Osun 2022: “Friends of Oyetola” storm APC Secretariat, pick nomination form for Osun governor

•Aregbesola not a threat ― Senator Basiru

Certain chieftains of the All Progressives Congress and members of the cabinet of Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, stormed the party national secretariat on Tuesday to pick Expressed of Interest and Nomination Forms for the incumbent governor of the south-west state.

Led by Senator representing Osun Central, Ajibola Basiru the APC chieftains who called themselves Friends of Governor Oyetola said they took the decision of their own volition to pick the form for Governor Oyetola having been impressed with his performance in the last three years.

Other members of the team who came to Buhari House were two federal lawmakers in the House of Representatives: Honourables Kemi Taiwo Oluga and Honourable Bukola Oyewo and the serving Finance Commissioner, Honourable Bola Oyebamiji.

Addressing newsmen, Senator Basiru who incidentally is the Chairman Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs said the Friends of Governor Oyetola were not bothered about the internal dissension within the party.

Checks revealed that a faction under the platform, The Osun Progressives, believed to be loyal to former Osun State Governor and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola is engaged in a supremacy battle with Governor Oyetola’s camp for the control of the party structures.

Senator Basiru however said the victory of Governor Oyetola was a settled deal despite the division within the party.

He said:” I will not reduce the issue of our party to issue of personality. Political parties are institutions of democracy and they are run on the basis of the structure of the political parties as well as the leaders of the party.

“Today, in the State of Osun, the highest hierarchy of our party is constituted in what is called Egbe Igbimo Agba which is headed by no less person than the founding chairman of our party, Baba Bisi Akande and we also have former governors, deputy governors, members of national assembly, current and seasoned politicians in that club.

“We also have federal constituency structures in all the nine federal constituencies. We also have ward executives, local executives and unit executives. So, it’s the structure that wins elections and not personality.

“So we believe that the existing structures of our party are such that the party that is really in existence today is the APC and I will give you statistics. Beyond the 2018 election, the first election and the only election that has been conducted under the leadership of Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola is the 2019 general elections and I challenge you to go to the INEC website to download the results.

“There are nine federal constituencies in the State of Osun. Our party, APC had six out of that nine seats and of course if you do the percentage that is about 65% that’s B plus. Then in the Senatorial election in the three Senatorial districts, our party got two out of the three Senatorial districts.

“I think that’s also about 70% and of course in the House of Assembly, of the 26 seats we have in Osun, our party had 23 out of the 26 and all of them are still members of our political party. So when you have a political party that has in its fold two senators, six house of Representatives members and 23 elected State legislators, I don’t think it is beyond any doubt to say the party to beat in the State of Osun is the APC and the leadership of the party has provided structure to ensure that we deliver massively.

“And we also know that in the presidential election in 2019, Osun is one of the States that delivered for our leader President Muhammadu Buhari. So no doubt, our party is strong, vibrant, cohesive and articulate to deliver for the party in the 2022 election.

“Reacting to demand by the top that Governor Oyetola should resign his membership of the APC Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, ahead of the party Primary, Senator Basiru said it was not a necessary condition for the former to seek a fresh mandate.

“By training, I’m a lawyer, and at the risk of sounding immodest, I’m a legal scholar, I have a PhD in Law.

“Whether the membership of the CECPC would be an issue would be a matter of interpretation of even the nature and character of the office of members of the APC caretaker committee and I believe the governor would avail himself of legal advice as to whether there would be any contravention of the Constitution and I said that advisedly not in terms of bias because if your logic about being bias would also mean that the governor should resign from being a governor because he is contesting for the office of the governor, of course, the Constitution allows him to stay in office even while he is still contesting and still retain the apparatus of office.

“So whether or not he would resign is not on the basis of the likelihood of bias and the best even in corporate governance, if you’re a member of the board and a decision is to be taken that affects your issue that you have interest in, you will have to recuse yourself from that one. So it could well be possible that if he doesn’t resign when a decision is about to be taken in relation to Osun he may recuse himself from that, and of course, even in areas where there are conflict of interest, there’s what we call the China Wall in corporate practice whereby you separate your personal interest by making a declaration and not participate in that decision but whether or not he would resign is not a political decision.

“It’s a legal question and I believe the governor would be availed of the best possible legal advice as to the nature and character of the office vis-a-vis the existing provision of the constitution of the APC.”

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