Why I boycotted Oyetola’s re-election campaign – Aregbesola

The immediate past Minister of Interior and ex-Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has told his supporters that before the end of the year 2024, they would know where his interest in Osun politics lies.

Aregbesola spoke in Ilesa, Osun State at an end-of-the-year thanksgiving organised by the Omoluabi Caucus, attended by many leaders of the group across the state.

A video capturing Aregbesola’s speech at the event was shared on Facebook by one Lekan Arogundade.

The ex-governor narrated how his efforts to ensure that the All Progressives Congress approached the 2022 governorship election as a united party was frustrated.

Aregbesola said ahead of the election, which then-Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the APC lost to the People’s Democratic Party’s Ademola Adeleke, he (Aregbesola) met with representatives of the APC ‘overall leader’ on how appointments should be shared.

Aregbesola, however, said the ‘overall leader’ of their party failed to fulfill the agreements.

He said he stayed away from the 2022 Osun APC governorship campaign, following the declaration by a leader of the campaign organisation that anyone not invited should not bother to come.

Speaking in Yoruba language, Aregbesola further said, “I have not said this before. On August 26, 2021, our overall leader told us to meet two of his representatives in Abuja.

“Thirty-one people from my group met with the representatives of our overall leader. The meeting started around 10 pm and ended at about 4 a.m. I was not part of the meeting. But they agreed that those pushed out of the party should be reintegrated.

“Those at the meeting also agreed that those in government then were more and because of that, in both appointive and elective posts that were still vacant, they should give our own side one-third while they take two-thirds.

“The representative of our overall boss was impressed. I told him whatever my people had told them, I agreed to it. But I gave them some conditions that I will not reveal now if they want me to come and campaign during the governorship election. But we never heard anything again about that agreement to date.

“The leader of their governorship campaign said on OSBC that anybody who was not invited should not come for the campaign. So, I had to stay away. No true Yoruba man would hear such a declaration and will still go to where he was not invited.

“They didn’t stop at that. They went on a campaign of calumny against me. It was after they failed that they started looking for where to lay the blame. They are shameless.

“They ate their words. By their second year in office, they said it was because they were relating to me that made them not win on the first ballot during the (2018 governorship) election. In November 2020, they said we had Ebola (to avoid a relationship with us). They said we didn’t pay workers’ salaries and pensions. I wanted to come for the second anniversary (of Oyetola in office), but we were told people didn’t want to see us.”

Speaking on his plans regarding politics in the state, he said, “We are unperturbed. God will judge each one of us on the role we play in the matter. I deliberately speak about it today because people are just muddling up issues. But by the grace of God, by this time in 2024, you will know where we are heading. It will be clear to everyone where Osun people are heading.”