Aregbesola, loyalists cease hostilities, move to rebuild Osun APC after Oyetola’s defeat
Former Governor of Osun State and incumbent Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and his supporters in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, yesterday, announced cessation of hostilities in the party and called for true reconciliation of aggrieved stakeholders and rebuilding of APC in Osun State.
This came about nine days after the immediate past governor of the state and Aregbesola’s political rival, Gboyega Oyetola, completed his term of office, following his defeat at the July 16 governorship election by the incumbent governor, Ademola Adeleke, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Aregbesola and Oyetola had been battling for the soul of the APC in Osun State and efforts by the national leadership of the party and other elder statesmen to settle their rift failed. The minister had vowed that Oyetola would not taste second term and there had been unconfirmed reports that Aregbesola worked against Oyetola at the gubernatorial polls.
A former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Najeem Salaam, while addressing a press conference in Osogbo, yesterday, on behalf of Aregbesola and other leaders and members of The Osun Progressives (TOP), announced the dissolution of TOP, a caucus in APC loyal to Aregbesola, saying that the party would be embarking on true reconciliation and restructuring to restore it to power.
Salaam, flanked by other top loyalists of Aregbesola, described the electoral loss APC suffered in the last governorship election as mere distraction, maintaining that the party would bounce back, perform its role as opposition and work on wrestling power from the PDP.
Asked whether TOP reached out to the mainstream party leaders and members that are loyal to Oyetola to know their readiness for reconciliation and rebuilding of the party, Salaam said some were informed, while others would be notified through the media.
He said: “Progressive governance in Osun, headed by our leader, Rauf Aregbesola, gave the state its biggest development fillip in all ramifications. We are going back to our roots. The present setback is a mere distraction. Therefore, I, conscious of the huge responsibility of history and the support of our sincere and committed progressive leaders and members in Osun State, declare cessation of hostilities and invite all genuine progressives to an all-inclusive meeting for the rebuilding of our party within the next one week.
“We are, therefore, extending our hand of fellowship to everyone who is a progressive at heart and loves good governance in our party, in the other parties and independents who are hitherto not aligned to any party. Consequent upon this, and to demonstrate our readiness for this leap of faith, I have the mandate of our leaders and members to invite other progressives in other caucuses in the Osun APC and other parties and like minds across the state to join us in this endeavour.
“This is a call for unity of purpose in our party and beyond. It is a call for burying the hatchet and work for the greater good and service to humanity through progressive governance.
With the sole objective of ensuring ‘freedom for all and life more abundant’ for the people. Our party is the platform for Omoluabi politicians not the theatre of absurdity for all comers, regardless of character.
“I am here to announce the dissolution of factional tendencies of all shades in the party with the sole objective of harmonising all core Omoluabi Progressives on a rebuilding mission that will bring us back to the leadership of our State and people.
We are hereby dissolving The Osun Progressives (TOP) and the faction of Party associated with it to facilitate the unity of purpose that this time requires.
“For effective closure, we will have a truth and reconciliation forum within the party when fully restructured with a sole purpose of preventing any recurrence of the ugly past.
With this hand of fellowship and the olive branch, it is my belief that a new vista of hope, vision, passion and action will emerge in our Party,” Salaam added.