By Kayode Fasua
The camp of the Interior Minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Thursday sneered at a warning by opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which warned the minister not to visit the state, to avert a breakdown of law and order.
The PDP in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Prince Diran Odeyemi, on Wednesday, advised the minister to shelve his plan to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of All Progressives Congress (APC) reign in the state, as it could lead to social unrest.
The PDP hinged its call on alleged disaffection between Aregbesola and Governor Gboyega Oyetola, who is also planning to celebrate his second year anniversary, and also on alleged corrupt practices in the Aregbesola era, which might infuriate the Osun public.
But in a swift reaction, a security consultant to Aregbesola, who is also his close aide, Mr. Dipo Okeyomi, decribed the PDP warning as “the ranting of a drowning party”.
Okeyomi, popularly called ‘Carry Go’, said in an interview with THISDAY, “The PDP people, especially in Osun, are mostly rabble-rousers and attention seekers; who, realising that the party is already in disarray, now choose open blackmail as survival straw.
“They are still to recover from what I will call ‘COVID-18’, which is their loss in the Osun 2018 governorship election, at a time they had done all the dress rehearsal to occupy the Okefia Government House.”
Okeyomi said contrary to the claim by the PDP that Aregbesola and his political godson, Governor Oyetola, were on war path, the relationship between the two politicians had been very cordial.
“Insinuations of disaffection between Ogbeni (Aregbesola) and Governor Oyetola is the figment of imagination of the PDP.
“The two of them speak regularly and are in fact, planning this anniversary together. As a security consultant to the honorable minister, and a friend to His Excellency, the state governor, what I am telling you is authentic,” he said.
According to him, nobody can stop Aregbesola from coming to celebrate in Osun, a state which he governed “for good eight years, leaving with public applause.”
“Aregbesola is like a lion and which animal, for God’s sake, can bar the lion from playing in the wood?”, he asked rhetorically.
Okeyomi also dismissed allegations of corrupt enrichment levelled against Aregbesola by the PDP, with a challenge to the party to provide its proofs before the anti-graft agencies.
“It is on record that Aregbe has never for once been invited to answer to corrupt charges by the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) or any other anti-graft agency in the land.
“Rather, he keeps receiving praises from Nigerians, for transforming Osun State to a ‘small London’, away from the infrastructural decay that dotted the PDP era in the state.
Okeyomi advised the PDP “to face its internal crisis in the South-West, rather than turn itself to a busy-body in the affairs of Osun APC”.