BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has lambasted a former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, for counseling him against visiting the state for an event.
Oyinlola had admonished the minister “to avoid doing anything that would suggest a plan to make the state ungovernable” for his successor, Governor Gboyega Oyetola.
But the minister, in a statement issued by Sola Fasure, his Media Adviser, described Oyinlola’s counsel as baffling in his gratuitouness.
Aregbesola specifically said the former governor, who he claimed had gone into political oblivion, should not think he could relaunch a “dead political career” by maligning him.
The statement said, “Brig General Oyinlola has lapsed into political oblivion, following his fruitless peripatetic junketing round the political parties until he returned home, empty-handed, forlorn and isolated.
“He is therefore mistaken if he thinks he can relaunch a dead political career by maligning Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola whose political stock has been rising since he successfully handed over to a successor, a member of his administrative team and his political party, two years ago.
“But see who is preaching. Oyinlola’s tenure is particularly characterised by the most gut-wrenching violence visited on opposition members. His reign was rightly described as a siege on Osun, during which killings, rape, extortion and hoodlums and political thugs had free reign.
“How could he have forgotten all that and be offering empty platitudes to a governor whose two terms were adjudged by all to be peaceful?”
Fasure wondered how Aregbesola’s visit to the state would be a threat to anyone.
The All Progressives Congress caucus in the National Assembly, he said, had planned some activities, including a public lecture and novelty football match, on the anniversary of the return of progressive administration to Osun, as they had been doing every year.
They had also invited Aregbesola to the event, which coincided with the minister’s planned visit to the state, in fulfilment of the presidential directive to all members of the Federal Executive Council to return home and engage their state governors and other critical stakeholders on security.
But the state Government had cried out, alleging that Aregbesola was visiting the state to forment trouble.
This development was reportedly borne out of an alleged serious feud between Aregbesola and the incumbent state governor.
Fasure argued that Oyinlola always projected fear any time Aregbesola’s name was mentioned.
The statement said, “How then does a minister returning home to carry out a critical presidential directive or attend a peaceful anniversary lecture amount to ‘doing anything that would suggest a plan to make the state ungovernable?’ How is that a threat to anyone?
“Oyinlola’s statement is a Freudian slip of the mortal fear that grips him at the mention of Aregbesola’s name. He lived under that fear all through his illegally usurped second term and the futile shenanigans of keeping a stolen mandate, including suborning the judiciary, until he was kicked out by God-fearing judges of the Court of Appeal in Ibadan on November 26, 2010.
“Therefore, it is his own fear that he is dubiously projecting as public interest counsel. He overrates himself anyway, thinking anyone takes him seriously…
“Ogbeni Aregbesola is a man of peace. It is quite paradoxical that a man on a peace mission to Osun will be falsely accused of planning to make the state ungovernable by a former military man whose professional calling was to trade in violence.
“Aregbesola will continue to diligently and astutely serve the government and the people of Nigeria in any capacity it has pleased the good Lord to place him.”