The All Progressives Congress (APC), Osun State has debunked the claim by the former governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, that an agreement was reached on August 26th, 2021, where it was agreed that his faction be considered in forming the government by giving it one-third of the appointments in the second term of Oyetola’s administration.
The party noted that perhaps, the former Interior Minister was making a reference to the agreement he reached with the Adeleke dynasty as the APC did not make the 2022 governorship election in Osun, adding that no wonder the Aregbesola faction was accorded one-third of appointments in the current administration, led by Ademola Adeleke.
Reacting to the claims by Aregbesola, the APC chairman, Sooko Tajudeen Lawal, in a statement issued by the party’s Director of Media and Information, Chief Kola Olabisi, said to the best of his knowledge, the only agreement, endorsed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande happened in December 2020 and that Aregbesola reneged on the spirit and letter of the said agreement.
He noted that: “At the end of the meeting, it was Aregbesola who prepared the contents of the resolutions and gave it to our Baba, Chief Bisi Akande, to vet before it was passed on to the leaders of the party. And part of the agreement was that there would be an automatic ticket for Oyetola and that while Oyetola would be allowed to face governance without interference from any quarters, the trio of Chief Bisi Akande, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola will lead, guide, coordinate and administer the party as the apex body.
“But during the primaries, Aregbesola sponsored Alhaji Moshood Adeoti against Oyetola contrary to the agreement reached. Oyetola won the election by 222,169 votes against Adeoti’s 12,921 votes. The same Aregbesola went to court with Adeoti to challenge the outcome of the primary. He also sponsored 10 different cases in various courts to challenge the nomination of Oyetola as the candidate of the APC. Before then, he held a parallel congress and pushed unsuccessfully to have a validly elected chairman of the party replaced with his factional chairman.
“As if that was not enough, Aregbesola went ahead to sponsor three different candidates against Oyetola in the governorship election. So, who betrayed each other? You be the judge. In fact, we are surprised that the National leadership of the party in Abuja has not acted on all the petitions we wrote to catalogue Aregbesola’s anti-party activities,” Lawal said.
On the purported influence of Aregbesola in the last series of elections in Osun, the APC chairman said, “there is a limit to self- adulation. Truth is, the fortune of APC began to decline before Aregbesola left office. And it was due to some of the policies which the citizens considered as anti-masses. Some of them are: half salary, single uniform, reclassification of schools, change of schools’ names and non-alignment with national policy on education among others.
“As a sitting governor, in 2017, APC lost the Osun West senatorial election by winning just one out of the 10 councils while the opposition PDP won nine councils. It was that misfortune that followed the APC to the 2018 governorship election where it garnered 255,505 votes, to manage to win, losing four out of the six councils in Ijesaland where Aregbesola hails from.
“If anything, it was Oyetola who relaunched the APC to the hearts of the progressives in Osun State. Oyetola, in responding to the demands of the people carried out some reforms in the education sector following the recommendations of the Prof. Olu Aina committee. The reforms saw Oyetola reversing all those policies to the admiration of the citizens of the state, which did not go down well with Aregbesola.
“And during the 2022 governorship campaigns and subsequent election when Aregbesola stayed away, the APC secured 375,027, that is an addition of 120,000 votes from what it secured four years earlier. If Oyetola is not popular, there should ordinarily have been a decline in our votes.
“Yes, Aregbesola and his group did anti-party, for which they have been duly compensated by the PDP, their activities was not responsible for our fate. We lost to brigandage and terror unleashed on our people by the PDP, with heavy support from men of the civil defence under the control of Aregbesola.
“At the last count, no fewer than 25 persons were killed in Ijesa area alone. This scared our people from coming out en masse to vote.
“Finally, on the claim that he spent three years begging Oyetola for reconciliation. Which of the years is Aregbesola talking about? The man who lied that he begged Oyetola for three years should be asked when the three years began counting: Was it before he unleashed TOP on Oyetola or after it? Was it before February 21st, 2021 when he went to Ilesa to openly abuse Oyetola over party revalidation exercise that the gentleman personally reached out to him requesting him to choose a convenient date when he would be available for the exercise?
“Aregbesola promised to give Oyetola 48 hours notice. The notice never came. We only saw him in Ilesa, claiming they do not want him to register. This was a man who unleashed terror on Osun for three years, terrorizing innocent citizens of the state just to further his selfish political interest.
“Oyetola did everything within his powers to accommodate Aregbesola, including ensuring that about 10 cabinet members who served in his (Aregbesola) cabinet were retained by Oyetola.
“By his latest false claims, Aregbesola is only seeking political relevance but we will not be distracted by his antics. We call on every loyal and committed member of the APC in Osun to be wary of him. He meant no good for the party,” Lawal added.