BY JOSHUA DADA, Osogbo
The Osun All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the National Assembly has cancelled their public lecture slated for tomorrow over the unsettled political climate rocking the party in the state.
The dust raised by the event and subsequent cancelation further confirmed the gulf between the camps of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his predecessor Mr. Rauf Aregbesola who is the Minister of Interior.
The legislators had scheduled a public lecture as their own form of contribution to the two years celebration of the Gboyega Oyetola administration in the State, just as it sponsored a football match as part of the activities marking the first year of the governor in office without acrimony.
The caucus in a statement made available to journalists averred that the decision was taken at a meeting of the caucus on Tuesday 17th November 2020 with five members, Senator Ajibola Basiru, Senator Adelere Oriolowo, Hon Taiwo Oluga, Hon L.B Ayeni and Hon. Lekan Afolabi physically present.
The legislators said they viewed their contribution from a broader perspective hoping to make it an epoch making occasion to boost the morale of its members and the progressives family in the state, lamenting that the effort was misinterpreted and misconstrued to be an affront to the governor.
The legislators explained that they had earlier agreed to the topic of the lecture as, “Ten years of uninterrupted progressive government in Osun” adding that it was a ‘form of social awareness and sensitization of the good people of Osun to know and appreciate the concepts and benefits of the states administration under our progressive party’’.
It was gathered that their planned ceremony was not well received in the circle of Governor Gboyega Oyetola who saw it as disruptive to the activities marking the two years of the governor in office.
‘’This has generated a lot of undercurrents of misgivings which contributed to sponsorship of stories in the newspapers alleging that the legislators may be planning to cause civil unrest.
‘’The first sign that mischief makers may have polluted the genuine motive of the lecture which was conceived and considered to have the capability to further unity of the party in the State and mobilise the party was the emergence of an unsigned statement emanating from some members of the House of Representatives, who apparently under intense pressure put up a rather terse statement that they are committed to second year anniversary of Governor Oyetola as if the public lecture was not the event planned by the caucus as its contribution to the second year anniversary programme of the Governor, as it was done for the first year with football tournament.
‘’The decision to have the public lecture was taken on Tuesday 17th November, 2020 by the caucus in a meeting held in the Office of Senator Oriolowo at the Senate Wing of the National Assembly at about 4pm.
‘’The meeting decided that it was necessary to sustain the gains of an earlier solidarity visit to the Governor by following up with the public lecture.
‘’At the meeting, Senator Oriolowo and Hon. L. B. Ayeni were nominated to liase with key stakeholders like Chief Bisi Akande, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, Prince Gboyega Famodun. Hon Taiwo Oluga was expected to tidy up the use of one of the two facilities nominated at the meeting, namely: the Centre for Black Culture or the WOCDIF building.
‘’Therefore, the lecture was a decision of the legislators and not organised by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as falsely reported by some sections of the media, traditional and social.
‘’To err on the side of peace and to defer to different interventions by party leaders at the national level, particularly, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the legislators have decided to step down the lecture so as to make room for party cohesion.’’