Why Jagaban Is Trending in Osun State

February 21, 2022

A few days before the 2018 Osun state governorship election, Bola Tinubu made national headlines for claiming to be richer than the entire state.

Jagaban, as he’s fondly called, made that claim after being accused of installing a governorship candidate to harvest the state’s money for him.

Have you seen the state of his (Bullion) vans? Mad!

Four years later, months to another Osun governorship election, the former Lagos state governor is back to becoming a trending topic in Osun state.

From where to where?

As far as godfathers go in Nigerian politics, Jagaban is top of his class.

He has handpicked all the three governors that have emerged in Lagos since he left the Government House in 2007.

His reach extends across much of the southwest too, which means he’s had one or two things to say about who gets picked where in the region.

The candidate he was accused of installing four years ago is Gboyega Oyetola who is also his cousin.

This guy.

Oyetola narrowly won the 2018 election and is now trying to win a second term in office. But his bid has caused some friction in the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A trip down memory lane? Why not?

Before there was Oyetola as Jagaban’s alleged Osun patsy, there was Rauf Aregbesola, the current Minister of Interior, who likes to be called Ogbeni.

You may remember him as the guy that announces the public holidays you love so much.

He’s also the guy that did this, for some reason:

Ogbeni served as Lagos Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure under Tinubu’s administration before he was drafted to take over as governor in Osun.

Cousin Oyetola was, at the time, handpicked by you-know-who to serve as Ogbeni’s Chief of Staff for his two terms as governor until it was his own time to take over the top seat in 2018.

Ogbeni publicly backed Oyetola’s run to replace him, but it was no secret that it wasn’t his decision.

Jagaban was pulling the strings from miles away.

Back to the present

Having a godfather in Nigerian politics, especially one of Jagaban’s status, can be one hell of a boost.

The only problem is you’re a dog on a leash, and acting out of line isn’t in the master plan. Ask Akinwunmi Ambode.

Never to be forgotten for making waist trainers great again.

Ogbeni’s second-hand godfather role in getting Oyetola elected didn’t do much to create any meaningful bond between both of them.

The current governor took over the Government House and started moving furniture around.

Ogbeni’s signature policies, like his unpopular unification of school uniforms, were thrown in the bin.

Cousin Oyetola basically called his predecessor a terrible decorator who was drunk on the job and blew the paint budget on shawarma.

But also, what was this seriously about?

Captain Jagaban: Civil War

Tinubu’s name started ringing out in Osun again just days before the APC’s primary election to decide the flagbearer for the July 16, 2022 governorship election.

In a gathering last week with supporters of his faction, The Osun Progressives (TOP), Ogbeni openly called Jagaban a hypocrite.

His argument was simple. Oyetola made a mockery of his legacy and has done nothing to deserve a second term. If Jagaban could engineer the death of Ambode’s second term in Lagos for the same reason, why won’t he do it to Oyetola?

We suspect it’s the blood ties doing the magic here, but we cannot claim to know the Jagaban’s motivations.

This rally was so chaotic that someone with a mic loudly mocked Jagaban for reportedly peeing himself in public.

Who won?

Ogbeni can no longer run for the governor’s seat, so he threw his support behind Moshood Adeoti who is believed to have been his choice four years ago.

But when the APC elected its flagbearer on February 19, 2022, not a lot of people were surprised that Oyetola won.

It is a defeat that Ogbeni is not taking too graciously, and has hinted will be contested in court.

Jagaban vs Ogbeni

Ogbeni’s very public attack on Jagaban may have been shocking, but it did not come as a surprise.

The former Osun governor has been trying to escape Tinubu’s shadow and spread his own godfather wings.

His Lagos wings were clipped when Tinubu the APC leadership there disbanded his Mandate Group, which was originally founded by Tinubu, in 2020.

Also, this happened in Lagos after the February 19 primary election in Osun:

Jagaban’s tight leash on Lagos politics has come under question many times, and trying to stretch his influence to other states like Osun has not always enjoyed public favour.

But the man needs to strengthen all of his influence everywhere now that he wants to be president in 2023. He needs all of his men singing as part of the choir, not trying to do solos with him.

Ogbeni’s Osun loss is no doubt a setback for his own rumoured interest in the same presidential seat in 2023.

If he ever hopes to claim that top position, he would have to go through the Jagaban he no longer considers a god.

Until that future battle, Jagaban (2) – (0) Ogbeni.

Or Jagaban (2) – (-1) Ogbeni because we’re still holding this against him.

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