregbesola must know is that an average Osun APC faithful only appears to be waiting for the appropriate time to square up with him. One thing that is however certain for now is that, except Aregbesola changes his perceived arrogant posture, with regard to his relationship with APC in Osun especially, it may be difficult for him to return to political reckoning as far the progressives’ politicking is concerned because for now, the era of ‘go and see Rauf’ appears gone!
Omipidan, a journalist and Public Affairs analyst writes from Ile Olorisa Compound, Eyindi, Ila Orangun.
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