There are pairs in this world that are known for remarkable things: Wilbur and Orville Wright for their work on powered aircraft; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar for solidifying the foundations of democratic elections in Nigeria; and Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola and his predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for their constant—but largely unspoken—feud. Recently, someone with the clout to bring an end to their quarrel was reported to have washed his hands off. This is the reason for the renewed interest in the Oyetola-Aregbesola fiasco.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the person rumoured to have washed his hands off the duo of Oyetola and Aregbesola. Whether it is because of the 2023 presidential race or because he has simply grown tired, the story is that Tinubu will no longer host any reconciliatory meeting. The consequences of this rumour, should it be true, are vague but serious.
For those who have followed the story of Oyetola and Aregbesola, nothing should come as a surprise anymore. Before Oyetola became Osun State’s number one citizen in 2018, he was Aregbesola’s highly respected Chief of Staff. While in this position, no report ever stated that Aregbesola and Oyetola exchanged words in disagreement. They were perfect friends, happy people with a shared worldview of service and situation.
Then Aregbesola handed over his mantle to Oyetola, and things took a turn for the worse.
Many analysts have attempted to theorise the cause of their feud. Some say that Aregbesola was too forceful after Oyetola took over; that he attempted to make his son, Kabiru, Oyetola’s Chief of Staff, and the new governor would have none of that. Others say that it was Oyetola that started raising his shoulders, a gesture towards which Aregbesola held no affection. Whatever the case, the issue has grown from sideways glances to reported attempts to political careers.
Now that Tinubu has reportedly removed himself from the equation, what will happen next? 2022 is around the corner, so will Oyetola bend the knee to Aregbesola to win his support? Will Aregbesola insist on Oyetola getting out of the governorship position after only one term? Time will tell.