Osun2022: Aregbesola’s APC Faction Speaks on Support for Oyetola

A faction of the Osun State All Progressives Congress, The Osun Progressives(TOP), has said it remained committed to the ideals of the party and would work to ensure that the party emerged victorious on Saturday.

The group loyal to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, had been at war with Governor Gboyega Oyetola after he fell out with the minister, who is his predecessor.

They had backed a former secretary to the state government, Moshood Adeoti, to win the APC governorship ticket during the primaries against Mr Oyetola.

Mr Adeoti lost the primaries to Mr Oyetola and went to court to challenge the outcome.

TOP’s statement is coming 24 hours after a Federal high court in Abuja dismissed a suit filed by Mr Adeoti challenging the nomination of Mr Oyetola as the governorship candidate of the party.

It puts paid to speculations that the group may work for the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Ademola Adeleke, in the election.

The group’s position was made known by a chieftain of the party and former commissioner in the state, Sikiru Ayedun.

He said they remain a part of the APC despite alleged maltreatment of its members by the governor.

“As the Osun Governorship Election comes up tomorrow, we The Osun Progressives (TOP) have been inundated with calls, questions and demands for our position by the media and our supporters and enthusiasts,” the group said.

“Nevertheless, we remain unflinching members of our party, the All Progressives Congress and stand by its ideals, irrespective of our travails or even the outcome of tomorrow’s election.

“We are long-distance runners and will not abandon the ship of our party, in calm or stormy waters.”

The group lamented that the Oyetola-led government excluded Mr Aregbesola from all arrangements regarding the campaigns.

““The policy of exclusion in Osun APC is so deep that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who is the immediate past governor of the state and the current minister from the state, was neither consulted, invited nor included in any party matter, the most recent of which is the APC’s Osun Campaign Council for this election.

“This posturing has riven the party,” the group noted.

“Fundamentally, we are unabashedly democrats of the progressive hue. We live its credo and our entire being is in it.”

The group also recalled the administration of Rauf Aregbesola produced a successor in Gboyega Oyetola, “against all odds,” and by “snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.”

“We worked hard on the mantra of continuity, the continuation of the giant development strides of the Aregbesola administration, which endeared the party to the people of the state, producing the victory that brought Governor Oyetola into office,” the group further said.

“As a caucus within the party, we have consistently made strident efforts at peace and reconciliation within our party. For this, we have only asked for one condition, which is inclusiveness.”

The group said the governor and his loyalist had turned his office and the party into “a zero-sum game.”

“You are either with them or against them. They rejected any idea of inclusiveness. They rebuffed all propositions for peace and reconciliation and not even a councillorship position was ceded to any other section of the party outside of the Ileri-Oluwa caucus.

“Any party member that is not publicly demonstrating obscene loyalty to the governor and attacking Ogbeni Aregbesola or anyone remotely or directly associated with him is branded an enemy and marked for alienation from government and party offices.

“Worse still, the independent-minded party members not praise singing the Governor are subject to insidious and malevolent attacks.

“Our association, a caucus within the State of Osun All Progressives Congress (APC), was founded last year when we alarmingly saw the direction our party was going. It was like the falcon could no longer hear the falconer. We were filled with trepidation on the tempest long foretold.”

When contacted for a reaction, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ismail Omipidan, said he would not react to the position of the group.

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