Not quite long after the election which produced President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress as the President of the country, political gladiators, especially governors and other party leaders who took part in the election started another race towards having juicy positions within the cabinet.
The situation was not different in every part of the state especially the South West which has a larger chunk of the legacy parties that gave birth to the APC.
While the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu reportedly forwarded a list of choices to the President and the party leadership, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who is obviously one of the closest persons to President Buhari had also approached the president on his choice from Ogun State.
Amosun favoured his former Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, while Tinubu was said to have sent a South west list which included Wale Edun as the candidate from the state.
Amosun was also rumoured to have slug it out with the former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the choice of the former Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin who would later be appointed as the registrar of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Ishaq Oloyede.
One thing cannot be taken away from Amosun, and that is his closeness with the President which started long ago during their times in the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP. Amosun had his way to install his person against the wish of the leaders of the party in the zone.
The party has witnessed peace of the grave yard since the incident and the gladiators have continues to struggle to outsmart one another while the relationship between the godfather (Tinubu) and his godson (Amosun) is turning sour.
Aides closer to Ogun State Governor said the former Lagos State Governor had since stopped answering Amosun’s phone calls and has refused to see him face to face except on unavoidable occasions and meetings.
Meanwhile, the two politicians have continues to strengthen their structures ahead of the 2019 elections. While Amosun has hold the grip of the state structure very firm, Tinubu has also continued to make in-road through the former governor Olusegun Osoba who recently returned to the party from the Social Democratic Party, SDP.
Osoba left the part prior to the 2015 general elections over disagreement with Amosun on choice of candidates to represent the party at the elections.
While Osoba’s group of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN nominated all the three Senators and nine House of Assembly members between 2011 and 2015, Amosun only enjoyed five out of twenty six members of the state House of Assembly.
While Osoba wanted the return of all the national assembly members, Amosun on his part wouldn’t allow such. Not only did the party produced factional lists of candidates, Osoba’s groups dropped out of the party after the party’s leadership gave recognition to Amosun’s list.
Before the departure, Osoba addressed his loyalists at his Ibara Housing Estate home in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital where he sworn never to forgive Amosun not minding whoever might want to initiate peace move.
He said, “Your executive members came to me, they said they don’t trust me again, they said they don’t believe in me again, that I will soon forgive and say everything has been settled. They said I will tell them that some Obas (traditional rulers) have appealed to me.
“When they said that, I asked them again, if they have fully concluded and we went into an inner meeting and inside there, I vowed to them that I will not forgive or reconcile with anybody. As I stand before you today, I swear before God and Jesus Christ, my Lord, I promise you all that the issue of forgiveness is no more. If you stand firmly as a warrior, that is enough for me.
“If you are ready, there is no more room for reconciliation. If thousands of people prostrate, it is what you want that I will do, it is what you say that I will say; I will stand where you stand. I want to appeal to you, don’t be distracted. They said they have given them the party structure, leave them. Are you dragging the party with them? It is those that have people that have the party.”
After all said and done, Osoba lost all the elective positions in the state.
There has been so many intrigues since the return of Osoba to the party and many schools of thought have made open their opinion about that return but when such is analyzed, including the conspicuous missing of Amosun and other Ogun State officials from the meeting which was held at Osoba’s Ikeja house, it might not be out of place to describe it as a gang up ahead of 2019.
Also absent at the meeting were the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and his colleague in the Ministry of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, both strong APC members in the South-West.
The trio has been reported not be in the good book of Tinubu.
Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola who should ordinarily have nothing doing with Ogun State APC announced the return of Osoba.
He said, “A time was when Osoba switched to another party, he was a foundation member of the APC and he was in the APC throughout my election.
“Yes, he was for a time with the SDP, but with what we have just done today, Akinrogun Osoba, the Aremo himself is back with the progressive leadership of the Yoruba race,” Aregbesola said.
He said that the leadership of the progressive politics in the Western part of Nigeria on the platform of the APC had resolved all their differences.
“As such we are happy to tell the world that the leadership of progressive politics in the Western part of Nigeria is united.
“We are ready to jointly prosecute the agenda for growth, purposeful leadership, development, good governance in the Western part of Nigeria.
“The progressive leadership of the Yoruba race is now fully united and are ready and charged to lead our efforts to reposition our land and integrate with others nationwide to put Nigeria in its proper footing.”
Before this Lagos re-union, several meeting were reportedly held at different venues within South West and according to an Amosun’s aide who prefer anonymity, at no time was the Governor invited for any of the meetings.
It is an open secret within the state that, though Amosun has a very firm grip of the party structure as it stands, there exist within the same structure, Osoba/Tinubu group and Amosun group.
It is also another open secret that Osoba and Tinubu favoured the Senator representing Lagos West at the Red Chamber, Olamilekan Adeola, popularly called Yayi to take over from Amosun in 2019 while the governor is yet to make open his candidate of choice.
Yayi, it was gathered, singlehanded financed the 77th birthday of Osoba which was held in his Abeokuta residence. Though, both Osoba and Yayi were not present but the handwriting was very clear on what later appeared to be a reunion of party faithful.
While the party has managed the situation very well in recent times, the much upcoming local government election in October 8 has not been of help.
Governor Amosun has kept the list of candidates for the election to his chest, while the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission has also kept the list sent to it by the party as a top secret.
Not even party members on the side of the Governor including the Commissioners could boast of what is contained in the list until probably when the screening starts.
However, events from each of the local government are pointers to the fact of the two groups pushing to take control of the grassroot ahead of the elections.
Last week, parallel congresses were held in Yewa South local government Area ahead of the elections while there has been one protest or the other protest in other local governments.
In Ijebu Ode local government, the state deputy governor, Yetunde Onanuga has reportedly been at logger head with the former deputy speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly and now the Senior Special Assistance to Governor Amosun on politics, Tola Banjo over the choice of candidate in the local government.
And one constant name in all these protests is Yayi.
In Ilaro, the headquarters of Yewa South local government, while the group loyal to Governor Amosun held its primary at the local government party secretariat, the other faction believed held another at Oba Kehinde Olugbenle pavilion.
It was gathered that the Chairman of the party in the local government, Tunji Idowu led Adeola factional primary while other executive members were at the party’s secretariat.
While Adeola’s group produced an SDP returnee, Mrs Bola Ajayi, who had earlier turned down Amosun’s offer to be a member of the transition committee in the local government, the Governor’s group produced one Jimoh Taiwo.
Speaking with Nigerian Pilot on phone, Taiwo explained that the primary organised by the party chairman has no backing of the state party’s leadership.
Taiwo explained that other three contestants had to vacate the primary conducted by the Chairman after confirmation from the state secretariat that such was not authorised.
He explained that the three other aspirants, one Alani, Femi Edun and Taiwo Ayokanbi stepped down for him as a consensus candidate.
The Assistance Organising Secretary of the party, Salako Samson alleged that the party Chairman was working against the party’s interest in order to favour the governorship ambition of the Senator.
He said, “We were informed that there is no approval from the state to conduct primary in the local government, we don’t know where the Chairman derived that authority to conduct primary in the local government which is ongoing now.
“We discovered that there was an hidden agenda which was not in line with the agenda of the party, the agenda is Yayi (Adeola) agenda and they are scouting for a candidate that will take over the local government and work for their candidate called Yayi and that is not in our own agenda.”
The State organising Secretary, Gbenga Adenmosun while contacted said whatever was happening in the local government was an illegality adding that the party did not give such directive and knows nothing about it.
One thing is very certain, the 2019 elections in Ogun State would be a long battle within the ruling party and no one is definitely leaving anything to chance.


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