The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) appears to be far from over as a minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, Rauf Aregbesola, has declared that he is one of the leaders of a faction of the party in Osun State.
Aregbesola, who is the Minister of Interior, said he belongs to The Osun Progressives (TOP), a caucus within APC that is opposed to the government of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the leadership of the party in the state.
This is just as the chairman of the APC in the state, Gboyega Famodun, accused Aregbesola of working to destabilize the ruling party ahead of this year’s governorship election while Remi Omowaiye, the state’s Commissioner for Works, disagree with the former governor over the existence of factions in the ruling party. According to him, Aregbesola probably belongs to a non-existent faction of the APC.
Aregbesola made the now controversial declaration at Ijesha Muslim Grammar School, Ilesha, Osun State during the commissioning of the Digital Nigeria Center project facilitated by the Federal Government on Friday. According to him, “for anybody who seeks to know, APC has divided in Osun State! We have the APC of Rauf Aregbesola which is chaired by Hon. Razaq Salinsile. Everybody is doing his or her own, later, we will renegotiate, we will rearrange everything.
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“The caucus that produced our faction is called, ‘The Osun Progressives (TOP)’ chaired by Elder Lowo Adebiyi. Those people who are doubting whether I am part of TOP or not should listen up, I belong to TOP wholeheartedly.” He added that he will never create a crisis in the state contrary to speculations among some people. “I am happy that the Commissioner of Police is here. There are a lot of lies that are flying around, I steered the affairs of this state for 8 years.
“When I was there, you can check your record, there was no trouble. We do the job with the whole of our body to achieve the great feat. I used to sleep for 2 to 3 hours every day when I was the governor. I did not only do the job with my heart but my whole body. I cannot create any crisis in this state, my parents are from this state. If you can follow the dictate of your job without being biased, you will record success.”
Reacting to Aregbesola’s statement on Friday, Famodun, who cautioned Aregbesola to be more careful with his utterances as a former governor and serving Minister, said the founding fathers of the party will be unhappy to hear the statement. “Aregbesola should be careful. He needs not display arrogance. With or without him, the APC in Osun will remain strong and relevant. As someone who benefited immensely from the party, he should know better than to be making unguarded statements,” he said.
The party boss accused Aregbesola of working to break the APC in the state into factions ahead of the next governorship election. He however said the party is too strong for anybody to break. “Aregbesola wants to break the APC in Osun. He is working hard to do that but the party is too strong and united under Governor Gboyega Oyetola as leader for him to break no matter the antics. We are getting stronger by the day. Aregbesola is full of antics. He will be seeking reconciliation on one hand and creating confusion on the other,” he alleged.
Speaking on the matter, Omowaiye said there is nothing like factions in the APC in the state. He expressed surprise that the Minister could make such an inflammatory statement in public at a time the national leadership of the party is working hard to reconcile all aggrieved parties across the country. “How can anybody talk of factions in Osun APC? We had congresses from wards to Local Government to State levels. The processes were conducted by the national leadership of the party.
“The results were announced and lists of successful elected officials sent to the state from Abuja. Now we have authentic state leadership under Gboyega Famodun. Ask Buni and others in Abuja who is APC chairman in Osun, they will tell you. So, if our Oga, the Minister now feels he belongs to a non-existent faction, good luck to him. By law and in reality, we have only one APC in Osun state and we are srong, united and ready. Yes, there could be frictions but we are managing them well. We are resolving all issues gradually,” he said.