In a move, believed to be aimed at scuttling the consultation tour of his estranged former leader, Bola Tinubu, to Oyo State last week, interior minister— Rauf Aregbesola early Monday morning visited former governor Rashidi Ladoja at his Ondo street, Bodija, Ibadan residence.
The meeting, which started around 9 lasted till 11 am, behind closed doors. He was accompanied by Bola Ilori, his chief of staff.
Though details of the meeting was not discussed, Ladoja, who wore white jalabia, later walked the duo to their car.
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Another source said Aregbesola, who had, in the past, been speculated to be nursing presidential ambition, has come to the Ibadan high chief to seek his support for Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s vice president, to emerge Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.
Aregbesola, after leaving Ladoja’s house, later addressed senior officers at the Agodi Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service? NCoS, as part of an official inspection tour of the facility on Monday.
Like Tinubu, Ladoja has relationship with Aregbesola.
The visit is coming less than 48 hours after Tinubu paid condolence visit to the state over the death of Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Soun of Ogbomoso; Oba Saliu Adetunji, Olubadan of Ibadan and former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.
OYOINSIGHT.COM recalls that Tinubu had, last Saturday, shocked many political pundits when he visited Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo State and Ladoja, apart from the three bereaved families.
Ladoja had, during last Saturday’s visit, assured Tinubu of his support towards realizing his aspiration.
But a source close to Ladoja, who spoke to this newspaper and begged not to named, quoted Ladoja as appealing to Aregbesola to reconcile with Tinubu, instead of allowing the crisis to fester.
This newspaper understands that Tinubu and Aregbesola are no longer together and the former Osun governor has been avoiding him. Their fight, inside source told OYOINSIGHT.COM, started in 2018 during the build up to the election that produced Gboyega Oyetola as his successor.
Only last Saturday, while Tinubu was in Ibadan, Aregbesola was in Osun where he openly declared that the ruling APC, in Osun is sharply divided.
Aregbesola, at the commissioning of the Digital Nigeria Centre (DNC) at Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, confirmed the existence two factions in Osun APC: one chaired by Rasaq Salinsile and the other chaired by Gboyega Famodun who is loyal to Oyetola.
Before Aregbesola visited the state, Oyetola’s spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan, had said, on a radio programme, that Aregbesola was not in support of an anti-Oyetola group – The Osun Progressives, TOP, adding that the absence of Ilesa-born minister at the meeting of the caucus with the Senator Abdulahi Adamu-led National Reconciliation Committee was a proof that TOP members had been acting without the support of Aregbesola.