The argument is simple and you can agree or disagree with it. Months before APC lu’le (failed) in Osun governorship poll, the camp of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the former leader of the party in the state, had framed the premises for the decision to bring down the APC edifice without its foundation, nuked. A leading member of the group said, “won ti gba Eko (Lagos) lowo wa. Ti won ba tun gba Osun, a je wipe a o ni ri ibi de si niyen” (They had vanquished us in Lagos. If they retain Osun State, then we are done for).
The argument was further expanded. Aregbesola’s camp views Tinubu as one who doesn’t fight halfway. He doesn’t just do takedowns and beatdowns. He takes down, to take out, before considering rehabilitation for the defeated and the captured, the minister’s men reasoned. Losing out in Lagos and Osun wasn’t an option. If Lagos was farfetched, Osun was doable. The argument that closed the deal was that true progressives between Asiwaju’s bloc and Aregbesola’s camp, would be known by those who stay back to rebuild the fallen structure, now as opposition’s conclave. The allegation that some Aregbesola’s men were to be taken out didn’t help matters. The fire-eating Commissioner under Aregbesola, openly alleged in a viral video, that honchos of the minister, were listed for assassination (he said in Yoruba, “won nfi iku wa wa kiri”). The frightening sight and sound of the viral video should worry political watchers. It is almost like who kills who first. Surely, now that the structure has been collapsed, a group will have to leave the state for the other, whether Asiwaju becomes president or not.
Aregbesola’s men even believe the deal won’t be as raw for them, under PDP’s reign in the state. At least, they won’t have to contend with the state as the enemy, as it has allegedly been under Oyetola, their supposed party man. They hold that with everybody (feuding APC leaders) as opposition, nobody will be disadvantaged in a man-to-man or two-fighting, maybe, except if Asiwaju is president and the Aregbesola team would either have to bow or ship out. If Asiwaju is eventually armed with presidential powers and the near-absolute authority as the national leader of the party, the minister and his men may have just fought the easiest battle of their war designed to take the governor out and rebuild the party in the state.
Somehow, Aregbesola’s corner believes Governor Gboyega Oyetola won’t stay back to play opposition politics. There is also the thinking that incoming Governor Ademola Adeleke would be very beatable in another four years, considering his assumed “unserious” lifestyle. An award-winning editor said Demola would be toast in just a year. Who knows?
Truth is the minister and his extreme loyalists cut the picture of an enduring opposition than the butty-looking governor and his inherited supporters. Yes, he inherited his leading men from his predecessor, including the state party chairman, Gboyega Famodun, who should have resigned once the structure he was given to managenhad come down, while he watched helplessly. Maybe, he wants to stay back as the new party leader.
Then, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru. I worry for him. He has the visage of honour, but a twisted tongue. As Aregbesola’s Commissioner at a media round-table in Lagos, a journalist had motioned to him that he was beginning to sound like Ogbeni in tough-talk and aggressive disposition. He smiled, noting that when a leave stays long on soap, it foams (my paraphrase). The mouthed loyalty didn’t bubble when he had to choose between his senate seat and the man he praised to the mesosphere, even when it was obvious his then-principal’s policies were hurting Osun citizenry. The story is similar to how he moved on from Muiz Banire, SAN, his original mentor, to Aregbesola, when the two buddies briefly parted ways over Banire’s decision to sustain his relationship with those battling Tinubu at that time, particularly Rotimi Akeredolu. When Banire would not cut ties with Akeredolu and co. (including Ibikunle Amosun), Aregbesola as Osun governor, fighting Tinubu’s battles cut ties with Banire and pronto, Bashiru, who moved from Banire’s chambers to Aregbesola’s government, abandoned his mentor, for the new master. Now, he has abandoned the new master of then, for another new master. Now, that the building has been brought down and defeat is staring him in the face, what next.
There is also another thinking to rebuilding APC in the state. Aregbesola’s men believe they are durable in opposition marathon. At least, they once proved that against Olagunsoye Oyinlola and PDP. But the circumstances of that time and now are different. Then, everybody was on the same page, so the pages were turned in unison, until Oyinlola, was removed. Now, the apex leader is on his own. The Baba Kekere of the power establishment, widely assumed as the heir apparent until the Osun eruptions, is on his own. I have this strong feeling that the gag order by prominent Yoruba leaders and traditional rulers to the two gladiators, would be spurned soon. Ceasefire can’t hold, when certain parties are engaging in military drills.
Who is trying to demarket Saleh?
When the head of an institution is consistently targeted with dirt, someone is seeking a takeover. It is a common practice in the corporate world. They call it demarketting. It is making something look bad, to have an advantage. With the latest round of the rehashing of the spent allegations against the Secretary of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Ahmed Gambo Saleh, someone, somewhere, is seeking the takeover of the Judiciary, considering that as the Council scribe, he practically runs the Judiciary, on a daily basis.
Even the AG, Abubakar Malami, abandoned his case against Saleh, when he realized his error of charging the wrong man, who wasn’t in office as Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court when the alleged crime was committed. The latest allegation against him, says he committed certain untoward acts as the apex court CR in 2020. What? What manner of uniformed whistleblower is this? Saleh left as CR in 2017 to NJC as secretary. Maybe, it was his ghost that returned to loot the court as being alleged.
In July 2021, EFCC got three fake whistleblowers jailed. The commission should do same against, if its investigation shows the petitioner is taking the country for a ride. Under Obama, six Americans were jailed for wrong espionage. But the anti-Saleh agenda looks bigger than the petitioner. Someone is interested in having the control of the Judiciary ahead of the 2023 poll, and Saleh would have to be excused, the way Walter Onnoghen was, before the 2019 poll. SMH.
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