The “bromance” between two South-West political gladiators, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Rauf Aregbesola, before now, was like that of a political godfather and his ally. Asiwaju Tinubu wouldn’t do anything politically without the knowledge of Aregbe. They were that close! In Lagos, Aregbesola is the second in command to Asiwaju in the hierarchy in Lagos politics.
Aregbesola was a ranking member of the Alliance for Democracy, led by Senator Bola Tinubu, who would go on to become Governor of Lagos State in the same year. Aregbesola was Director of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation (BATCO), who drove the electoral victory of Bola Tinubu in 1999. These two gladiators have come a long way!
Aregbesola was formerly an activist, who was based in Lagos. He was also Lagos Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure when he ran for election (Osun State governorship) in April 2007 on the Action Congress platform but lost to Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the incumbent governor. He later went to court and called over 100 witnesses and tendered 168 exhibits in his petition before the Election Petitions Tribunal, alleging violence and ballot boxes stuffing in the election. On 26 November 2010, he was declared the winner. All these were made possible as a result of Asiwaju’s backing. Financially, morally, Tinubu was his backbone. In fact, during our findings, we were made to believe that, during his (Aregbe) 8 years reign as Governor of Osun State, aside from God, the next in line he wouldn’t joke with is Tinubu. When he wakes up in the morning as a devout Muslim, he prays to God and also directs his pray point to Tinubu. And that would tell you how much he adores and worships Tinubu.
Asiwaju Tinubu and Aregbesola ‘are’ like ‘5 and 6’. They are a perfect combination when it comes to strategic politics. Maybe that’s why Tinubu made him the leader of a popular APC group in Lagos called Mandate group. Aregbe is that powerful and he’s enjoying where he occupies.
But the big story is that these two politicians are no longer on the same page and what City People has found in the last couple of weeks is alarming and worrisome, not just for the two parties, but their followers, especially in the South-West.
Did you know that immediately Aregbe left his position as Governor of Osun State and handed over to Oyetola, who many people believe is a Tinubu candidate, there have been rumours of discord between Asiwaju Tinubu and Aregbe. What could be the cause? We would tell you!
Immediately Aregbe left his position as governor of Osun State, there has been rumours that his boys whom he left behind in government have been sidelined.
The two have maintained a frosty relationship for many months. There’s also a report that Aregbe tried to install his successor before the intervention of Tinubu.
Just a few months back, the government of Osun State under the Adegboye Oyetola administration, reversed nine of the policies put in place by Aregbesola, while the ‘Opon Imo’ education tablets would be enhanced and reintroduced to schools.
The council unanimously agreed with the expert report that the state of Osun should reverse to the 6-3-3-4 structure as opposed to the 4-5-3-4 education policy.
The council also agreed that the state will henceforth allow every school to return to its old-established and recognised public uniform.
Another issue was the review of the current arrangement for managing new model high schools. The council agreed that the operations of the Omoluabi Education Services Limited would be wound up since it has not been fulfilling the mandate for which it was established.
This didn’t go down well with Ogbeni Rauf Aregbe, but the governor is enjoying the immunity of his political father, Tinubu, who many believe was instrumental to his installation because the former Governor had another person in mind. So, the governor of Osun couldn’t be that bold in decision making unless he has Tinubu backing
Let’s also tell you that a few months back in Lagos crisis rocked APC party group, Mandate Group and the Justice Forum.
The mandate group is the biggest group under APC in the state which is led by Aregbe, a group that was formed by Asiwaju Tinubu many years ago.
Let’s tell you how it happened and why the group was disbanded by Tinubu.
It was reported that Aregbesola, a former Governor of Osun State, is eyeing the Presidency in 2023 a situation, which has led to a cold war between him and Tinubu, who is also believed to be interested in the plum job.
Aregbesola has, however, denied nursing any presidential ambition.
The leaders of the Mandate Group, headed by Aregbesola, had resolved to re-organise and restructure the group ahead of the 2023 elections and other permutations that would go with the polls
It was that resolve and the need to get a young and vibrant politician and activist to lead the group that led to the choice of Enilolobo.
Do you also remember that Lagos State House of Assembly Members almost impeached the Speaker, Hon. Obasa, a few months back? This is part of the plan to control the polity and politics of the state for the 2023 presidency.
It’s a general belief now in town that all these are happening because Aregbe is seriously nursing the ambition of presidency come 2023. The same post his political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is nursing. In fact, it’s believed in some quarters that he would get the support of the northerners as the viable candidate from the South-West, and he needs to prepare himself for the challenges ahead.
Let’s also tell you that Aregbe hasn’t been seen with Tinubu in recent time. He didn’t come with some Ministers and governors who came to pay solidarity to Lagos State and Tinubu for what happened in Lagos during the #endsars protest where about 1 trillion naira worth of properties were destroyed by the hoodlums. Despite his closeness and second in command to Tinubu, he hasn’t been seen around. What could have happened? Just a few days ago, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam El Rufai paid a solidarity visit to Lagos and many other politicians of note. Don’t forget also that, he has a constituency in Alimosho where he has a large number of supporters.