Conflict in everyday life, in relationships at home and abroad, as well as in business endeavour is an inescapable eventuality. Ability, after all, invites challenge and challenge is a regular precursor to conflict. Conflict is good. Conflict might even be a welcome guest from time to time. But when there is neither definite origin nor foreseeable end, then conflict must be avoided at all costs. The tale of the present governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, and that of his predecessor, Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola is one of many settings. If ever there is debate over the creative spectacles that go on within the ins and inners of the Nigerian polity, Oyetola and Aregbesola are a case in study. Other than being partners in the governance of the cherished Osun State, the reportedly undulant relationship of both these power handlers has in recent times inadvertently provided a humbling cavalcade for reading, viewing, and meditative pleasure.
To begin with, both men have quite a bunch in common. The obvious thread is their origin as seeds of Osun State – while Aregbesola is a native of Ilesa, Oyetola was born in Iragbiji. Then there is the shared political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Moreover, both men are educated enough to pass off as learned colleagues. Even their political ambitions are somewhat similar – although here again, there is a slight divergence, with Aregbesola up to his chest in politics, while Oyetola’s years in politics are comparatively belt-high. In any case, there has been an alleged tiff between the two men over the leadership of APC. This is an interesting tidbit because Aregbesola has long since moved away from state-level politicking with his position as the minister of interior. All things considered, this is only one of the purported reasons behind the cold camaraderie between them. Interestingly, both of them – Aregbesola especially – have passionately attempted to snuff out all speculations of any such squabble. In their own opinion, nothing is wrong with their friendship and they are equally jolly good fellows. As all rumours of the raging spat were being laid to rest, Ogbeni Aregbesola absented himself from the one-year anniversary of Oyetola. According to informed sources, Aregbesola deliberately shunned the ceremony, choosing to be elsewhere rather than near his successor.