Divergent reactions have trailed the comments of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola who had said killers have joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State.
Aregbesola, who posted on his Twitter handle after he revalidated his membership of the APC on Friday, in Ilesa, Osun State, said “Though the constitution allows everyone to register as a member of any political party, even if they are suspects, murderers, character assassinators etc, but those who constitute the majority of the party membership must represent the core values of the party.
“There must be a clear distinction between jolly good fellows and fair-weather friends who will still leave our party when they sense a better opportunity elsewhere. In associating with individuals, who you are, your character and world view must come to play.”
The former governor of Osun State was also seen in another video, saying that “Murderer has registered in APC and the party constitution cannot deny such a person. We will not allow anyone to step on the grave of Chief Bola Ige to rise.”
This is coming barely a week after Senator Iyiola Omisore, a former deputy governor under Chief Bisi Akande, registered as a member of the APC in his ward in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Omisore contested against Governor Gboyega Oyetola during the 2018 governorship election, under the Social Democratic Party (SDP), in Osun State.
He later supported the APC at the re-run of the governorship election which led to the emergence of Gboyega Oyetola, the APC’s candidate in the poll.
Omisore was a suspect in the murder of a former Attorney-General, Bola Ige.
He was arrested by the then Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun, after which he was removed from office to face trial for the alleged murder of Bola Ige.
Series of reactions have followed the statement of the former governor, Aregbesola, with some people describing it as excessive and unwarranted.
Reacting to Aregbesola’s statement, a former minority leader of the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Akinwale Akinwole said the ex-governor should wake up from his slumber and face the reality that Omisore has come to stay in the APC.
The ex-lawmaker added that Aregbesola should stop being jealous of Omisore because he’s a politician to compete with in Osun, saying the calibre of people Omisore is bringing into the party is top-notch.
Akinwale said Aregbesola should stop feeling threatened because Omisore has come and will expose all Aregbesola’s spoiler game against the reelection of Governor Gboyega Oyetola.
In the same vein, the state Chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, (NNPP), Tosin Odeyemi, on Monday, berated Aregbesola over his statement which according to him, could provoke political crisis in the state, urging the Minister to act like a former Governor of the state and allow peace reign.
The NNPP chairman said, “It is unfortunate that while the teeming populace of the state are still battling economic crisis due to COVID-19, the ruling party is towing the path of violence as it allows its factional crisis to snowball into a public warfare.
“It is also unfortunate that the former Governor and now Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola can allow sentiment to take over him to make statements capable of heating up the polity unnecessarily.”
Similarly, Aregbesola, on Monday, declared that nobody could displace him from the APC in the state, adding that his pedigree would be difficult for anyone to achieve.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Sola Fasure, he insisted, “It will be difficult for those who lack my pedigree to displace me in the party in the state. Since my emergence in Osun on the Oranmiyan platform 17 years ago, and with others, we fought the agents of darkness and regression and firmly consolidated the party in the state.
“It is part of the democratic process for all kinds of people, especially from the PDP and other parties, even those with questionable and unedifying past, to cross into the progressive, people-centred party. However, members have a moral duty to ensure that such elements do not occupy leadership positions and use it to subvert and derail the party. We must take into cognisance the concept of internal democracy in the party.
“You all remember that our leader, late Chief Bola Ige led all his life for a compassionate government, commitment to the good of the majority and ideas that would bring good life, happiness, progress and security to the people. You must be conscious of those who continue to dance on Ige’s grave and avoid anything that would dishonour the late stateman’s memory.”