Osun West plots to produce Aregbesola’s successor
Monarch warns against politically motivated protest in the state
As activities gear up for the 2018 governorship race in Osun State, leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun West senatorial district, have began moves to produce the next governor.
The party expressed satisfaction in the manner governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has been managing the resources of the state to build infrastructural facilities, empowerment of youths, women among others.
Stakeholders from the zone promised that the governor would continue to enjoy their support. The party’s position came on the heels of a comment credited to a party chieftain, Alhaji Fatai Dikeola, who accused Aregbesola of running the state like his personal estate.
Diekola was a close ally of the governor but his recent comment that Aregbesola would not be allowed to impose a candidate during the election and would be sent packing to Lagos had generated ripples in the state.
The party leaders arising from the district meeting held in Iwo; said it amounted to treachery for anyone who had been part of the APC government in Osun to say anything evil about the governor considering how Aregbesola has been making efforts to transform the state.
However, some politicians in Osun are bent on ousting the ruling party as they, allegedly have started deploying instrument of protest to achieve their aims.
Some traditional rulers in the state including the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun have however expressed concern over the development and have also warned that those bent on disrupting the peace of Osun, for the sake of their selfish political interest, should have a rethink.
A chieftain of the party in the District and chairman Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), Elder Peter Babalola, lauded Aregbesola for being fair and just to the people and party members in particular.
Babalola noted Aregbesola’s determination in building a state that would be a pride for all development lovers. He said that the state helmsman has used the political will at his disposal to restructure the party by ensuring that every member of the APC in the state benefits, one way or the other.
Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti decried what he described as anti-party comments credited to some members of the party. He said no genuine member of the party having benefited from the present government would throw tantrums at the governor or any member of his administration.”
Adeoti also dismissed the propaganda that Aregbesola has declared war on some newspapers over some reports, particularly The Guardian, saying: “The allegation was part of the opposition’s game plans.”
In his remarks, the chairman of Osun West senatorial district, Mr. Yinusa Amobi, reaffirmed the readiness of the district to produce the next Governor in the state.
It would be recalled that in a recent protest staged by the traders in Aiyegbaju International Market, which some stakeholders claimed has political undertone, the traders accused Aregbesola and the developer of the market of breaching the agreements with them over the operation and ownership of the market.
The traders contended that despite the huge amounts they paid to acquire the shops, the market lacked necessary infrastructure such as electricity, water, among others, almost two years after the reconstruction.
Also, they said that the state government reneged on the original agreement of lease of ownership of 99 years made with them, saying: “The government suddenly changed the tenure of ownership from 99 years to 28 years.”
The traders lamented the presence of petty traders at the entrance of the market, which they argued was defacing the buildings, making them to lose the international status for which the market was originally designed to be.
But Oba Olanipekun lamented the manner in which protests are being used indiscriminately in the state, stressing that if not checked, it could disrupt peace in the state.
Speaking in an interview with The Guardian, he said: “As custodians of grassroots politics, we preach peace. The use of politically instigated protests is not a good indication and should not be use as weapon of sentiment. One administration goes and another comes but the state and its people remain.”
“There is nothing hidden to me about Aiyegbaju International market right from the time it was reconstructed. Aregbesola built the market to achieve a particularly purpose and I want to say categorically that such aspiration is yet to be realised by the government and the developer. The developer in particular, who invested over N3 billion, is yet to realize a dime, I am aware.”
The monarch cautioned those who want to politicize the crisis at the market ahead of the 2018 elections, saying: “The challenges government is having over the market is that those who bought spaces originally and directly have transferred the ownership from about one to three people. Regrettably the people occupying the market at present do not understand or appreciate the purpose for which it was built.
“I make bold to say that those who organised the protest are ignorant of the facts behind the purpose for which they were there. While I urge them to remain calm and channel their grievances thorough the right path, I am also using this opportunity to invite them for dialogue in my palace, instead of forcing the government to take a drastic step.”
Olanipekun dismissed the claim that there are no basic infrastructure in the market, arguing that the roads in Aiyegbaju market are good; there are problems in respect of electricity and it is not peculiar to the market as the challenges facing power supply across the nation is general.
He also advised the traders to produce documented evidence of the 99 years lease of ownership as against the 28 years that they accused the government of, “they should provide their evidence. That is one of the reasons I am inviting them to a dialogue in my palace.”
On how various protest could affect the 2018 elections, the monarch said, “I want to say it emphatically that politicians cannot influence the Iyalojas when it comes to the issue of markets but we cannot dismiss in totality the fact that some sadists, who are bent on frustrating the good intentions of the government, are behind the development.
“I implore such people to desists from such action and allow peace in Osun State. The money invested on the development of the market is enormous.”