Members of the Osun All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to a former governor of the state and Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola have announced a cessation of hostilities within the party in the state.
The faction also extended a hand of friendship to all genuine progressives for an all-inclusive meeting for the rebuilding of the party within the next week.
This was made known by Najeem Salaam, former Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly during a press conference by The Osun Progressives (TOP) on Tuesday in Osogbo.
Salaam who revealed that he had the mandate of the leaders and members of TOP to invite other caucuses in the Osun APC and other parties to join in the endeavour, added that the call is one aimed at burying the hatchet and working for the greater good and service to humanity through progressive governance.
While maintaining that the reconciliation aims to ensure freedom for all and life more abundant for the people, Salaam stressed that the party is a platform for Omoluabi politicians and not the theatre of absurdity for all comers.
In his words, “We are gathered here today, given the trajectory of our party and the electoral misfortune we suffered in the governorship election of July 16, 2022, leading to our painful loss, to espouse our resolve and the way forward. We are here to inform the generality of our members and admirers that the progressive party that promotes their interests, protects their values and guarantees their rights is alive and ready to champion their cause once again.
“Our party has a tradition of progressivism dating back to Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group in the First Republic. It metamorphosed into the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the Second Republic, coalesced into the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the aborted Third Republic and emerged as Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999.
“It has since then transmuted into Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and now the All Progressives Congress (APC). Its name and the epoch notwithstanding, this tradition makes the people and their welfare the centre of politics and government. Whenever this tendency detracts from this raison d’etre, it loses power.
“Therefore, I, Right Honourable Najeem Folasayo Salaam, conscious of the huge responsibility of history and the support of our sincere and committed progressive leaders and members in the State of Osun, declare cessation of hostilities and invite all genuine progressives to an all-inclusive meeting for the rebuilding of our party within the next one week.
“We are therefore extending our hand of fellowship to everyone who is a progressive at heart and loves good governance in our party, in the other parties and independents who are hitherto not aligned to any party.
“Consequent to this, and to demonstrate our readiness for this leap of faith, I have the mandate of our leaders and members to invite other progressives in other caucuses in the Osun APC and other parties and like minds across the state to join us in this endeavour. This is a call for unity of purpose in our party and beyond. It is a call for burying the hatchet and working for the greater good and service to humanity through progressive governance.”
He also revealed that the aim of holding the press conference is to announce the dissolution of factional tendencies of all shades in the party with the sole objective of harmonising all core progressives on a rebuilding mission.
“We are hereby dissolving The Osun Progressives (TOP) and the faction of the party associated with it to facilitate the unity of purpose that this time requires. For effective closure, we will have a truth and reconciliation forum within the party when fully restructured with the sole purpose of preventing any recurrence of the ugly past. With this hand of fellowship and the olive branch, it is my belief that a new vista of hope, vision, passion and action will emerge in our Party.
“We are OMOLUABI in politics and everything we do. Omoluabi is the Yoruba encapsulation of the total person. An Omoluabi is a person of honour and integrity. An Omoluabi is chivalrous, enlightened, spiritual, kind-hearted and public-spirited. An Omoluabi is not greedy, vicious, selfish or self-serving. Omoluabi personifies the very best of virtues.
“We shall preach political virtue, in line with our tradition and relentlessly pursue public good – the greatest good for the greatest number. No one will be left behind on our watch. We will seek political power for service and we shall hold it in trust for the people.”