Peace moves work better when all feuding parties are given the opportunity to table their grievances. It does not matter from which angle such steps are brokered. Osun State governor Adegboyega Oyetola is accessible.
Oyetola’s predecessor, Alhaji Raufu Aregbesola who is also Minister of Interior, suffered a major political setback in the state and indications are that Lagos, his real turf may have become enemy’s territory.
The minister who blew hot just before the Osun All Progressives Party ( APC) primaries, suddenly found himself in the cold. In what appeared strange to even some of his supporters, Aregbesola descended on his mentor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Oyetola is Tinubu’s nephew, but as governor has warmed himself into the hearts of the people. At least, workers are getting their salaries in full, and schools have gone back to the old days of distinct uniforms. Some say life is getting better in what was known as the State of Osun.
I have noticed peace moves around the political headquarters of the South-West. Aregbe is visible. Tinubu is mentioned and was even expected to grace one of the meetings in Ibadan. No mention has been made of Oyetola.
It may be too early to chip in this advice but it cannot be late. There will be no headway without Oyetola. He is governor of the state and should not be seen as a former Chief of Staff to Aregbesola. Honour should be given to those who deserve it.
Oyetola, may be Asiwaju’s nephew, at 68, is also a senior citizen who distinguished himself in the private sector as a key player in the Insurance industry. And no one should ignore the fact that he is also not a learner after almost four years as governor.
Aregbesola will be making a terrible mistake should he think that Tinubu will welcome him back with open arms in the absence of Oyetola. The Asiwaju I know does not disrespect authority when simple courtesy would douse tension.
Tinubu is not vindictive. That attribute is not available in just any market. In the past, he was pilloried the way some of his trusted friends are doing today. It is even more painful that the most recent outbursts sounded more like cursing an elder which is not common among the Yoruba.
In seeking peace, the minister should also look at himself. Tinubu made Aregbesola commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in Lagos and did not change him until he resigned to contest gubernatorial elections in Osun.
Asiwaju helped Aregbesola to the government house which the latter occupied for eight years. After serving as governor of Osun, the minister has been in the Interior ministry since 2019. It is Tinubu’s doing. For the whole of the fourth republic, Aregbesola has emerged from the rustic corners of Lagos to the red carpet of Abuja.
For the same Aregbesola who dominated the political space of Osun for eight years to think of truncating Oyetola’s tenure after four years, I think wisdom was given a dirty slap in Ilesha. The Owa Obokun of Ijesha land has thrown his weight behind Oyetola. This is significant.
The Interior minister needs to face his job in Abuja where all paramilitary agencies under his care are headed by people from one divide of the country. This has caused a lot of disaffection right under his nose. People are watching.
It has become the new normal under Aregbesola for officers from the South to be appointed in acting capacity only for their colleagues from the North to be confirmed as substantive Controllers General or Commandant General.
It happened in the Nigeria Correctional Service where Haliru Nababa succeeded the acting boss, an Urhobo. In the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ahmed Audi stepped in after an Igbo officer had acted. In the Federal Fire Service, Dr. Liman Ibrahim has retired from service.
An Izon, Karebo Samson is acting Controller General. As usual, he will be shoved aside when the time for confirmation comes. Muhammed Babandede is also out of the Nigeria Immigration Service. Idris Isa Jere is acting Controller General. Let us see what Aregbe will do.
Aregbesola should be concerned about unprecedented jailbreaks under his tenure. We have more criminals carving out territories for themselves as a result. I am convinced that some free jailbirds are the ones killing and maiming people in Imo State.
That brings me to Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, the man Aregbesola wanted to give Oyetola’s seat. The Igbo will say: “You don buy bad market.” Adeoti did not act like a leader when he disparaged the Igbo in the 2018 Osun Gubernatorial Debate powered by Channels Television.
Aregbe, as Ilesha man should know the deep ties between Igbo and Ijesha. Imo is a state in the South-East. It is also a town in Ijesha axis. The Ijesha bear Obi. That is also an Igbo name. Wale Bolodeoku is a proud Ijesha man who named his son, Chiagoziem. The ljesha leader in Canada is Okey Okeke, from Enugu.
Politics is all about give and take. Aregbesola should see Oyetola as the man who calls the shots in Osun. Asiwaju will forgive, it is his second nature. This is the time for Aregbe to drop agbada and go down low before Tinubu in the presence of Oyetola. Without this, the minister will remain frozen politically.
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