Osun: Four Options for Aregbesola on Osun APC Crisis

By Farouk Mohammed

Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola is a in a fix following recent development within the state Chapter of the All Progressive Congress. This moment represents a deciding point in the political life of the former Governor of Osun State who prides himself as a political go-getter.

The urgency of current scenario for the Minister can best be appreciated by recent explosive setbacks for him and his camp. First was his failure to secure approval of national party headquarters for his political faction, TOP. Second was the judicial defeat on Congress status and the most serious was the gun attacks on his political headquarters, Oranmiyan House.

In the face of current scenario, Aregbesola probably has four options to select from.

  1. Bow and Succumb to Oyetola: As the national party headquarters of his party seems to have abandoned him, the Minister may consider surrendering to his former Chief of Staff. He may accept finally that a governor is a governor irrespective of who sponsored or arranged his emergence. Aregbesola can accept eventual defeat , that he is no longer the ‘tough guy ‘ who makes things happen. With this ‘Baba Kabiru’ will be expected to lead Oyetola’s campaign again alongside Senator Iyiola Omisore and Chief Bisi Akande. As a man on high horse, this may be a bitter pill to swallow. Yet, this is an option;
  2. Battle Oyetola till Eternity: The other option is for the Minister to put on political battle armour and launch a war against his old ally. His target will be to stop Oyetola’s re- election at all cost through mobilisation of his supporters on the mantra of betrayal slogan. In that case, his TOP can run for offices on another platform, thereby drawing a deadly blow to the ruling party in the state. Aregbesola by so doing may have re-asserted his political authority and status. This option is tough but is already being considered by many of his supporters;
  3. Redeem his Alleged Political Sins: Another route for the embattled former Governor is to atone for what observers called his political sins while governing the state. Beyond propaganda and white washing, the Minister is considered by many as having mismanaged state resources and created disruptive debt burden amidst alleged many fully paid abandoned projects.The height of the alleged sins to many including his own party members was the rigging of the 2018 rerun governorship election in favour of Oyetola. To redeem himself, some of his allies think the Minister should play the ‘restitution card’. But will Aregbesola join PDP? Very unlikely. Can he issue a political subversion order ahead of July state governorship election? Nothing may be off the table.
  4. Adopt Siddon Look Approach: The line of least resistance may be a Siddon Look model to copy late Chief Bola Ige. Within this context, the former Governor is to order his men to lie low, abandon all other options, disappear from the political space and keep mute until after 2023. This is another tough option. No politician will entertain Siddon look tendencies except great lines like late Ige.

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