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 lick 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.