Tuesday 20 June 2023

Apologise for working against Tinubu, Akere tackles Aregbesola

A former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Osun State, Sunday Akere, has advised the immediate-past Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, to apologise for allegedly working against President Bola Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state in the February 25 presidential election as well as the July 16, 2022 governorship election in Osun State.

The Peoples Democratic Party defeated the APC in both elections.

Akere, who served as commissioner during Aregbesola’s first term as Osun State governor between 2011 and 2014, said his former principal should apologise for his alleged anti-party activities, after which he and his supporters should appear before Prof. Isaac Adewole’s committee instituted to reposition APC in the state and thereafter await decision of the party on their matter.

The APC chieftain spoke to The PUNCH in reaction to statements attributed to Aregbesola in his address on Sunday at a civic reception organised in his honour by the concerned Muslim scholars and clerics in the South-West of Nigeria, held in Oyo town, Oyo State.

Aregbesola had said he owed his achievements and success in politics to Tinubu and former President Muhammadu Buhari.

But Akere, who accused Aregbesola and his supporters of working against Tinubu in the presidential poll, added that they only changed their tune after the ex-Lagos governor had emerged victorious at the poll.

Akere said, “Everybody knew Ogbeni (Aregbesola) and all his followers engaged in anti-party activities in the 2022 governorship election and all the series of elections we had in 2023 and there is nobody that will engage in anti-party activities that will not be punished appropriately for it.

“We expect him and his followers to apologise, appear before the Professor Adewole repositioning committee and state their own side of the matter. We expect them to do what is needful and after then, the party will, maybe accept their apology.

“When Ogbeni was here as governor in Osun, he always said that after God, it was Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that helped him, but along the line, when things changed, it was on record that Ogbeni said that ‘they have all prayed to God to bring Tinubu down.’

“We all knew that with the result of the February 25, 2023 election, God did not answer their prayer. It is good that Ogbeni is now realising and giving kudos to those that made him and supported him to become what he is today.”

But another ex-commissioner during Aregbesola’s second term in office as governor, Mr Lani Baderinwa, dismissed allegations of anti-party activities against the former governor.

Baderinwa, who also served as the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, insisted that there was no proof that Aregbesola and his men worked against Tinubu.

He said, “Anti-party activity is a serious offence that carries full weight punishment, except when it is used and meant as a witch-hunt. The allegation, whenever it is made, is often subjected to rigorous investigations, found to be very true before any further step is taken.

“In the case of Osun, no one has brought forward any concrete evidence on the allegations being bandied around and mouthed like a running tap. You wonder what they were thinking when they bragged and shouted that Ogbeni and his allies were not needed in the build-up  to the elections.”

The Punch

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