Is Tinubu’s political dynasty collapsing?
Feb. 20 (THEWILL) — What initially appeared to be a cold war between former Osun State Governor and Home Secretary Rafiu Aregbesola and his former political godfather and National All Progressives Congress leader (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, took on another dimension last week, when Aregbesola ridiculed Tinubu during an APC Osun leadership meeting held in Ijebu-Ijesha on Monday, February 14, 2022 , ahead of the party’s gubernatorial primary in the state.
Political analysts and observers of political developments in the country had previously noted that Aregbesola’s refusal to visit Tinubu in London, where he had gone for medical treatment last year, had strained their relationship.
Although Tinubu received many visitors including President Muhammadu Buhari while recuperating at his private home in London, most of his godchildren including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who succeeded him as Governor of Lagos State; and Aregbesola did not travel to London and did not visit him on his return to Nigeria.
Aregbesola has openly accused Tinubu, who also aspires to run in the 2023 presidential election, of trying to control Osun state politics by backing Governor Gboyega Oyetola for a second term.
Addressing party faithful and stakeholders in Ijebu-Ijesha, Aregbesola said, “Honestly, we followed and served this leader with all our might. Our loyalty to him had made some people wonder if we were no longer Muslims. But we served him with sincerity and loyalty. If you consider someone your principal, you must serve him wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that even though we wished him well, he didn’t think well of us.
“Because we placed him higher than where he should normally be, he started to think he was our god. Unfortunately for him, we had sworn to beg God to bring down anyone who compared himself to him.
Tinubu’s decision to join the presidential race clashes with Vice President Osinbajo’s aspiration to the same position, which contributed to the collapse of the former’s political dynasty.
One of the members of the Tinubu political dynasty, who currently sits in the vice president’s office as the president’s special policy adviser, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, recently said he does not support presidential ambition. from Tinubu.
Ojudu didn’t stop there; he further stated that contrary to the insinuations circulating, Tinubu did not make it successful as he was already an accomplished publisher before he met the former Governor of Lagos State.
The former lawmaker said so in a statement titled “Principled political choices are not treason.”
Ojudu, who currently heads Osinbajo’s presidential campaign team, said he would continue to follow his conscience.
He said: “The idea that anyone who has relations with Tinubu and disagrees with him on this presidential bid is a traitor and a traitor is childish. Many of us, his associates, were not created by him as you also want the world to believe.
“We were already done before we met him and during the relationship we gave each other a hand. As early as 1992, when I got to know him, I was already one of the editors of a popular news magazine that also enjoyed a good reputation in civil society.
Ojudu, who represented the central senatorial district of Ekiti between 2011 and 2015, said he could not in good conscience support Tinubu for the presidency.
So, following in Ojudu’s footsteps in bold Tinubu, Aregbesola showed his political color last week by openly declaring that he would not support Governor Gboyega Oyetola, Tinubu’s nephew, in the primary election for the post. governorship of the APC in Osun State, which was held last Saturday.
Instead, the minister declared his support for former Osun State Cabinet Secretary Alhaji Moshood Adeoti in the primary elections.
Aregbesola claimed that the Gboyega Oyetola administration had deviated from the true principles of the APC.
He said Tinubu told him in 2018, while handing him Oyetola as his successor, that he would maintain his legacy at Osun.
He pointed out that when Oyetola reneged on his promises to be loyal and to walk with him, the person who handed him (Oyetola) to him did not bring his mistakes to the governor’s attention.
Aregbesola then declared war on his former political associates who had decided to back Oyetola for a second term, including Tinubu and former Osun State Governor Bisi Akande.
“With suffering, pain and perseverance, we have grown this party to the stage it is at. After serving for eight years, it is not only party members who have benefited from our administration, the “The whole state did it. I went everywhere in Osun with projects.
“However, when my successor was handed to me around May or July 2018, I was told: ‘Rauf is the ideal successor who will stand by your side. It will further highlight your efforts. He will not betray you and he will not extinguish the light of your glory.
“That’s what the person who gave it to me said. If the person listens to me, it will resonate with them, whether they say so or not. But, did he do what he was responsible for?
“And when he reneged on those promises, did the person who gave it to me draw his attention to those failings?
Aregbesola said he pleaded with Oyetola not to destroy the APC in Osun for two years, but the governor refused to listen.
While addressing a crowd of supporters in Ikire, Irewole Local Government Area of Osun State last Thursday, Aregbesola said he knew the implication of the weakening of the APC before the elections was serious, not only for Osun but for Nigeria.
He said that having failed to the satisfaction of the people of Osun, there was nothing wrong with people removing him from his position.
He said those who were not well informed about the party’s situation in Osun could go ahead to castigate him, adding that Oyetola’s failure to ensure good governance and his disparagement of the achievements of eight years in just four years were enough to make the average man angry.
Aregbesola continued: “I worked very hard to secure Oyetola’s election. It was quite a shock when he came into office and started a big witch hunt on me. We campaigned for Oyetola through thick and thin to appoint him governor. It was surprising to see how he behaved with me when he took office.
“When he started doing it, I sent emissaries and started begging him. It lasted two years. I continued to send emissaries to him and to appeal to him.
“He said I didn’t support him to become governor. I asked him not to like me, but he should not tarnish my image or destroy my legacy and that of our party, the true progressives of Osun politics. He didn’t listen. He wanted to destroy me and he did.
“After two years, real party leaders came together with the sole purpose of saving our party from these marauders. That’s what we’re here to do. It is we who have worked hard for the progress and success of our party. We brought the former chairman of the party, (Famodun) from the PDP. It’s time to send them packing.
Aregbesola, governor of Osun state from 2010 to 2018, and Oyetola, who is seeking re-election, are at odds over control of APC bodies in the state. Both politicians belong to the ruling APC and Oyetola was Aregbesola’s chief of staff during his eight-year term as governor.
Aregbesola served as Commissioner of Works in Lagos State under Tinubu between 1999 and 2006. Thereafter, he traveled to Osun, his home state, to contest the gubernatorial election in 2007, but did not win. Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola of the PDP was then governor of the state.
With Tinubu’s backing and the help of a battery of experienced lawyers hired to prove the election was rigged, the Ibadan Court of Appeal overturned Oyinlola’s election on November 26, 2010. The following day , Aregbesola was sworn in and ruled Osun for eight years.
It should be recalled that the genesis of the crisis between Governor Oyetola and Aregbesola was the reversal of most of the latter’s educational policies, such as the single uniform policy, coeducational schools, the 4-5-3-4 system , among others.
But speaking after the announcement of the education reversal, the governor’s chief press officer, Mr Ismail Omipidan, noted that speculation that the policy was a blow to the former administration n were not correct. He said the new policies were the state government’s response to the aspirations of the people.
Similarly, Commissioner for Political Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations, Taiwo Akeju, said the reversal of some education policies introduced by Aregbesola was not intended to destroy his legacy.
Akeju, who described the former governor and interior minister as his leader and brother of Ijeshaland, explained that the reversal of policy in the education sector had nothing to do with the vendetta of the administration.
In a meeting with reporters in his office, the commissioner described the policy reversal as giving in to the aspirations of the state’s people.
He said during a 2019 Oyetola appreciation tour, people asked the governor to review the policies because they had negatively impacted the lives of students.
“Politics in 2018 has become a talking point in the state. Opposition parties castigated the then All Progressives Congress candidate and now governor, Gboyega Oyetola, for it and he said if it was the people’s wish to reverse it, he would do so.
“After the 2019 election, the governor drove around the state on his thank you tour and asked people what they wanted him to do for them. It is common knowledge that more than 99% of people have called for a policy reversal in the education sector.
“More so, the Department for International Development (DFID), after conducting a statewide survey, recommended that the Governor review the education policies at the time.
“After that, we realized it was a consensus of the people,” he said.
He said the current administration is committed to maintaining, consolidating and sustaining the legacy of the previous administration led by Aregbesola.
“What I will say to those who insinuate that there is a crisis between Aregbesola and Oyetola is that they should refrain from doing so. The two leaders talk several times a day and they both discuss the way to make Osun great,” Akeju said.