Aregbesola Plan to Scuttle Fashola's Govt Exposed!
A sinister plot is being hatched by Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola to scuttle the government of Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola seems to be gaining momentum as emerging indices presage that Governor Fashola is up in arms against
some disgruntled top brass within the Action Congress of Nigeria, because of his rising profile and growing influence with the party. A Government House source in Alausa confided to Huhuonline.com that Aregbesola is using his position as the former Lagos State Commissioner for Works to bring undue pressure to bear on Fashola over his choice of cabinet members. 'Even though Aregbesola has left Lagos for Osun, the man still has his tentacles everywhere in Lagos State, because of the influence he wielded as Commissioner for Works,' noted the source, adding: 'it is this influence, and his position within the Action Congress that he is using to impose his cronies in strategic portfolios within the new Lagos State government, so that he can continue to exercise control over Lagos State by proxy.'
Huhuonline.com understands that Aregbesola influence in the ACN, especially in Lagos State has become so pervasive that not even Fashola can ignore him. As the quintessential grass root politician, Aregbesola wields enormous influence and power with the rank and file, making him some sort of a 'king-maker' in the party. The man has cast a long shadow over Lagos State government to the extent that, even when he left the Ministry, Governor Fashola couldn't muster the courage to appoint another Commissioner for Works. Rather, he appointed a Special Adviser for Works who seems to be acting as a 'regent' for Aregbesola.
But all that changed when Fashola became the flag bearer that inspired and led the ACN to victory in the South-West. ACN campaign ads showcased Fashola's achievements in Lagos State as a screaming barometer reading of what the party can offer - sterling achievements under purposeful leadership - as a viable alternative to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This did not go done well with some ACN officials, including Aregbesola, who would have preferred to take the credit for Fashola's, and by extrapolation, the ACN's increasing electoral fortunes. It also did not help that Fashola became more vocal and critical of the entrenched practice of 'god-fatherism' within the party.
To which end, Aregbesola, who saw his position of power and privilege threatened by Fashola, is reported to have masterminded and orchestrated a schism that strained relations between Fashola and the ACN hierarchy, including the party chairman, Bola Tinubu. According to one ACN source, 'the very powerful Aregbesola was one of the brains behind the political problems between the governor and the leader of the ACN, Bola Tinubu,' adding that for anyone to become an elected officer in the state, he must first be ordained by the Osun State Governor. Noted our source: "it is true that Tinubu is to appoint almost all the Commissioners in the state, but I can authoritatively tell you that Aregbesola is the one who is drafting the names of the appointees because as a grass root politician in Lagos state, he understands the politicians more than even Tinubu. That is why the former governor relies on him for issues of such appointments," the source added.
The source, who is a Fashola loyalist attributed Aregbesola's antics to undermine Fashola to a clash of egos. It is believed that with Aregbesola's loyalists occupying key positions in Fashola's government, they will stand in the way of some of Governor Fashola's ambitious projects and try to slow him down and frustrate him, so other CAN governors can measure up to Fashola's public record of achievements.
Said the source: 'anyone in the ACN and even in the PDP not blinded by prejudice and bad faith will indeed, recognize the fact that Governor Fashola has indeed brought meaningful changes to Lagos State. The problem is that Fashola has set the bar too high for other ACN governors, so they are jealous of him and are trying to bring him down.' He also said another reason the ACN leadership was doing everything to gag Fashola is to preempt a repetition of what happened during the election campaigns when the governor allegedly sponsored candidates the Labor Party and those close to him against the ACN. "They do not want a re-occurrence of that. They also do not want a situation where Fashola would end up building a political structure he would fall back on for use as a springboard for a possible run at Aso Rock when he eventually leaves office," the source intimated.
But a source loyal to the Osun State Governor dismissed the allegations as the handiwork of political mischiefs out to embarrass Aregbesola and foment discord within the CAN. 'Governor Aregbesola has a lot to grapple with in Osun state and does not have the time to interfere with the affairs of Governor Fashola and Lagos State,' he quipped, adding: 'since he (Aregbesola) left Lagos for Osun, he has remained focused on his government. "That does not mean he does not have roots in Lagos as you rightly claimed and the politicians must continue to associate with him in that regard. But I must tell you that those peddling such allegations only desire to cause problems between the governors and weaken the structure of the party in order to pave the way for opposition parties in subsequent elections," the source explained.
How the ACN and its officials, including the party hierarchy handle this simmering crisis still remains to be seen, but one thing in certain: the long shadow cast on the Lagos State government by Aregbesola and his cat-mouse relationship with Fashola can no longer be swept under the carpet.