Osogbo – Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola and leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have disagreed on whether to lift the restriction on political activities ahead of the September 22nd 2018 governorship election in the state.
They could not also reach agreement on which of the senatorial districts should produce Aregbesola’s successor.
The much expected meeting held on Friday night by party leaders attended by Aregbesola, his deputy, Mrs. Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, Chairman, State APC Elders Caucus, Chief Sola Akinwumi among others, was inconclusive and stretched the period of ban on political activities.
It was learnt that party leaders would have to reconvene the meeting very soon waiting for the arrival of Chief Adebisi Akande, the pioneer National Chairman of the party who is said to be out of the country.
A reliable source close to the meeting held that the majority of party leaders had agreed that Aregbesola’s successor must come from Osun West District in the spirit of fairness, equity and justice.
They also insisted that the restriction placed on political activities within the party over two years ago must be lifted with immediate effect to allow governorship aspirants cover ground in sensitizing and mobilizing residents of the state for votes so that the party could retain the state.
This disagreement has consequently heightened tension within the party in the state and resulting in series of meetings at local level to review the situation.
The party had claimed that the ban on political activities was to allow the government accomplish all its infrastructural and developmental projects across the state and avoid distraction.
The State Chairman of APC, Gboyega Famodun, had also two weeks ago while featuring on Radio personality interview disclosed that the ban will be lifted in two weeks time to allow those seeking to contest the governorship election commence mobilization for votes.
The elder caucus of the party had since faulted the stand of the party executive headed by Famodun saying the delay in the lifting of ban was deliberate and aim at bias and favoritism for a particular governorship aspirant.
The elders caucus therefore called on the party executive to rescind it’s decision.
This position of the party elders’ caucus was however at variance with the stand of Governor Aregbesola who is also the leader of the party in the state.
The elders caucus accused the party executive of acting the stricpt of Governor Aregbesola.
But before meeting with party leaders, Governor Aregbesola had met with local government executive councillors across the local councils where he reportedly warned them against romancing with any of the governorship aspirants seeking the plum job of the state.
He allegedly insisted that the National Leader of the party and former Lagos State Governor, Senator Ahmed Tinubu, will decide for the state who steps in after him.
It was gathered that Governor Aregbesola is reportedly backing his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola who is also backed by Senator Ahmed Tinubu.
The campaign train of Oyetola, it was gathered, has hit the ground running sensitizing the members of the party and the state on air and jingles run intermittently.
When the party leaders could not go further at the meeting, Governor Aregbesola reportedly told the party chieftains that they should stand down the meeting for further deliberation till the arrival of Chief Adebisi Akande.
He reportedly said: “as you all know and aware that our leader, chief Adebisi Akande, is not here with us, I don’t think it will be too much to stand down the meeting till when he arrives from foreign trip before lifting ban.”
When contacted on his mobile line, party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi confirmed that the meeting was inconclusive.
“It is inconclusive because of the prominent leaders that are not around. Our leaders would have to reconvene the meeting because of its importance to herald political activism in the state,” he added.
The post Guber Election: Aregbesola, APC Leaders Divided Over Ban Lifting, Successor appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.
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