Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Bisi Akande, a former interim national chairman of the party, are reportedly working secretly to resolve the rift between governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and his predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior.
It has been reported that there is a crack in their relationship, despite denials by both politicians.
The Independent reports that a credible source, who is also a chieftain of the APC confirmed that the development began before the gubernatorial election that produced Oyetola as governor.
The newspaper said the source revealed that the disagreement between Otetola and Aregbesola started while the latter was shopping for a successor, as he never wanted Oyetola, who was then his chief of staff, to succeed him as governor.
“He believed Oyetola will be difficult to control if he succeeds him as governor, so he was looking for a candidate that will be subservient who will be a technocrat while he (Aregbesola) will remain the political leader of the state as it is in Lagos, the source was quoted as saying.
“However, when Oyetola, who is Tinubu’s cousin, indicated interest in running, Tinubu mandated Aregbesola and others to work for him. They have no choice than to comply. One, out of respect for Tinubu and two, they lack the financial muscle to bankroll the governorship election, given the financial war chest of the governorship candidate of the PDP, who is from the influential Adeleke dynasty.
“Tinubu preferred Oyetola, not because they are related but because he believe he was one of the engine rooms of the Aregbesola administration. As a person who believes in continuity, he believed Oyetola stands a better chance in continuing with some of the developmental strides initiated by Aregbesola as governor of the state.”
It was also said that the rift got worse during ministerial appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari in August.
It was gathered that some Aregbesola’s supporters believed that Oyetola did everything to stop the former governor’s nomination, a claim some of Oyetola’s loyalists have denied.
“There were lots of intrigues before Aregbesola was nominated. Even though he was eventually given the slot of Osun State, some of his loyalists claimed that Governor Oyetola worked against it so that Aregbesola will not have much influence in the state. But as a chieftain of the party, I can confirm that is not true,” it added.
“Those who never wanted Aregbesola are those who are opposed to Tinubu and they see him as one of Tinubu’s man Friday. They believe Aregbesola being in the cabinet will further bolster Tinubu’s chances in 2023 so they did everything to stop it but the president didn’t listen to them. I don’t think Oyetola has any hand in it at all”.
It was noted that the situation became worse when Aregbesola insisted that Oyetola must include in his cabinet some politicians who had served him during his eight years as governor.
“Of course, the governor kicked against that, saying there are other loyalists in the party who have sacrificed a lot and are better qualified to be the cabinet.
“Since Aregbesola dissolved his cabinet and left office as governor, there are some people who are still holding to their official quarters, cars while some are even resuming at offices. The governor stopped all these and you don’t expect those affected to be happy.
“What Oyetola’s supporters are against is that Aregbesola should focus on his ministerial assignment and allow Oyetola to govern without any undue interference. They said throughout his eight years as governor, Papa Bisi Akande who was a former governor of the state and the political leader, never interfered in his day-to-day running of the state,” it further said.
On whether the crisis will not escalate to what is happening in Edo State, the source stated:
“There is no cause for alarm. Disagreement in politics is normal. I am sure this will not get out of hand. Asiwaju Tinubu and Papa Akande will resolve it. Both Oyetola and Aregbesola are also members of the same political family and I don’t think Asiwaju will talk to them and they will refuse to listen. The Edo incident won’t happen in Osun.”