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  • Updated: April 14, 2024

Akande, Oyetola only leaders in our party today  — Basiru declares

Akande, Oyetola only leaders in our party today  — Basiru

The National Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru has declared that the duo of Chief Abdul-Kareem Adebisi Akande and Adegboyega Oyetola are the genuine former Governors and bonafide leaders of the party in Osun State at the moment.

He reiterated that as far as the APC is concerned in the state the former Interim National Chairman of APC, Akande and the current Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Oyetola remained the political leaders in Osun.

Basiru also hinted that the ruling party was resolute to kick-out the Ademola Adeleke's government in Osun come 2026, wrestle power from the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state in the next September 1 gubernatorial election and as well retain government for APC in Ondo state.

Addressing journalists at his residence in Osogbo, Osun State capital, at a media parley, organised to interact with members of the press in commemoration of the 2024 Eid-El-Fitr celebration, Basiru decried the anti-party moves of some people who claimed to be members of the party but worked against it in the last couple of elections and political activities held in the state.

Fielding questions from journalists on the fate of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the APC National Secretary said as far as the APC is concerned in Osun, Akande and Oyetola are the known leaders of the party.

As to whether or not the former Minister of Interior is still a member of the party, Basiru recalled the anti-party attitude of the ex-governor and his loyalists in the last governorship, State and National Assemblies as well as Presidential elections in the state, saying it is counterproductive and irrational for someone to be thinking that they are bonafide members of the party going by their antecedents in recent times.

"I don't know the question you are asking me Sir. Go and ask Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola which party does he belongs to. I am the National Secretary of the APC and I know we have done series of elections and political activities and the person you mentioned his name has never participated in any of the elections we have done since 2022 in this state. So, I don't know which party he belongs to. I have said that six months ago, I don't know which party he belongs to and he hasn't replied to me. Maybe you can go to him to ask."

Basiru reiterated his commitment to continue to hold in high esteem the duo of Akande and Oyetola and other genuine leaders and members of the party just as he dispelled alleged rift between him and the Marine and Blue Economy Minister as well as his predecessor, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

"I don't have problems with the former Governor. The truth is this, our party is a party of leadership. As at today, there are two former Governors in our party: Chief Adebisi Akande and Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola. Both of them are my leaders. So, you can not say I am fighting my leaders, anybody that says so don't know what he or she is saying. I know it can come from the PDP, you know PDP has an affiliate, it can either come from the PDP or some affiliates of the PDP that are writing their own stories. I don't have any problem with anybody," Basiru clarified.

Speaking on the level of the party's formidability and preparedness towards Edo and Ondo states governorship elections, the APC National Secretary expressed confidence in God that his party would emerge victorious.

"We are working towards the successful gubernatorial primaries in Ondo state. We have already successfully managed the primaries in Edo state and by the grace of God we are going to win the two states. Electorally, the by-election that we did last, our party performed more than 75 percent than any other political party. That speaks to the serious work that our team (National Working Committee) is doing.

"On Ondo state, Ondo state is a one party state. It is a state of our party. So, they struggle to win the ticket of our party. It is about struggling to get the ticket of our party because they know that the moment you get the APC ticket, you are home and dry. This is not a boastful venture. Go and check the House of Assembly results, go and check the senatorial and House of Representatives results. Just as we did on Edo primary, we are going to manage whatever crisis that may come out of the selection process in a very mature and cordial manner in Ondo state, and to this, we must give kudos to the leadership role being played by Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in giving moral authority to ensure that whatever crisis that emanates within the party, he tries to nip it in the bud. Some people thought we were already in crisis in Edo state but within a week, we were able to resolve the matter amicably," Basiru added.

On whether the impeached Edo state Deputy Governor and PDP gubernatorial aspirant, Philip Shaibu is joining the party or not, Basiru noted that the insinuation was still a mute question saying anybody that wants to join the party is free provided he or she writes to the appropriate arm to do so.

"There is free entry and exit in a political party. In politics, the more the merrier. The more people you can bring to your doorsteps, the more the merrier. What is even evolving in Edo state? Our gubernatorial candidate was a PDP member but he came to our party and for the first time, our party won the senatorial seat in the same senatorial seat that Tony Anenih came from and in the last national assembly election, our party won two out of three senatorial seats and even the third one was not won by the PDP but by Labour Party. So, it shows that our party is the party to beat in Edo state by the grace of God. We are confident that we are going to send Governor Godwin Obaseki and his tea-tipping politicians out of the Government House in Edo by the grace of God, come September 1, 2024.

"Though, the truth is this, we are repositioning our party in Osun and by the grace of God we are going to kick-out the nitwit in the country home, come 2026," Basiru said.

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