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Aregbesola cancels Osun public lecture


The Osun All Progressives Congress caucus in the National Assembly has announced cancellation of a lecture titled, ‘Ten Years of Uninterrupted Progressive Government in Osun’ that has pitched the ex-governor Rauf Aregbesola against the incumbent, Adegboyega Oyetola.

Mutairu Olanrewaju, special adviser, political affairs to Senator Ajibola Basiru, the leader of APC caucus in the National Assembly confirmed the cancellation of the public lecture to Punch.

The duo were both poised to hold separate events on Friday, November 27. While Aregbesola who is the Minister of Interior planned to hold a public lecture to mark 10 years of ‘progressive administration’, Oyetola had planned on the same day, to celebrate the second anniversary of his government.

It is unclear which of the party stalwarts first fixed the date. But what is not in doubt is that the atmosphere in Osun State was already charged before Aregbesola cancelled his event. Followers of the state politics and indigenes were worried that the situation may lead to a face-off among their supporters.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had earlier warned Aregbesola to stay away from the state as they believed his  event would forestall breakdown of law and order, adding that the people suffered “maladministration” when he was in office.

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi, in a statement, had advised security agencies to be on alert over the scheduled events, adding that it is more than mere coincidence that “Aregbesola decided to mark 10 years of his administration on the very day his successor, Oyetola wanted to celebrate the second year of his administration”.

Odeyemi described the two events as a means to “test power and popularity with the use of thugs and hooligans”. The PDP chieftain said the situation has exposed the bad relationship that exists between Aregbesola and Oyetola.

“What is he coming here to celebrate? Where is MKO International Cargo Airport where over N3billion was spent by Aregbesola? What is good in his administration that Aregbesola leftover N200 billion debt according to the National Bureau of Statistics as at November, 2018 when he left government?”, Odeyemi asked.

“Aregbesola left 36 months unpaid half salaries to Osun workers and pensioners amounting to N30 billion. Where is Igi Iye project of Bola Ilori that swallowed several billions of Naira? Where is Osunwon Omoluabi introduced by Aregbesola government? Where is Osun helicopter? Why did Aregbesola refuse to pay pensioners their gratuities for eight years?”, he quipped.

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