Former Osun Deputy Governor, Benedict Alabi, has explained why the All Progressives Congress (APC) lost to Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2022 governorship election in the state.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with THE WHISTLER, Alabi explained that the Osun APC under the leadership of his former principal, Adegboyega Oyetola, lost to Governor Adeleke because the party went into the election as a divided house.
“Internal rancor was the major cause of our loss in the election. No house will be divided and win. The Yoruba say that when two brothers fight to death, it is outsiders that will inherit their properties,” Alabi told our correspondent on Wednesday in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
“You don’t go to a battle with a divided home. It is the major reason. But I think everybody has sheathed their sword now that we know that we have fallen.”
THE WHISTLER reported that months after losing his re-election bid to Adeleke, Oyetola took steps to unite and better position the party for future elections.
In May 2023, he inaugurated an 11-man committee saddled with the responsibility of putting back the party on the right track for effective delivery in subsequent elections.
Alabi said feuding members of the Osun APC must learnt lessons from their actions following the defeat and removal of his principal and him from office in the July 16 poll.
“Nobody is going to tell anybody not to fight again. Everybody has fought and they have gone home with bruises and the bruises are painful to all parties. I am sure both we that lost the election and those that said we must lose the election, nobody is a winner in these circumstances.”
Alabi said the only way to reclaim the state from the PDP is for all factions in the Osun APC to put aside their differences and unite for the party’s good.
He added that the party needs trusted individuals to lead the reconciliation moves to pacify aggrieved members of the party.
“We can be together. What we need is trust. Whoever is doing the reconciliation must be somebody that all the factions will trust and believe in and they know his stand is not for personal gains or to apportion blames,” he said.
“To me, it is very easy. Yes, when the battle is hot, it can be difficult to reconcile people. But everybody has tested their strength now. We need to call ourselves to order and chart a new course and that can be done by someone that is not factional, someone that all the factions will trust, someone who is not after personal gains,” he added.
Alabi is willing to lead the reconciliatory move to reunite the aggrieved members of the party.
He boasted that, “If I am given the opportunity to reunite the party, it is not a difficult task. We have very large followers and our people are satisfied with little things. What they want from you is for you to carry them along in whatever you are doing and give them recognition, and wherever it is possible, give them dividends of democracy.
“If I have the opportunity of reuniting the party, I will carry all and sundry along in the decision-making. I will reach out to all the factions, whatever it will take for them to come back. United we stand, divided we fall.
“The structures are there, I know who and who to reach out to and what button to press. If I am given that opportunity, having been a contestant for governorship before and also being the deputy governor of the state, I belong to no faction, I belong to the party and that is where I still remain till tomorrow.”