The Untold Story Of The Feud Between Tinubu And Aregbesola

The Untold Story Of The Feud Between Tinubu And Aregbesola


By Lateef Taiwo

Former Lagos State governor , Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the acclaimed Leader of the All Progressives Congress , APC has denied any rift between him and unarguably his closest ally and now Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, his Commissioner for Works when he was governor of Lagos State.


There have been strong indications that Tinubu and his one-time ally Aregbesola have fallen apart despite the denial,  AljazirahNigeria investigation has revealed.
Rauf was Tinubus Commissioner for Works and at the end of his tenure, Tinubu pushed him to Osun State and made him governor, after his tour of duty in Osun State, he was Tinubus choice for ministerial appointment and has remained Tinubus Man Friday heading the most influential political Group in Lagos State, The Mandate.
In Lagos politics there exist two political groups who decide who becomes what, the mandate Group and the Governors Advisory Council, GAC.
While the GAC leader consist of Tinubu, the Governor of Lagos State with other senatorial leaders, the Mandate Group, the mandate Group, formed in 2003 as Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organization, BACO, with Rauf Aregbeshola, James Odumbakun and Banire, as the main drivers of the organization, the organization later transformed and rechristened Mandate Group, which aim and objective was to maintain its hold on Lagos politics and also to tackle the Mufutau Hamza led Justice Forum. Mufutau Hamza, is the father of the present deputy governor of Lagos State. While it lasted Tinubu was like the Prime Minister of Lagos, while Aregbesola was his alter ego.
So influential was Aregbesolas hold on Lagos that when things were falling apart for Akinwumi Ambode as governor, he ran to Osun State for reprieve. However, Tinubu has since denied the rift, he attempted the clarifications through his aide Tunde Rahman in a statement that admitted without conceding that the dissolution of the Aregbesola s Mandate Group was a knee jerk reactions from Tinubus camp.
Rahaman statement partly stated that the Minister and Tinubu still have a healthy relationship. He alleged that; The Governors Advisory Council, GAC, headed by Ahmed Tinubu appropriate and candid resolution doing away with blocs in the All Progressive Congress, APC, in the state , including the Mandate Group has led to a phantom cold war between Aregbesola and Ahmed Bola Tinubu
The statement read in part; Today, the Governing Advisory Council, GAC , the highest decision making body within the APC, in Lagos state, passed a resolution calling for the disbandment of all factional groups within the Party , this was to promote discipline, harmony and cohesiveness and engender Party supremacy, the All Progressives Congress, APC, is one united political family in Lagos state he stated.
Continuing, the statement stated The GAC is a strong body within APC in Lagos State, its resolution is not targeted at any particular individual or collection of individuals
The resolution was to restate the often stated position that the only Group known to us is APC and not any of the factional Groups. It is to renew the Commitment to APC and its Unity.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, is a strong member of the political Family. The GAC position does not imply any division within the group, the resolution is well meaning and should not be misinterpreted Rahaman struggled to cast doubt on the narratives being spread.
 
If this statement from Tinubu was meant to douse the suspicion and fear that the Tinubus political empire is on a free fall, Aljazirah Nigeria source within the party said The statement shows there is problem, if there was discipline, cohesiveness and harmony why the dissolution? This was the group that has been in existence since 2003, it is the structure Tinubu used for his second term, it was the same mandate Group that installed Fashola and Akinwumi Ambode, as Governors, at what point did Tinubu realized that the Group has become an agent of distablization? Asked Aljazirah Source.
Indeed the undercurrent threatening Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubus control of Lagos politics and  the South west is both within and without.
Two weeks ago Rauf Aregbesola, Tinubus age long political associate and protégé, had revamped the Mandate Group, The Tinubu core supporters Group and appointed his protégé Abdulahi Enilolobo, as the new Chairman, removing Tinubus right hand man, James Odumbakun, who was elevated to Apex Leader a rank Considered to be meaningless in the scheme of things.
The appointment of James Odumbakun, if anything offered insight into the emerging crack in Tinubus political dynasty. For instance Aljazirah Nigeria gathered that if the appointment was a mere coincidence with the 63rd birthday of Aregbesola, for the first time since the formation of the Mandat Group, Aregbesola decided to host the group at Ikeja GRA, in a house formerly owned by Musilu Obanikoro.
Since 2003 the Mandate Group never rented an office until a day after the birthday, Aljazirah Nigeria gathered.
The current cold war between Aregbesola and his partner Tinubu, comes with dejavu , Aljazirah Nigeria learnt it might not be unconnected with the Augean stable Aregbesola left behind in Osun state and the battle for the control of Lagos State in2023.
Apart from the heavy debt left behind in Osun State, Governor Oyetola, Aregbsolas successor, Tinubus cousin , who served as Chief of Staff to Rauf Aregbesola,  has been quietly complaining about Osuns finances that he inherited from Aregbesola.
Apart from the heavy debt burden inform of unpaid salaries , Oyetola was also not happy about Aregbesolas tinkering with the administration of the state in the dying days of his eight years in Osun state, which has made governance cumbersome .
Oyetola, after his swearing in as the governor of Osun state, Aljazirah Nigeria checks revealed, there were series of reversal of the policies in the state. For instance, changing of School Uniform, reclassification of the public schools system and abolishing of single sex schools which Aregbesola introduced in 2013. Also the state is now back to its constitutional name Osun State.
For governor Oyetola and Aregbesola, the relationship has not been smooth.
For this policy, Governor Nasir elRufai of Kaduna state, is one of his fans.
El-rufai loves Aregbesola but detest Tinubu, on May 25, when Aregbesola marked his 63rd birthday with a virtual colloquium, Nasir elRufai an unlikely partner of Aregbesola took the shine off the celebrants when he told the virtual gathering that he copied Aregbesolas policy and style of leadership to develop Kaduna State.
Again, Elrufai had in the past spoken about how to end godfatherisim in Lagos state, an apparent snide remarks at Tinubu who has controlled the state since 1999. But AljazirahNigeria gathered that he is not only Tinubus opponent, Aregbesola is becoming comfortable recently, his recent closeness to Ibukunle Amosun, the former governor of Ogun State is said to have rattled Tinubus camp.
Indeed, after the birthday he played host to key members of the Mandate Group at his residence Ikeja GRA, in attendance were also Senator Solomon Adeola, Senator for Lagos West, Tayo Ayinde, Sanwolus Chief of Staff and Enilolobo and Senator Sikiru pepper Osinowo.
Indeed there has been suspicion that the allegations of corruption and rot in the Lagos State House of Assembly is an extension of the cold war between Aregbesola and Tinubu.
Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the assembly is believed to be a die-hard Tinubu loyalist.
Aljazirah Nigeria source alleged that there is a gang up between Aregbesola , Senator Osinowo representing Lagos East , Senator Olamilekan Solomon , Lagos West , and Tayo Ayinde, the Chief of Staff to the governor to weaken the influence of Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker Lagos House of assembly. They are all members of the Mandate Group.
In view of this Aljazirah Nigeria gathered, Aregbesola drafted one of his stooges Abdullahi Ayinde Enilolobo to head the Mandate Group while the likes of James Odumbakun  aka Baba Eto and Alhaji Badmus were relegated and compelled to support Enilolobo, said a well informed source.
Until the emergence of the Aregbesolas Mandate Group, the group had no official Office. They either use Aregbesolas residence in GRA, Dopemu or James Odumbakus residence, Said our source.
The last is yet to be heard as Tinubu fights from all fronts to sustain his turbulent political career ahead 2023.


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Bola TinubuRauf Aregbesola