TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2022 BY ALHAJI RASAQ SALINSILE, CHAIRMAN OF OSUN APC ON THE UNFORTUNATE AND AVOIDABLE LOSS OF THE JULY 16, 2022 GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN THE STATE
I greet our party leaders and members here present, and much importantly, members of the fourth estate of the realm who has been of immense support to our just and rational cause since we started and up till now. May God always be with you at all times.
I, on behalf of leaders and members of our tendency in the Osun APC, express unhappiness and dissatisfaction on the loss of July 16, 2022 governorship election, by virtue of the mishandling of basic essence of democracy and politicking.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, Prince Adegboyega Famodun and the entire Ilerioluwa caucus of the APC simply delivered victory to the opposition by their obvious lack of party management, understanding, crass ignorance, unabashedly protection of selfish interests, exhibition of huge ego, and so on. They clearly deviated from the best practices in politicking, party administration, governance and democracy.
We note with foreboding sense of great loss, that it was an avoidable electoral defeat if issues affecting the party, which we, as a set of discerning politicians had brought to public attention about two years ago, had been handled differently. Our early warning was met with strident attempts at stiffling our voice and muzzle us up if necessary. We had foretold of clear degeneration and weak position of Osun APC and had offered a seven-point agenda by which the party could be turned around and re-energised for greater efficiency and result oriented.
But the hypocrites, self-centred politicians and political neophytes who had Governor Gboyega Oyetola by the jugular turned our outcry upside down for their selfish interests, and declared us enemies. Unfortunately, the not so politically savvy Governor bought their position and became his code of conduct and or standard of behaviour in government and party affairs. This ugly, and inhuman position was all that Governor Oyetola needed to bring to the fore and activate his deep-seated animosity against his predecessor, Ogbeni RAUF AREGBESOLA for reasons he alone can explain. Governor Oyetola set up a system whereby anybody that has anything to do with his predecessor became an instant enemy that should be annihilated, excluded from government and party matters.
The Osun APC had committed suicide in 2018 when it practically foisted the candidature of Governor Oyetola on members of the party. All Progressive Congress sweated blood before it coasted to victory with paltry 482 votes involving a second ballot, having been led by opposition with 353 votes in the first ballot. This situation had its history in abandonment of zoning principle which had gave the West Senatorial District the edge in the 2018 election. Aregbesola and almost everybody else pandered to the wish of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in giving the APC ticket to Oyetola, except Alhaji Moshood Adeoti’s which left the party and garnered over 49,000 votes.
It is a sad development that we didn’t learn any lesson from that incident as Governor Oyetola and cohort decided to further decimate the party structure by alienating the dog-handlers in the party structure who are sure election winners in their constituencies. In pursuit of his shadow fight with Ogbeni Aregbesola, Governor Oyetola did so many things which became albatross that haunted Osun APC till now. He betrayed trust and confidence of many members to the chagrin of the party. He denied many members normal patronage which is part of why members will go the whole hog in projecting, promoting and working tirelessly for the success of the party in elections. By virtue of his policy of exclusion, not a few members lost interests and sentimental attachments to the party and its ideals.
Governor Oyetola, as the Chief of Staff to his predecessor campaigned with “Continuation and Consolidation”, but no sooner did the Supreme Court confirmed his election did somersaulted by embarking on vicious attacks on most policies, programmes and projects of the previous administration in which he was “Governor de jure”. Let nobody be deceived with “I was sidelined” claim of the Governor. If anybody sees Oyetola, tell him we say that it is a lie from the pit of hell, because majority of us in this tendency were in that government and we know what happened. Oyetola did not just distanced himself from, arguably though, the most successful government in Osun history and within its tenure, but began systematic attempts at destroying most of the policies, programmes and projects.
This posturing set Oyetola far apart from the people who had enjoyed the dividend of democracy as delivered by the preceding administration which he had absolute right to own as the “Governor de jure”. Like a dog that will get lost, Oyetola rejected all that would have earned him accolades and chose the route to perdition. He ended up excluding himself. If Oyetola, for instance, had continued with the popular OYES programme to take 20,000 youths off the streets and had it twice in a term; 40000 volunteers would have been made in Osun. Many do not know that aside the economic gain of having N200m circulating monthly in Osun, character building and standard social engagement are part of what made the OYES programme thick and acceptable beyond the shores of Nigeria. Aside the beneficiaries, our party and Governor Oyetola would have gotten ahead in the positive side of human capital market development. But his aversion cost our party huge gain that would have come therefrom. How much electoral gain could have been achieved can be imagined.
Another blunder which was avoidable but formed the essence of Oyetola’s government was the issues of debt and civil service. As if he took it for granted that the people are inflicted with memory loss or that his government could suddenly turned truth to lies, Oyetola and cohorts decided to manufacture their own story that suit their purpose and started selling it. But those who are witnesses to it all decided to keep quiet and watch how far the lies would take them, while others poohpooh the lies. Civil Servants, by virtue of their ubiquitous position, know the truth of how much debt Osun owed, how much has been paid and of what good use they had been put on and the payment schedule. Civil Servants are not the type you can hoodwinked. Be sure, this was the reason why the lie on debt burden didn’t gain currency as Oyetola and cohorts would have wished for vis-à-vis its nonperformance and minimalist approach to governance.
The education sector where great strides were made by the Aregbesola administration was brought to the spot. The Aregbesola administration had put in place a solid infrastructure, human capital development and workable system, operative for about six sessions. The total package had yielded bountiful results, though with some stress as it is usual with all human efforts that has change as catalysts. There was a shift in the total percentage of matriculable number of pupils from dismal 16% (pre Aregbesola era) to 46% at the end of his tenure in 2018. Apparently, Oyetola and cohorts decided to destroy this enviable track record for personal hatred for his predecessor and envy of his achievements.
The roads, for which Osun described as “huge construction site” by many writers in the pen profession during Aregbesola tenure, despite world economic recessions twice were practically abandoned. For any of the ongoing road projects inherited by Oyetola, despite his being the Governor de jure, not more than 5% addition has been made.
Not a few indigenes of Osogbo are said to be unhappy with the abandonment of Osun East Bye Pass road popularly known as Ona Baba Ona and other roads needed to be completed in the state capital. Osogbo, the state capital shares boundaries with Iragbiji, Oyetola’s hometown. Not a few things are said to have been manipulated in favour of Iragbiji by the Governor at the expense of Osogbo, a situation which had caused unhappiness for many sons and daughters of the State capital.
Prince Gboyega Famodun, the so-called chairman of APC was said to have taken discreet campaign to a particular town in the pre-election days. After talking to the elites of the town, the Oba was said to have asked him to point at what he wants them to show the people as raison detar to vote Oyetola again. He was said to have launched into lamentation of how Aregbesola incurred debts has made execution of capital projects impossible to which he was asked how is it possible to construct almost all roads in Iragbiji while their town deserves non?. Famodun was said to have shamefully left the town. The case as it is, in this particular town in reference here has replication in almost all parts of Osun. Developments of any kind were scarce in most townships and villages.
Violence were introduced into the progressive family by Oyetola and his ilk. It was much of surprise that on February 18, 2022, thugs led by the notorious Asiri Eniba were sponsored by Oyetola to attack Aregbesola’s convoy at Orisunmbare market, Osogbo, but were successfully repelled by security operatives attached to him. You wondered, what exactly has Aregbesola done to Oyetola to deserve this kind of treatment. Legend has it that Governor Oyetola and his cohorts had promised themselves to ensure that Aregbesola was not allowed free movement anywhere in Osun prior to his appointment as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It was to their surprise that Aregbesola was appointed and inaugurated; thus the intense efforts to wrong-foot him and regular call for his removal.
It is important to note the heavy reliance of Governor Oyetola’s Ileri Oluwa’s group on federal power and power of incumbency. The bringing into the party are of certain outcast who is well known for impunity as an ally of Governor Oyetola increased his reliability on the use of impunity to attain their goals. Governor Oyetola’s membership of National Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee further instigated his reliance on the use of impunity.
Everything was manipulated and all attempts to get justice were dealt with mercilessly and without a second thought. It was very common to hear from that camp, “kiko lama ko”. Indeed, everything within their powers were written, except July 16 election that refused to obey that notorious order.
Ahead of all these was the founding of our caucus, Theosunprogressive Top which has the reformation, reworking, redefining and rebooting of Osun APC as our objectives. It was our conviction that the task we took wouldn’t be easy to accomplish.
War was practically declared on TOP members with one of the Oyetola’s Commissioners directing APC members to attack and beat up TOP members anywhere they see them.
Leaders and members of the Osun Progressives had suffered several vicious attacks and inhuman treatments, including: ill processed and ridiculous suspension from the Elder’s caucus of the party of Rev’d Adelowo Adebiyi, attack on Hon Biyi Odunlade’s country home in Ile-Ife, gun attack on Hon Adelani Baderinwa’s Ikirun home, arraignment and trial of Rev’d Adebiyi, Alhaji Rasaq Salinsile (serving party Secretary as at then),Hon Gbenga Akano, Hon Biyi Odunlade, Engr Kazeem Salami, Hon Popoola Alaba and Hon Adekunle Azeez, attack and night raid of Hon Abosede Oluwaseun’s House, attack on APC, Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin Federal Constituency meeting in Ikirun on February 1, 2022, a gun attack on the venue of our parallel congress on October 16, 2021 at the NBL Osun Osogbo ground, leaving Azeez and Dolapo with gunshots wounds, two attacks on Oranmiyan House with intent to burn it, several attacks on our wards and local governments meetings. All, or most of these were reported to Osun Police Command with no attempt to investigate or do anything about it till date.
Gentlemen of the press, I have had to go this whole hog to show how much commitment we have shown to Osun APC with a view to avoid pitfalls that we are eventually confronted with now. We intend to let you know the patriotic zeal with which we have come to table with the design of the road we should take to avoid the precipice. We need to let you know how much we were made to suffer in the efforts to redirect our route so we would not end in an abyss. You have also seen or heard how much hardship victimization, malice, chicanery, frustration, etc, we were met with by our people on the other side who, because of having instrument of power, forgotten our humanness and indeed membership of the same party, and that we should be pursuing the same goal, including electoral success as much as possible. They excluded us from all party activities and prevented us from knowing anything in the party.
Governor Oyetola’s camp was so much frivolous with language as they say things which are worst than you will find with those brought up in the gutters. Prince Famodun, in a press conference recently denied himself the attribution of royalty to the extent that you will wonder if he was truly of royal birth. Well, some people have opined that there are people who, the beast in them will always take charge, no matter what comfort you provide them.
Famodun poured so much invective on the person of Aregbesola that one may be tempted that the latter must have committed unpardonable offence and one so hurting on Famodun that makes him have blabber so ferociously without making much sense of his position in the end.
Aside dirty language, Famodun’s thought processes and logical conclusion brings to question if he ever has royalty in him or has socialisation better than that of cave dwellers of the old days. For instance, Famodun said we don’t have moral right to ask for restructuring of APC, and you wonder if he is not mistakenly believing that he is already on the throne of Igbajo where his words are law, no matter how defective and asinine the thought process that produced it may be. Famodun seemed to have forgotten that aside the fraudulently compiled names in party members register inside the Government House in cahoots with other paperweight politicians, he was registered like every other party members who have so much rights as himself. The ka-bi-ko-si mentality which is peculiar to few arrogant princes which often lead to their fall from grace doesn’t have a place in democracy.
He alleged that we worked for PDP and that we will be taken to discipline and you wonder if that is a plain threat or a genuine allegation. It takes only a shameless person to speak in the manner Prince Famodun has spoken because he lacks the capacity to carry out any of the two in saner clime. No politician with integrity will wait to be told to resign if you lead your party to a disastrous electoral outing as he has done in this case. If you lack the capacity to resolve crisis in the party, and the essence of party management and operations is the aggregation of different opinions and views, then Famodun is clearly unfit for the position of State Chairman of the APC. If you must be told, Famodun is the problem of Osun APC. In 2017, with the passing of Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Famodun ran an evil emissary between Ede-Ejigbo and Ila Oraangun which led us to a disastrous 9-1 loss, from where APC problem started. In 2018, Famodun ran another emissary to Lagos where he promised to make an obviously unpopular aspirant popular. The consequence of that itinerary was the 2018 error, cumulative of which fully manifested in 2022. Famodun added salt to injury of aggrieved members by categorically refused to do the needful in 2018, that is, persuade the aggrieved members to stay put in APC and offer them alternatives.
Now, towards 2022, the party got divided into two with the former and incumbent governors leading the two caucuses, Famodun felt so comfortable to side with one of them and make the enemy of the other because of lucre-immediate gain. Then we went to election and lost scandalously, even in our traditional safe constituencies and he start looking for a scapegoat. Famodun is to be told that he is an ORIGINAL FAILURE and should be so told.
The TOP which Famodun is trying to blame had offered to help him in resolving the matters that is affecting the party but his penchant for avarice, greed and corruption will not allow him to see reason.
May we ask Famodun, is it the TOP leaders and members who he described as rebels, insignificant, not popular at home, not core politicians, etc that suddenly, in his warped thinking, become strong enough to win an election against him and his almighty government? It is only a warped and a heretical thinking that has brought Famodun to that inebriated conclusion. Is it TOP that make Famodun and other cabinet members lose in their local governments? We take Boluwaduro local government for particular example, with very small voters registration but with Famodun, three cabinet members and head of a powerful agency in tow, the APC lost. Could that be the work of TOP? For those who operates a bad system, they will never see anything wrong in it until it crashes.
Putting a lie at Famodun’s allegation are tonnes of abuses and curses that are placed on the leadership of Governor Oyetola’s ilerioluwa members who felt let down by the outcome of the election and the flippant manners their advice to resolve the obvious crisis in the party were treated. Those contents of those voice notes should be more than enough for modest ànd reasonable person to Bury their heads in shame. But what we have here are spoilt brats who thrives on empty boasts and incapable of mobilising about 10,000 electoral population to success. Let me quickly note that they are up at harms to finish Osun APC with an instruction to ward chairmen to start suspension of members of TOP. Impunity is their only answer to a different point of view by members of the party we jointly enter as individuals and nutured in the same vein. We note with satisfaction that Oyo kingdom, from where most modern Yoruba cities, towns and villages get established after Princes’dispersal from Ile Ife was not run with whims and caprices as the two Gboyegas ran Osun APC in the last last four years despite its immense powerful.
In conclusion, we restate our resolute decision that we will not yield this platform to political traders and vandals. We remain bona-fide members of Osun APC. It is sad and at the same time laughable to observe that Famodun reported in the last two paragraphs of his press conference text that Governor Oyetola has finally seen what we have been clamouring for in about three years now and he is now ready to restructure Osun APC.
The duo of Governor Oyetola and Prince Famodun have definitely fulfilled their wishful mission to bring APC down in Osun. It is often said in Yoruba that if you leave your Mum’s corpse to the care of a mad man, he may end up roasting it for his dinner. The National Secretariat has a duty not to wait any longer. The wall of Jericho has fallen with Famodun’s confession and Osun APC should undergo immediate re-organisation, rebooting, re-energising for greater future performances.
I sincerely thank you all for taking time to listen. I besiege our media friends to please give us a good reportage. May God bless our hustle.