The political situation within the ruling party in Osun State, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is considerably becoming worrisome as the sitting Governor Ademola Adeleke pushes more of his core loyalists to the side of the opposition. Among the core loyalists of Governor Ademola Adeleke who have publicly dropped their support for the Governor is the Osogbo-born Aaraj Construction Company Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Raji Kehinde.
Engr. Raji Kehinde who is popularly known as Aaraj on Facebook, announced the withdrawal of his support for Ademola Adeleke in a Facebook post submitted on his timeline.
He said “EFFECTIVE FROM TODAY(15/01/24), I WITHDRAW ALL STRUCTURES/STAKEHOLDERSHIP WITHIN THE RULING PARTY [PDP].
Although Aaraj did not give a reason for the withdrawal of his support for Ademola Adeleke whom he, profusely, campaigned for during the 2022 Governorship Election in Osun State, The Round Table understands four prominent reasons the administration of Governor Ademola Adeleke picked a fight against Aaraj, and the aftermath fightback from Aaraj towards the camp of Ademola Adeleke.
1. Collaboration with Makinde
It was not a piece of news that the faction of PDP loyal to the late former Deputy National Chairman of the party (Southwest), Hon. Soji Adagunodo worked harmoniously with the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde who has been identified as a perceived enemy to the political dynasty of Adeleke with an intention Makinde would enjoy superiority over Ademola being the only rivalry PDP Governor in the Southwest, and on his second term. Despite this, Aaraj and Makinde enjoy a close relationship.
The mutual relationship between Governor Makinde and the political camp of Adagunodo pioneered the political rift between Adelekes and Aaraj, even before the 2022 governorship election but Adelekes played along with him with the tactics of “Use and Dump” political strategy in view.
At a certain stage during the electioneering campaign, some members of the PDP in Osun queried Aaraj’s double standard [politically] befriending Makinde and Adeleke who are political antagonists but the men behind the “Use and Dump” idea forced the query to go passive though with its consequences not overlooked.
2. Osogbo Agenda/Yoruba Agenda
The electioneering campaign into the 2023 General Election was running and active when Ademola Adeleke was inaugurated as Osun State Governor on November 27th, 2022. Then, Aaraj seemed to have switched his political belief from “party politics” to “geopolitics”.
When Ademola Adeleke was pushing for using every power at his disposal to ensure massive victory for all the aspirants contesting elections under the platform of PDP during the 2023 General Election, which he projected as means to set Judgment on Osun State Governorship Election Petition against “Security Factor”, recall that he had lost at the Tribunal and Court of Appeal, Aaraj was busy running a political campaign against candidates of the PDP in the Osun Central Senatorial District and the Presidential poll.
Aaraj was pushing for the Osogbo agenda, campaigning for the Osogbo-born senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ajibola Bashiru against the choice of the Adelekes who had presented Ila-born Olubiyi Fabiyi Ajagunla as the PDP candidate.
Besides, Adelekes during the presidential election worked assiduously in favour of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, believing that Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC would automatically use the power of the Office of the Presidency to influence the Osun 2022 Governorship Election Petition in favour of APC. They also believed that Atiku Abubakar would easily use the presidential power to help them win the election petition if he won the poll.
So, anyone working against any of the political interests set above by the Adelekes was declared “persona non grata”. Aaraj fell under this category when he chose to abandon loyalty to PDP as a party and went for “geopolitics”.
3. Appointment of O’RAMP Project Coordinator
The political rift between Adelekes and Aaraj was managed underground like a “timed bomb” until the two entities clashed on the appointment of who became the Project Coordinator of Osun Rural Access and Mobility Project (O’RAMP).
The Round Table learned that Aaraj had secured the approval of Governor Ademola Adeleke for the restoration of a former Project Coordinator who was removed by Alhaji Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola.
Aaraj and the approved Project Coordinator of O’RAMP had arrived at the O’RAMP Office for the resumption of the new Project Coordinator when Aaraj allegedly received a shocking phone call from Yeye Dupe Adeleke, a sister of Governor Ademola Adeleke.
Yeye Dupe had furiously queried Aaraj for seeking approval for the return of the Project Coordinator from Governor Ademola Adeleke without passing through her. She angrily reversed the approval given by the governor and shamefully ordered Aaraj and his preferred Project Coordinator to walk out of the premises of the Office.
This set the stage and blew the political cold war between Aaraj and the Adelekes to the next level, although it was still hidden from the public domain because of the circumstances surrounding the impromptu support given to Adeleke by Aaraj during the 2022 poll.
At this stage, Aaraj fully understood that he had been edged out, and his support for the Adelekes during the 2022 governorship election had been wasted.
4. Adeleke vs Aregbesola’s Cold War
The Adelekes, from inception, understand that Aaraj switched his support from APC to PDP during the governorship election only for two reasons.
One, Aaraj felt neglected by the administration of former Governor Oyetola, in terms of the award of contracts in the state, and the political misunderstanding between Rauf Aregbesola and Gboyega Oyetola was a prime factor because Aaraj’s loyalty to Aregbesola.
Unknown to Aaraj, the Adelekes did not spare Rauf Aregbesola from the impromptu supporters from whom they enjoyed conspiracies against Oyetola and APC.
To clip the political wing of Aregbesola, and ensure the Adelekes settle the scores they have with him, probably, relating to the sorrowful and suspicious situations that surrounded the death of the Adelekes’ elder brother, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke; the downlines of the Adeleke political linage, who are currently heading the Osun State government set priority on dealing with the majority of Aregbesola’s loyalists who had thought they would have stake in the Ademola Adeleke-led administration.
Within this list of “impromptu supporters in the net” Aaraj was a prime minister, and he was caged and outsmarted by the Adelekes using the same man, Engr. Femi Daramola, the CEO of Interfem Construction Company, has been pictured in Aaraj’s accusation against Oyetola’s administration with an allegation that Oyetola gave Interfem attention with no consideration for his company, Aaraj Construction Company.
This political strategy boxed Aaraj to a very critical angle such that he could difficulty bring up the issue of neglect he suffered from Adeleke’s administration despite the resources he deployed for the downfall of Oyetola’s administration.
If he had complained about Adeleke’s romance with Interfem at his own cost, people would have implored him to check on himself, as a person, learn from the CEO of Interfem, and do away from luring the companies into the arena of unprofessional politics.
This political strategy boxed Aaraj into a very critical angle such that he could not bring up the issue of neglect he suffered from the Adeleke administration despite the resources he deployed for the downfall of the Oyetola administration.
(The Round Table)