The immediate past minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has restated his commitment to progressive ideals and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, even as he stated that political parties are amalgamation of different interests and tendencies.
Ogbeni Aregbesola renewed his commitment to the party during the launch of Omoluabi Caucus of the All Progressives Congress in Ilesa, on Tuesday, August 22, 2023.
Describing the Omoluabi Caucus as one of the many caucuses in the state, the former two-term governor of Osun, noted that the caucus was not a faction of the party, but a union of like-minds in the state.
“The Omoluabi Tendency is a caucus within the All Progressives Congress (APC); actually one of the caucuses in the state. We are not a faction. We are the genuine foundation members of the party and we have no intention of abandoning the ship of the party as it navigates the most turbulent waters. We are no sprinters, but long-distance runners and we will still be standing when all the fair-weathers have gone.
“A political party is actually an agglomeration of interests and tendencies. Reading well from the United States where we borrowed the Presidential System, we can see that the Republican Party is made up of big businesses, nationalists, religious right and others. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is composed of welfarists, labour unions, ethnic and sexual minorities and others.
“They are together in the party because their interests are broadly similar and they believe the party is the right vehicle for them to realise their goals. Sometimes they compete and clash, but for most part, they cooperate and form strong bond to give their party the victory in every election cycle. The party loses anytime this bond is broken,” Ogbeni Aregbesola stated.
The immediate past minister also stated that the launch of the Omoluabi Caucus was to renew their path in progressive politics as inherited from Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Bola Ige, amongst other progressives who epitomised the Omoluabi ethos, noting that the loss of the party in the state could be traced to the departure from these progressive ideals, but revealing that it would bounce back to its winning ways.
“What we have come to do here today is to renew our commitment to the path of progressive ideology and politics as inherited from our great past heroes, beginning from Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Chief Bola Ige and others in the pantheon of progressive politics too numerous to mention.
“Emerging from the ashes of the near annihilation of our party in the governorship election of 2022 and the general election earlier this year, we should rise up and renew our strength and reclaim our place in the political firmament in Osun.
“We have been at this juncture before, after the 2003 election in which our party lost the stakes and was at its nadir in the state. At that point, like-minded progressives under the banner of Oranmiyan emerged to begin a movement that mobilised our members and the people of the state into a veritable electoral machine that won the 2007 governorship election which ushered an epoch making two term administration in the state and handed over to a successor from our party,” Ogbeni Aregbesola stated.
Ogbeni Aregbesola stated that it was clear the people had not rejected the progressives in Osun, given the warm reception accorded to his tendency; they were only unhappy with the managers of the party at that time.
“Given the enthusiastic and heartfelt reception accorded us by the people anytime we are in the state, it is clear that they did not reject us or our party. They are only not well pleased with the individuals who have turned our party to personal fiefdom and abandoned the path of progressivism and the interest of the people.
“Our party failed principally because of indiscipline and lack/loss of focus. This is manifested in form of lack of character and incompetence. Character is the mental and moral qualities required in an individual to occupy certain office or perform certain task. Competence is the skill required to get specific task done. It is bad when one of the two is absent, but it is always catastrophic when both are absent. It is beyond disputation how the absence of these virtues spelt doom for our party in the recent past.
“These virtues are integral to the Omoluabi ethos in Yoruba belief system. When we were at the helm here, we not only lived this ethos, we made conscious effort to revive and promote it among the generality of the people of the state. We should therefore consciously return to this path of rectitude and distinguish ourselves as Omoluabi in its most pristine form,” Ogbeni Aregbesola charged members of the newly formed caucus.
After the formal launch of the caucus, the group adopted its charter which included progressivism, Omoluabi ethos, discipline, competence and inclusivity as its core values.
Members of the caucus are drawn from each of the 332 wards in the state and were represented by five members each from each of the local governments in the state.