Three All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains in Osun State, namely; former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuff, former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and former Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam, have resolved not to back down on their ‘rescue mission’ for the APC.
This was due to a reportedly collective rejections of an invite of the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinunbu extended to them through the Nigeria’s Ambassador to Mexico, Hon. Adejare Bello.
According to Osun Defender, the trio chieftains are said to be unmoved in their “rescue mission” of the state APC.
The invitation which was conveyed to the two politicians by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Mexico, Hon. Adejare Bello, was aimed at talking to the APC chieftains to drop their ‘Osun West’ agenda and their governorship ambition to support the second term ambition of Governor Oyetola, according to sources.
It was gathered that Bello called Adeoti on phone on Thursday, January 6, to fix an appointment with him to deliver Tinubu’s message.
But Adeoti, according to the sources, insisted that the message be discussed on phone and quickly turned down the invitation.
A close friend of the former SSG who was privy to the phone conversation said: “I was with Adeoti when Adejare Bello called him. He (Bello) wanted to come to visit Adeoti but Alhaji insisted that he should be briefed on phone.
“I did not know what Adejare Bello was saying at the other end but I heard Adeoti saying: ‘Tinubu said I should see him in Lagos? I cannot go and see him. Tell him I said I am not meeting him. Besides, he knows how to get across to me directly. I am not visiting him. There is nothing for us to discuss.’
“Adeoti was not ready to be persuaded. He was blunt and direct. I think because of his response, Bello felt it was not necessary to visit him again.”
When contacted, Adeoti refused to comment on the matter.
It was also gathered that Tinubu also invited Najeem Salaam who also rejected the invitation.
According to some of Salaam’s aides, the former Speaker told Bello that if Tinubu wants to see him, he should come through his leader, Aregbesola.
The aides said: “Speaker told Hon. Bello that he was not ready to meet Tinubu. He said he cannot be deceived like 2018 again. He recalled that it was the same Tinubu that persuaded him to drop his governorship ambition for Oyetola in 2018. And the same Tinubu had refused to call Oyetola to order since the crisis began.
“Speaker said if Tinubu was desirous of seeing him, he should come through his leader, Aregbesola.”
It would be recalled that Osun APC members of the National Assembly had visited the former Lagos State Governor to persuade him to wade into the rift between Aregbesola and Oyetola.
According to the member, who spoke with journalist under condition of anonymity, Tinubu told them that he was not ready to talk to Aregbesola but needed to get both Adeoti and Salaam to support Oyetola.
The source said: “We went to Asiwaju to persuade him to resolve the rift between our two leaders, Aregbesola and Oyetola. We had the believe that it is only Asiwaju that could resolve the matter. But, I am not a pessimist, the matter cannot be resolved again. It is bigger than we thought.
“Asiwaju said a lot of things that cannot be said outside. We were all surprised because we did not expect such from him. He said he was not willing to talk to Aregbesola. That scared me because I did not know the rift has gotten to that extent.
“He is prepared for the second term ambition of Oyetola. He told us that he has the money and power to prosecute his second term. He said he needed to gain Adeoti and Salaam to Oyetola’s side. I think he wants to politically undress Aregbesola by taking influential politicians away from him.
“The fight is actually between Aregbesola and Asiwaju. With what he told us that day, the rift between the two of them is not unconnected with the 2023 presidential ambition of Asiwaju which he believes Aregbesola is also interested in.”
Political analysts had earlier observed that the relationship between Tinubu and Aregbesola is frosty.
According to the political analysts, Oyetola would not have and does not have the capacity to wage war against Aregbesola without the support of his uncle, Tinubu.
The analysts pointed out that the rift between the Governor and the Minister would have been settled had Tinubu not taken side with his cousin, Governor Oyetola.