As Oyinlola returns to his vomit


By Kayode Ojo
For a long time, former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has spoken of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its leadership in unkind words. It is, after-all, the party which displaced him from the states topmost post by fraudulently manipulating the judiciary and has, since November 2010 when Rauf Aregbesola took over as governor, been relentless in dismantling whatever his legacies in office are. He had sworn never to forgive their leader, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu (whom he usually accuses of abandoning his parents in Iragbiji, Osun state, for political expediency in Lagos), for that perfidy.

But things have changed and so have the times. Oyinlolas political relevance has equally taken a profound dip, leaving him looking for any straw to clutch on. Not only has the one-time National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) exited the party, he has teamed up with—of all people — Tinubu and the APC. Early in the week in Osogbo, âOyinas he is popularly called, said he was dumping the PDP because the party was unfair to him and former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other leaders from the South West. Though the defection came with no surprises to anyone, the stated basis for his departure must be seen for what it is: an exercise in self-justification.

It is not always that a man behaves like the dog and returns to his vomit like Oyinlola has just done. It is obvious the man has come to his wits end in his efforts to return to his erstwhile position as PDP National scribe. After dribbling himself out of political reckoning in the PDP, he has, like a cornered rabbit, been looking for any escape route. So his journey to political wilderness did not start this week in Osogbo; the Okuku Prince has been on it since January last year when he got himself entangled in an intricate web of political intrigues largely because of his selfish political interests and which ultimately forced him out of Wadata Plaza nearly two years ago.

As many people said last Monday, his departure from the PDP was good riddance to bad rubbish, and added to his profile of treachery and inconsistency. His defection from the PDP therefore came with no surprise to many who have followed his ignominious role in the party whose leadership he had claimed to be part of. For the political godson of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to blame the PDP for his obvious shortcomings is therefore an attempt to pull the wool over our faces. He is simply being uncharitable and economical with the truth.

Indeed, his trouble in the party had commenced when Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court declared that his nomination and subsequent election as the PDP National Secretary were invalid, null and void. Rather than seek a solution to the problem, he had aligned with the like of Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Atiku Abubakar and some PDP Governors to rebel against the party and seek its factionalisation. By joining the rebellion, the Okuku prince, wittingly or unwittingly, got his neck into a noose which through his actions and utterances, increasingly tightened. Then he put himself forward as National Secretary of the New PDP, the contraption that emerged from that rebellion while still seeking his recall to Wadata Plaza to supplant the newly-installed scribe, Professor Adewale Oladapo. Even Janus, the Roman god with two faces, was not that duplicitous.

The APC leaders provided him the escape route: its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; Chief Bisi Akande and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had, immediately after the defeat of Governor Kayode Fayemi by Mr. Ayo Fayose in Ekiti State, visited Oyinlola at his residence in Okuku to woo him to join the party. It was an opportunity like no other for Oyinlola who had clearly become a political liability, to stake another claim to relevance. How much impact he can make to steer the APC from imminent defeat in the August 9 governorship elections, remains to be seen.

In joining the APC, was Oyinlola finding solace in the party or was he simply frustrated by his inability to regain the coveted party position of National Secretary? Your guess is as good as mine. For a man who went cap-in-hand to the State House Abuja, as late as last month, to beg President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP National Chairman, Adamu Maazu, for a soft landing, one can understand his frustrations. It had since become clear to him that the party would not bend the rules and allow a man who so shamelessly rebelled against it and promoted its factionalisation to return to its national secretariat as its Chief Administrative and Accounting Officer.

In spite of Oyinlolas face-saving and self-justifying statements, his defection to the APC is punishment for his sordid political indiscretions, pure and simple. His exit from the PDP is therefore long overdue as no man has his cake and still eats it.

His claim that the party was unfair to Obasanjo, and that the South West has been marginalized in sharing of political positions in the country is simply an afterthought by a man who has always fought for his own narrow interests. Poor âOyin! It is a pity that his rebellion has finally consumed him.

Mr Ojo sent this piece from Ketu, Lagos.
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