Aremo Olusegun Osoba is a chieftain and one of the leaders of Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He is a journalist par excellence and a former Governor of Ogun State who served meritoriously with landmark achievements in the areas of education, roads rehabilitation and reconstruction, rural electrification, infrastructural development among others.
Without any iota of doubt, Osoba left an indelible mark on the political stage of Ogun State.
With his deep interest in the affairs of the country, he was instrumental in seizing federal power from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
It is also apparent that the role played by Chief Osoba in the national convention, primaries and the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the 2023 general elections is worthy of commendation.
Surprisingly, it came as a shock despite the political tributes of Osoba that he was refused honour and a due recognition in the nomination of ministerial nominees in the state.
Ditto to the Governor of the State, His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who is a factor in ensuring that victory, was achieved in the general elections in his own way after he failed flatly in his support for the former Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to win the party’s primary.
It is a common knowledge in Ogun State that the governor was not in support of Asiwaju at the beginning of this journey as that earned him the appellation of “ELEYI” when the President visited Ogun State for the party primaries election.
Also Chìef Osoba sat on the fence throughout this period as he was tactically supporting the former Vice President. Where are the people that started the Asiwaju’s campaign in Ogun State even with their resources? These people are lamenting terribly as they are not in any way recognized in the scheme of things.
Even the group of people in the front running campaign organization, the South West Agenda for Asiwaju (SWAGA) that struggled and went to the adjoining states before any group have been neglected as well throughout the South West States in the ministerial considerations. This is not the best treatment of any kind.
Ahead of his January 2023 visit to Ogun State by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the APC, the SWAGA in Ogun State fully mobilized all its supporters for a hitch-free visit.
All the nine local governments in Ogun East Senatorial had combined meetings and ditto for Ogun Central and West Senatorial respectively to welcome the 2023 presidential hopeful.
Now, where are the supporters of Wale Edun, Bosun Tijjani and Isiak Salako in the State?
Part of the arguments of these people is that all three nominees will bring all their aides from Lagos as they don’t know anybody in the state. This is a proper humiliation of all these people that worked flat out to ensure successful election for the president.
Many of the party stalwarts in the state who want to remain anonymous revealed recently that there has been an unpleasant state of political uneasiness emerging from a distressing sense of oppression over the nominees representing Ogun State. He said this has degenerated into a cold war rocking the peaceful coexistence among some personalities that are alleged to have influenced a compulsive, irrational, and unhealthy fixation and preoccupation of the ministerial nominees in the state.
Reacting further is a speculation that there are rebels who repelled against a vested authority, pointing accusing fingers at Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (a.k.a Yayi), who is presently representing Ogun West Senatorial district.
He said it is a politically greedy attempt to impose a Lagos-based politician ahead of the 2027 governorship election to the exclusion of all tendencies that worked for the victory of President Tinubu in the last general elections.
The people of Ogun State are fully aware of the desperation of Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola and President Bola Tinubu to impose Yayi on the people of Ogun State, hence denigrating the legendary of Chief Olusegun Osoba by disparaging him and rendering him worthless, exporting Wale Edun and Bosun Tijani from Lagos to Ogun State under the guise of technocrats.
Insiders from political camp of Prince Dapo Abiodun revealed their regrets that despite Senator Yayi followers constituted not less than 40 percent of the state cabinets, c be in order to pave way for him as a stakeholder in Ogun politics, while representing Lagos West; it is shameful and treacherous for his disloyal actions not to protect the interest of his benefactor.
Recall that Senator Olamilekan Adeola’s return to Ogun State politics, after about 20 years in Lagos State, met a stiff resistance from some political leaders and also noted is when the struggle for the Ogun West Senatorial seat thickened, the two other aspirants – Hon. Abiodun Isiaq Akinlade and three – time governorship candidate in the State, Prince Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka (GNI) had stepped down days earlier to take up House of Representatives tickets respectively through the support of the same benefactor.
It is beyond what is obvious that it is double-cross, play Judas and sell down your benefactors for a political illicit intimacy intended to scheme ahead for 2027 Governorship position, despite all the support and political back-up received from them.
It is very unfortunate the turn of events in Ogun State that Aremo Segun Osoba and Governor Dapo Abiodun have been rendered useless and consigned to a dustbin of irrelevance by the President and used Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola to rubbish them totally.
Imagine giving him the chance of bringing a just defector from PDP to take a ministerial slot and also bringing the unknown Bosun Tijani to Ogun State as a minister just because Tony Elumelu of UBA gave him N2 billion for the election.
What can any money do without the efforts of the important people of influence on ground? Examples are abound of many that deployed resources and failed woefully in all states of the country because they are not popular and acceptable to the electorates.
Again, another issue here is that Aremo Segun Osoba did not play a good fatherly role to his supporters and the attitude of the Governor to self-nominate his cronies for the ministerial slots for Ogun State. This is very unfortunate as the turn of effect will surely bring APC to its waterloo at the next election and getting to the extent that in case the results of the election tribunal do not favour the APC, the people are ready to adopt PDP in order to punish APC for not recognizing the people that worked for the victory of the party at the poll.
To make the matter worse people have started contemplating decamping to the PDP because of the way they have been rubbished and treated by the APC in Ogun State.
When the first batch of President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominees list was presented before the Senate on July 27, it revealed the President’s resolve to put in place competent lieutenants in charge of the ministries.
Beyond that, however, the list also indicated a Commander-in-Chief’s strategic plan to have full grip of political structures in each of the 36 states ahead of future elections.
Although the President may be particular about having a strong grip on politics of the North and South West, he is also seriously calculating how to make inroads into the South-South and South East geopolitical zones ahead of 2027.
Zeroing down on the South West, Tinubu’s political base, and taking a cursory look at his appointments from Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Lagos and Osun States, there are tell-tale implications and interpretations.
President Tinubu should remember that he lost Lagos to the candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, during the February 25 presidential election, while Governor Ademola Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party is currently in charge of Osun State.
Tinubu’s blood brother, former Governor Gboyega Oyetola lost the Osun gubernatorial poll to Adeleke last year while Tinubu suffered defeat in the presidential election.
Oyetola is now the minister-designate from Osun State.
Atiku won in 20 local council areas in Osun with a total of 354,366 votes to defeat his Tinubu, who scored 343,945 votes and won in 10 local councils.
From Oyo State, Tinubu has appointed Mr. Bayo Adelabu, the gubernatorial candidate of Accord Party as minister designate, leaving Senator Teslim Folarin, and flag bearer of APC in the 2023 gubernatorial poll and Senator Rilwan Adesoji who led SWAGA in the state.
In the first instance, Adelabu’s appointment is perhaps a kind of compensation. The former Deputy Governor of Central Bank was the governorship candidate of APC in 2019, which was facilitated by Tinubu. He, however, lost the election to Makinde because of the challenges faced by former Governor Abiola Ajimobi over his meddlesomeness in the Ibadan Chieftaincy title.
Wale Edun, a former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State is a ministerial nominee representing Ogun State. What an aberration?
Although Edun has been playing all his politics in Lagos, it was rumoured that Tinubu had first recommended him to former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 as minister to handle the finance portfolio but former Governor Ibikunle Amosun preferred Kemi Adeosun, whom Buhari appointed instead. When Adeosun ran into a scandalous crisis, Buhari also looked elsewhere to replace her.
The appointment of Edun is said to be strategic, in that Amosun, one of the presidential aspirants of APC who stepped down for Tinubu during the party’s primary would have been expected to be appointed as minister to represent Ogun.
But the president’s men said that would amount to surrounding Governor Dapo Abiodun with two political hawks, Amosun and Senator Gbenga Daniel, who currently represent Ogun East.
Abiodun is said to be very comfortable with the choice of Edun, who is not a politician and may likely not want to contest anything with the governor, who might likely prefer Senator Solomon Olamilekan, who currently represents Ogun West zone to succeed him.
To further create peace in Ogun and avoid the kind of bitter struggle that occurred during the party’s governorship primaries in 2015 and 2019, sources said Tinubu might concede an ambassadorial slot to Amosun to push him out of Ogun politics ahead of 2027.
Edun has since gone to renovate his family house in Ogun State.
Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo is a member of the House of Representatives representing Akoko North East/Akoko North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State. During his first term in the 9th Assembly, he was the Chairman of the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Tunji-Ojo is said to be the preferred candidate of immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives and current Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The significance of his appointment is that Tinubu may have picked him to replace the old politicians in Ondo State also to take the party’s structure away from Governor Rotimi Akeredolu ahead of 2024.
He is also trusted to finance the party in Ondo based on his antecedent as chairman, House Committee on NDDC. He is said to have used his office to create several infrastructure both in Ondo and Lagos as a sign of being a loyal party man.
For several years, President Tinubu had made several efforts to have inroad to Ondo politics but failed. The former governor of Lagos State sometimes tried to use Segun Abraham, one of his political sons, to penetrate Ondo, but failed. The erstwhile NDDC House Committee chairman may be the anchor the presidency will eventually use to penetrate Ondo.
Apart from politics, Tunji-Ojo also possesses a sound mind to handle whatever ministry is committed to him.
Dele Alake, from Ekiti State, is also a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State. He has also played his politics and practised his profession in Lagos. On a few occasions, he showed interest in Ekiti politics. He has remained one of the most trusted and most effective members of the Tinubu political dynasty.
President Tinubu should know that there is palpable anger in the APC. Anger of being left out from the ministerial nominations and other political positions. Those who were hitherto close to Tinubu are now so shocked how they were either left out or no longer have access to the President.
In Ekiti State, Senator Adeyeye, the Nationsl Chairman of SWAGA was left out. This was a man who travelled across all states in Nigeria to canvass votes for the president before and after the presidential primary in APC.
In Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode and Abike Dabiri were all left out for an unknown Lola Ade-John who is alleged to be a girlfriend of Wale Edun.
Femi Fani-Kayode, Tunji Bello, Babatunde Ogala, Ahmed Raji, Abiodun Faleke, Senator Tokubo Abiru, and very close friends of Tinubu who have all been schemed out and shut out.
A situation where Ogun State has three ministerial nominees and no grassroots politician is worthy of nomination is a political suicide.
We call on President Tinubu to reconsider his selection process and prioritise individuals among SWAGA leadership who have proven their loyalty and dedication to the party’s manifestos.
This will ensure inclusiveness of all key stakeholders, as well as create a sense of unity and motivation within the party.
It is important that the President addresses this concern and ensures that the party’s supporters are rewarded for their unwavering dedication. Only through fair representation, inclusion, and recognition can the party foster a sense of unity, motivation, and commitment among its members.