Eighteen months after defecting from the All Progressives Congress to the Social Democratic Party, a former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, announced on Sunday that he had returned to the APC.
Speaking with journalists after a closed-door reconciliation meeting with APC leaders in his Bourdillon home in Ikoyi, Osoba said his conflict with the leadership of the ruling party was over.
He said he was ready to work with progressive elements across the country in order to further foster peace and development.
Osoba, who fell apart with Governor Ibikunle Amosun over the control of the party’s hierarchy in Ogun State, accused Amosun of being high-handed in the administration of the state.
Prominent leaders of the APC who were at the meeting included the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; a former Interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande; APC National Vice-Chairman (South-West), Chief Pius Akinyelu; Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule; a former Ekiti State Governor, Chief Niyi Adebayo; a former Governor of Ogun State, Segun Adesegun; and Senator Gbenga Obadara.
Osoba, who did not comment on the reconciliation, only broke into a Christian hymn in Yoruba, “Ija dopin, ogun si tan, olugbala ja’gun molu, orin ayo lao ma ko, Aleluya!” – meaning: “The strife is o’er, the battle done, the victory of life is won, the song of triumph has begun, Alleluia!”
Explaining the absence of Amosun at the reconciliation meeting, Tinubu said the governor was fully in support of the reconciliation.
He said, “What is very crucial is forging one front and for us to remain progressive in our party. I am an apologetic progressive and I will remain a progressive. And that is the only philosophy and principle I believe. So, wherever the progressives must unite with their vision, I am for it.
“Nobody is left out, it is all progressives and no one is left out. The Governor of Ogun State (Ibikunle Amosun) is with us. The Governor of Ogun State was elected on the platform of the APC and he is for the APC; we can vouch for that. Leaders are defined and identified, and it is clear that we are all one, including the Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun.”
Aregbesola, who addressed journalists after the meeting, said the leaders of the party in the South-West had resolved their differences.
He said, “We have resolved all the differences within the leadership and, as such, we are happy to tell the world that the leadership of progressive politics in the western part of Nigeria is united and ready to jointly prosecute the agenda for growth, purposeful leadership, development and good governance.
“As we are committed to doing that for the entire nation and through that, support the effort at the national level to revive the Nigerian economy and put the people in a better stead than we inherited when our party took over governance in Nigeria.”
Aregbesola expressed the optimism that good governance and purposeful leadership could trigger the desired change which, according to him, would not only profit Nigeria, but also the African continent and the black race.
He added, “I have told you very clearly that the progressive leadership of the Yoruba race is now fully united and is ready and charged to lead our efforts to reposition our land and integrate with others nationwide to put Nigeria on its proper footing.
“There was a time when Osoba defected to another party, he was a foundation member of the APC and he was in the APC throughout my election. Yes, he was with the SDP, but with what we have just done today, Akinrogun Osoba, the Aremo himself, is back with the progressive leadership of the Yoruba race.”