Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu have denied having any rift between them.
This reaction was in response to an online publication which claimed that Aregbesola launched the dissolution of political groups in Lagos in order to fuel his 2023 presidential ambition.
It was reported that this was the reason for the “cold war” between the former Osun Governor and his political godfather.
Aregbesola, however, denied the claims, describing Tinubu as his political leader and mentor, adding that he owes the entire success of his political career to the party’s National Leader.
He also debunked claims of having intentions to contest the 2023 presidential elections.
According to him, he knows where the story came from and the identity of those sponsoring it.
The Minister further said:
“Rift with Asiwaju Tinubu? Nothing can be more impossible! Nothing can be farther from the truth. I remain committed to my mentor,” Aregbesola said, adding that “the group our detractors claim has been banned is the most committed to the realization of Asiwaju’s ambition.
They even said I have presidential ambition. False!”
The Minister reiterated that the APC is one, adding that the party is like an oak tree that keeps growing.
Aregbesola said his focus and goal is to execute his ministerial duties as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also urged his supporters to ignore the publication in its entirety and “refrain from being distracted from the goal of building a strong APC as well as a united Nigeria.”
Commemorating his 63rd birthday recently, Aregbesola said he owes everything he has become to Tinubu.
“The hero of what I have done and become today is Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He takes all the glory apart from God,” Aregbesola had said.
Tinubu’s Reaction to the Alleged Rift
Reacting to the alleged rift, Tinubu in a statement said:
“Today, the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), the highest decision-making body within the All Progressives Congress (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 cohesion and engender party supremacy. The APC is one united political family in Lagos.
“Our attention has, however, been drawn to a report in an online newspaper alleging that the GAC’s appropriate and candid resolution had worsened a phantom cold war between Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
“This is a figment of the imagination of the news organization that authored the report. Asiwaju Tinubu remains Rauf Aregbesola’s leader. The former governor of Osun State has been unswervingly and wholly committed to the progressive ideology of the Tinubu political family.
“There is no war, cold or hot, between them. There has never been and there will never be. Asiwaju believes in him and he believes in the APC leader.
“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.”
It would be recalled that prior to contesting the Osun gubernatorial elections, Aregbesola served as the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in Lagos during the Bola Tinubu administration.
He Governed Osun State from 2010 to 2018.