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Osun: Area boy conspiracy tales

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By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
THE accusation from Governor Rauf Aregbesola against the top chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP over a supposed plot to destabilise his administration was explicit and direct.

It shockingly came from a man who had just won a three year battle for his mandate and who ordinarily should be seeking peace and accommodation to enable him deliver the dividends of democracy to the Osun electorate.


But speaking on Christmas eve at a reception organised for him by the Ijesha Muslim Community, the newly inaugurated governor of Osun State listed Vice President Nnamadi Sambo, the president of the Senate Senator David Mark and Senator Iyiola Omisore, the chairman of the Senate Committee of Appropriation as being arrowheads in a N1 billion destabilisation plot directed against him.

The fiery accusation was to be given more wire by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN which named Omisore as the linchpin for what it alleged was a plot aimed at ousting Aregbesola from office.

While many are surprised and are yet to unravel any reason why Sambo or Mark for that matter would be directly involved in any such plot, many would consider Senator Omisore as a possible participant in any such conspiracy. Omisore by several accounts was well positioned to be the next governor of Osun State before the recent pronouncement by the Court of Appeal that Aregbesola was the valid winner of the 2007 gubernatorial election in the State. The judgment inevitably pushed the next Oyo State gubernatorial election four years away making nonsense of all the preparations that Omisore made in the last few years to fulfil what many now see as a life ambition.

Besides his past activism both as a military officer and then as a regime change activist in the Senate between 1999 and 2005 when he was reportedly involved in all the removals of the Senate Presidents, there is no other nexus to tie Senator Mark to a possible plot of destabilisation of a State House of Assembly.

After all, it is generally affirmed that having strewn the banana peels at points where offending Senate Presidents could slip, Senator Mark has now been largely praised for packing away the banana peels and bringing an unusual stability to the Senate.

It was as such not surprising that Senator Mark would rebuke Governor Aregbesola in unusual terms over the allegation.

“We ordinarily should not elevate such idle talk with a response, but for the increasing enquiries from friends, associates and the general public on the allegation,” Mr. Paul Mumeh, the chief press secretary to the Senate president said in his first response to the assertion by Aregbesola last Tuesday.

“We frown at this falsehood and unwarranted attack on the person and office of the president of the Senate. We demand unreserved apology from Aregbesola, or we would be left with no option than to seek legal redress,” Mr. Mumeh said.

Senator Mark was to rub it in further, urging Aregbesola to imbibe the culture of respect for elders, decorum and learn to control his tongue. He should behave like a state governor and not as an area boy.”

The following day, Wednesday, the ACN was to give further ammunition to Aregbesola’s assertion when it specifically cited Omisore as the linchpin of what it claimed was a plot to distabilise the newly inaugurated government in Osun State.

The ACN in the statement articulated by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the plot involved the conscription of the members of the State House of Assembly into an impeachment plot to remove Aregbesola. No offence was listed in Mohammed’s statement, but an inference was made that the impeachment move was aimed at helping Omisore fulfil his gubernatorial ambition.

Remarkably, the ACN statement drew back from mentioning Senator Mark directly only pointing an accusing finger at a principal officer of the Senate. Why the normally punchy Mohammed drew back from punching Mark is not known.

Omisore who was mentioned in the statement immediately fired back in a telephone interview with Vanguard accusing the ACN of being afraid of its shadow.

In his allegation against Omisore, the ACN said: ‘’But we have every reason to believe that the legislators in Osun state are peace_loving people, who will resist any attempt by anyone, no matter how highly placed or what dirty carrot he is dangling, to destabilise a state that is just emerging from years of misrule by an illegitimate government. We also expect that the security agencies and the judiciary will resist any cheap attempt to compromise them.


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