Femi Makinde, Osogbo
A former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, may clash with Governor Rauf Aregbesola over the choice of who succeeds the latter as the preparations for the governorship election in the state begin to gather momentum.
Oyinlola, on Friday tasked the people of the Osun West Senatorial District to search for a young and educated candidate with the capacity to lead the state after the expiration of Aregbesola’s tenure in November.
But it is believed in many quarters that Aregbesola is backing his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, who is from Iragbiji in Osun Central Senatorial District to succeed him in the election scheduled to hold in September.
Speaking in Ede at the 10th coronation anniversary lecture of the Timi of Ede, Oba Adesola Lawal, Oyinlola said he was ready to support whoever the people of Osun West would present as their governorship candidate.
Oyinlola, who has publicly identified with the coalition proposed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, explained that Osun West had only ruled the state for 22 months out of the 27 years of existence of Osun State.
He noted it would be unjust to deny the senatorial district the chance to produce the next governor of the state, stressing that he would support the district in order to correct the imbalance.
Oyinlola urged the people of the state to dismiss the rumour that he had a particular person in mind.
He insisted that he had nobody in mind but promised to support anybody brought forward by the district to contest the governorship poll.
He, however, said he had no interest to contest despite the calls that he should contest again.
He said, “ Out of 27 years of existence of Osun State, the West has only been there (governorship position) for just 22 months. The aspiration of the founding fathers of the state is that no part should be marginalised.
“I don’t mind if I stand alone. I have told my political family to find an educated young person from the West Senatorial District who can lead the state after the tenure of the governor. I said that is the man I will want you to bring to me.
“Please, Oyinlola has nobody in mind. I am saying that in all sincerity and in all honesty. In the West, scout for us somebody to lead us after the expiration of the tenure of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbeola, I’m not bothered about what anybody has to say.”
However, the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Sola Fasure, when contacted by our correspondent, said Aregbesola had nobody in mind but that the governor would support anybody the party leaders brought forward as the consensus candidate.
He said, “The leadership of the party is holding a series of meetings on the matter and the governor says it is the candidate that the leadership of the party agrees on that he will support.”
Asked if the All Progressives Congress would go through primary to pick its governorship candidate, the governor’s spokesperson said the party would resort to this if the consensus arrangement failed.
Fasure said, “You know that the tradition of the party from the time of the Action Group to the Alliance for Democracy has been to have consensus but it is when consensus failed that they would go to primary.”