Oyetola came to power on the strength of Aregbesola’s policies he is dismantling now; Barrister Kolapo Alimi.

by Adabanija Kamorudeen


Kolapo Alimi served as the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the administration of ex-governor Rauf Aregbesola. In this interview with BOLA BAMIGBOLA, the member of The Osun Progressives accused Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of creating division in the ruling party in Osun State

Question : What is your take on the last APC ward congress in Osun State?

Let me start my review of the whole thing by saying that before such an exercise, you have to buy forms and indicate the post you are interested in. Our national secretariat designated two banks for the sale of forms. The committee that was to sell forms, when it got to Osun, monitored it. The members went to the governor and they met him. After the meeting, we expected them to go to the party secretariat and attend to whoever that wants to pay for the forms. After meeting the governor, the committee members were held incommunicado.

The governor paid for all the forms with a single teller and he paid about N26.8m. He did that with the intent of preventing other members, who are not part of the Ileri Oluwa group, from getting the forms. After efforts to get the forms from the committee sent to Osun proved abortive, our own group, The Osun Progressives, wrote a petition to Abuja. The national secretariat told us that we could buy the forms directly from it in Abuja. On our own, we paid for forms in the names of individual contestants and the forms were sold to us.

There was also the congress committee that was to serve as INEC during the congress and conduct the congress. The first major defect of the committee was that its members arrived in the evening of the day preceding the election. They went straight to the governor, as he is one of the leaders of the party in the state. Immediately after the courtesy visit of the governor, he organised his people and called them stakeholders and the committee held a meeting with them around 7.30pm. The following morning, the congress started.

The governor said he wanted consensus, but his own meaning of consensus was to force his will on others. Those perceived as enemies of the governor were not invited to the stakeholders’ meeting. The congress committee was not supposed to hold its meeting with the stakeholders at the Government House. It was supposed to make use of the party secretariat.

On the congress day, the committee members went to Ila, Iragbiji, the hometown of the governor, and Igbajo, the hometown of the party chairman. After visiting those places, they concluded that the congress had been successfully held. What the consensus means to them is that they would just read out names. After the congress, we wrote a petition to the national secretariat. We attached copies of our forms and tellers. The response we got from Abuja is that copies of our petition and documents attached would be given to the appeals committee. What they termed as consensus in Osun is imposition.

Question : What is behind the obvious disagreement between loyalists of Aregbesola and supporters of the incumbent governor?

If you can talk on issues and you can address the issues as they are, you immediately become an enemy of the present government. Some months ago, some people just masterminded those in my ward to say that they had suspended me without any allegations. Later in their own wisdom, they reviewed it and they discovered that maybe they had not done it properly and then, they reversed the suspension. They did that one to me when ordinarily no one among those involved in the plot could put half of what I did to make sure that this government stands. We will not allow Oyetola to continue to rubbish Aregbesola.

If Aregbesola is so bad like the picture they are now painting, why would you stay for eight years under him (as Chief of Staff)? And now, you took all the benefits; you still use the position to get to the current one. If he (Oyetola) was not appointed Chief of Staff, do you think he would come from nowhere and become the governor here?

Question : Why will the reversal of some policies become a bone of contention, can’t policies that are not working be replaced?

The governor has not explained to us how those policies were not working. Under democracy, the only way you can test a policy is by referendum or by election. All these policies were not just newly introduced by ex-governor Rauf Aregbesola. They were introduced in 2011 and 2012. We had the governorship election in 2014 and we won. That was our argument that when it was hot, when the PDP was in power, we still defeated the man that was using those policies to campaign against us with over 100,000 votes.

In the last governorship election, I happened to be one of the people at the INEC. When we studied the results, our governor happened to be the one with the least home advantage. When Adeleke led with about 22,000 votes in Ede, Oyetola led with 4,700 in his local government. So, when you now check the result very well, you will know that Mr Governor is using wrong data presently.

The people that are complaining about the single uniform do not have their children in those schools. When Oyetola came, he was using the results of the 2018 election, but some of us, who analysed the election, told him no. No referendum after the 2014 election, so the issue is that he’s using a wrong basis. The policies that have been there for seven years and that have been passed to people are now what you started crashing one after the other. On the change of name for the schools, we only added government to the name of the schools. But all that has changed. He (Oyetola) has not introduced anything new, other than reversal. No mega school has been built and no modern school has been built since this governor came on board.

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