There’s a video making the rounds on social media at the moment. The footage prominently features Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
In the clip that has since gone viral, Aregbesola can be heard attacking APC national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Yoruba, without expressly mentioning Tinubu’s name.
A rough translation of Aregbesola’s diatribe before a group of voters in Osun reads something like this:
“They took out a Governor in Lagos (Ambode) and denied him a second term in office. As it was in Lagos, so should it be in the Osun governorship election.”
Another translation goes thus:
“When he (Tinubu) handed over the present governor to me around July of 2018, he (Tinubu) declared that Gov Oyetola will succeed me and continue my good works.
“That was what he told me. He knows he has not done so if he is listening now, and he has failed to call my successor to order.
“That was how it was in Lagos at a time; a governor derailed and the party members unseated him using the ballot boxes. As it was in Lagos yesterday, so shall it be in Osun today. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander.”
What exactly is going on here?
A summary of what you need to know today is that Aregbesola doesn’t want Oyetola, the current Governor of Osun, to nail a second term in office.
The problem here for Aregbesola is that Tinubu wants Oyetola–who succeeded Aregbesola as Osun Governor in 2018–to get that second term.
Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State is a cousin of Tinubu’s.
It is common knowledge within political circles that Tinubu traces his ancestry to Osun.
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Aregbesola is now saying: If Ambode was kicked out by Tinubu in Lagos in 2019 on the basis of poor performance, why can’t the same Tinubu kick out his own blood relation in 2022 on the basis of the same poor performance?
In Aregbesola’s book, Oyetola has not done enough to continue as Osun Governor and hasn’t continued with his projects and programmes since 2018.
Osun holds its governorship election on July 16, 2022. But before then, there’s an APC primary election next weekend.
Oyetola is Tinubu’s candidate.
Aregbesola’s candidate for the primary election is former Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti.
Aregbesola has told everyone who cares to listen that the APC in Osun State is divided and that Tinubu is responsible for that division.
“We are ready to allow a free flow of democratic process to interplay here. We are not those who play God.
“We are resolute about reclaiming our party from those who think they can continue to abuse our legacies or even want us to be second fiddles in the party we worked and laboured for.
“Let me tell you that God is with us. I urge all of our supporters to come all out and back us. Do not have any fears. We are the authentic APC in Osun.
“They know what they have done to us is bad and they want to continue the impunity. We will not accept it.
“Do not be disturbed by their threats. Come out en-masse and vote for our aspirant. In Shaa Allah, Adeoti is the next governor of Osun. We should all support him,” Aregbesola says.
When did Tinubu and Aregbesola fall apart?
This verbal attack from Aregbesola against Tinubu has been long in coming.
The relationship between both men has been frosty for a while. But they weren’t always political foes.
Aregbesola served as Tinubu’s Works and Infrastructure Commissioner from 1999 to 2007.
For a long time, they had a chummy political relationship and Aregbesola continued to swear by Tinubu.
It was circa 2020 that we first noticed that the relationship between Tinubu and Aregbesola had begun to suffer. And it essentially revolved around the fact that Oyetola and Aregbesola were beginning to fall apart as well.
Aregbesola’s people would tell you that Oyetola ditched their man’s programmes and projects as soon as he mounted the saddle in 2018. He also sacked Aregbesola’s men.
Aregbesola’s people wonder why the same Oyetola they campaigned for…the same Oyetola Aregbesola campaigned for, would now make his predecessor look like the bad guy before Osun people by not continuing with his projects.
All of a sudden, press statements from Camp Oyetola and Camp Aregbesola began dominating the media space–each demonizing the other.
In June of 2020, Aregbesola had to publicly deny that he was fighting Tinubu. But no one believed him.
“Rift with Asiwaju Tinubu? Nothing can be more impossible! Nothing can be farther from the truth. I remain committed to my mentor,” Aregbesola had said at the time.
Does this have anything to do with Tinubu’s 2023 Presidential ambition?
Just maybe it does. Just maybe it doesn’t.
But the smart money should be on some of Tinubu’s men going against him as the APC Presidential primary election draws ever so close.