Aregbesola back in Lagos ahead of March 18 Guber Election, Unites factions
By Samuel Ogunsona and Biola Aremu
Ahead of the Lagos Gubernatorial elections slated for March 18, Minister of Interior Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has relocated to Lagos.
Close aides said Aregbesola is in Lagos to unite factions which stiff neck to recent elections was believed to have affected the overall performance of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Lagos.
Irohinoodua witnessed a beheeve of activities at the Alimosho and GRA residences of Aregbesola where thousands of supporters gathered to help APC secure victory in the Gubernatorial election slated for next Saturday.
“Aregbesola is our leader. During the last elections, the APC leadership in Lagos undermined us. Thousands of our members stayed away from the poll. There was no clear direction. Now, Aregbesola is back and has asked us to mobilise effectively for Sanwo Olu in the coming poll” Pastor Goke Olumide told our correspondent in Lagos.
He said Aregbesola is humble and not desperate for anything. He made several peace offers, but some elements in the party for personal gains urged the party leadership to ignore him contributed to the loss of Lagos’ he said.
The APC Presidential candidate and now President elect Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Aregbesola were soul mates until few years ago when agent provocateurs caused a rift between them.
Since 1999,Aregbesola had been the ideologue and link between the dominant political trend in the South West and the civil society, Labour and Yoruba cultural groups, a critical link that was severed by the rift between him and Tinubu with fatal consequences on the fortunes of the APC across the South West States.
Given his student, Labour and artisan background, Aregbesola commands overwhelming support across the South West layers of peasants, workers and the radical movement.
His push to the background seems to constantly dwarf the APC potentials.
The gulf between the two has continued to affect the fortunes of the APC in Lagos and in many parts of the South West including Osun State where Aregbesola comes from.
The Osun 2022 Governorship election won by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is not unconnected with the rift between the two while the poor showing of the APC in Lagos and across the South West is linked to Aregbesola seeming cold attitude to the electoral process which trickled down his constituency.
President of Agbekoya, Chief Kunle Osodi said Aregbesola remains iconic in the progressive movement in the South West adding that the way the party has treated him has made many of his supporters to either withdraw support for the APC or remain indifferent eventhough Aregbesola has not told them to do so.
He said Aregbesola has been known as a honest, hardworking and selfless cadre since the 1980s wondering why any political would wish to do away with such a critical asset.
The Secretary of Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association of Nigeria, NATA Comrade David Ajetunmobi told Irohinoodua that his group is historically blood-bound with Aregbesola and that his cold attitude to the elections occasioned by what he called leadership imposed “exile” affected NATA voting enthusiasm.
NATA is the largest and oldest artisan group in Nigeria with some 6million members on the South West alone.
The APC also embarrassingly lost the Presidential election in Osun on February 25 election.
Though Tinubu won in 11 local government areas of the state, his votes 572, 606 was less than the Labour Party, LP Peter Obi’s.
The LP candidate won in 9 councils with 582,454 votes.
Aregbesola is believed to have met with various political interests in Lagos State most of who are aggrieved and had been indifferent to the elections.
“There will be remarkable success in the Saturday election. It is better for the APC to go to the battle field as a united front. Aregbesola efforts will go a long way in improving the electoral fortunes on Saturday” Prince Kunle Adeaga a local Chieftain of APC told our correspondent.
opened talks with various political groups in Lagos state as part of efforts to ensure the state remains under the control of the All Progressive Congress, APC.