Exclusive: Sanwo-Olu, Bagudu meet Aregbesola, seek peace as Oyetola remains adamant
By Samuel Ajewole
A peace meeting aimed at ending the feud between former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and his political associate, former Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has started.
Leading the reconciliation caucus are the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Kebbi State counterpart, Atiku Bagudu. The team aims at tackling the feud between the two major stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress, (APC).
The two leaders met with the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola in Abuja on Wednesday this week. Sources told Irohinoodua that at the meeting, Aregbesola stated his case after which he made two requests, the first being that the forthcoming APC primary slated for Saturday should be free and fair and a stop to armed attacks on his supporters. An insider said the meeting was proposed following investigations that supporters of Aregbesola appear to be in the majority in Osun State and that if the primary election is rigged in favour of the current Osun state Governor, Oyetola, the chances of APC winning Osun State in the gubernatorial election is dim if Aregbesola decides not to support the APC candidate. Irohinoodua heard that the former Secretary to the State Government, (SSG) Adeoti appears to have a dominant control of the APC grassroots which may tilt the primary in his favour.
Our correspondent heard that Aregbesola’s recent visit to Osun stirring mass reception, on the streets, in rural and urban areas, with a retinue of artisans, workers, students and market women trooping out to welcome him, reenacting the revolutionary fervor that brought him to power in 2010, had raised anxiety in the camp of Oyetola.
According to sources, Aregbesola at the meeting said the state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola was being prompted by Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu adding that he did not know what offense he had committed to warrant the ceaseless campaign against him. He told the two Governors how he had served Asiwaju diligently almost to the point of doing all his bidding, standing with him at the most critical moments, downs and ups, valleys and mountains, dry and wet lands and wondered why Tinubu was bent on destroying him.
Sanwo Olu was said to have expressed the fear that lingering crisis in Osun APC might weaken the party and undermine its electoral fortunes ahead of the gubernatorial and Presidential elections. He also said the crisis should be prevented from getting worse than its present state. Sanwo Olu was said to have later left for Lagos due to the sudden death of a member of the Lagos State Governor’s Advisory Council, (GAC), Professor Tunde Samuel who died at 74.
Sources told Irohinoodua that after listening painstakingly to Aregbesola, the team said it would revert after meeting with the Osun State Governor, Oyetola and Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu. The meeting also considered the prospect of postponing the APC primary in order to make room for reconciliation between the two political figures. Another source said the conditions given by Aregbesola have been conveyed to Oyetola but that the Osun State Governor remains adamant.
“He is the one insisting that he wants to hold the four aces. He is not ready for negotiation. He is not prepared for any discussion on the matter”, a reliable source told Irohinoodua on Friday. The Governor’s aides could not be reached as at press time.