By Emmanuel Aziken
There is apprehension in sections of the All Progressives Congress, APC over alleged moves to polarise the Southwest zone of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections with next month’s governorship election in Osun State as a springboard. At the centre of the plot are two governors from the region, a federal minister and a prominent member of the National Assembly that is presently embattled over his defection from the party.
The various tendencies Saturday Vanguard gathered at the weekend have coalesced to confront the official party candidate in the Osun State governorship election, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola who is believed to be a relation of national party leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The plotters who succeeded in the same scheme in forcing out Tinubu’s candidate in the Ondo State governorship election, Segun Abraham during the APC primary, Saturday Vanguard gathered have also gathered to ensure that Oyetola does not win. The aim it was gathered, is to diminish Tinubu’s political worth ahead of the 2023 political election when Tinubu is generally expected to contest the presidential ticket of the party.
Presently, Tinubu’s political leverage in the Southwest has been limited to Lagos, Oyo and Osun States after seemingly independent party men emerged as governors in Ogun, Ondo and now Ekiti; respectively Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu and Dr. Kayode Fayemi respectively. The aim of the plot is to deny Tinubu a foothold in Osun State after the spirited effort to stop Oyetola from emerging as the party’s candidate failed.
Oyetola emerged as the candidate of the party after a primary election involving all party members. That primary was, however, preceded by crisis that forced a number of party officers including local government chairmen to stand up to the leadership of the party in the state and Abuja.
Just before the primaries, the erstwhile Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, a veteran party organiser who was an aspirant in the contest resigned his appointment as SSG and membership of the party and defected to the Action Democratic Party, ADP where he emerged as candidate.
APC spokesman in the state, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi in an interview told Saturday Vanguard that the party did everything to stop Adeoti from leaving but that his aspiration seemed to have overwhelmed him. Other stakeholders privy to the developments in the state were, however, less cautious as they insinuated external influence on Adeoti, a former party chairman in the state. Adeoti, it was gathered is the focus of the love of the anti-Tinubu southwest political chieftains who it is claimed are propping him to stop Oyetola. “We made several efforts to bring him back, the governor called him, the elders called him to plead with him, but when you have made up your mind, there is nothing anyone can do,” Oyatomi said.
“He had made up his mind because he was part of the structure of the APC in the state. He was the first chairman and transformed into AC, ACN, and APC.
“Irrespective of his decamping, or leaving the APC, the party is still the party to beat in the state,” Oyatomi told Saturday Vanguard. A party stakeholder in the state told Saturday Vanguard:
“He did so well but unfortunately, ambition can blind anybody and he allowed ambition to blind him that he didn’t see where he was going.”