The Osun Progressives (TOP), a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to the Minister of Interior Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola, has been dissolved.
One of the foremost leaders of the group and a former Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Najeem Salaam, who made the announcement via a statement issued in Osogbo, on Tuesday, 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.
According to the statement made available to newsmen, the motive behind the cessation of TOP’s activities is to harmonise all its members (core OMOLUABI PROGRESSIVES) on a rebuilding mission to recover the leadership mantle in Osun State.
”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 interest, 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 to 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.
“The progressive government of Awolowo’s AG provided free education, integrated rural development, quality healthcare delivery, enhancement of agriculture and industrialisation which boosted the living standard of the people and created a 50-year development gap between the South West and other regions.
“This is our tradition, the tradition that brought us to power in 1999, returned us to power again in 2010 and kept us in power for three terms. Progressive governance in Osun, headed by our leader, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, gave the state its biggest development fillip in all ramifications. We are going back to our roots. The present setback is a mere distraction.
“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 progressive 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 work for the greater good and service to humanity through progressive governance.
“With the sole objective of ensuring ‘FREEDOM FOR ALL AND LIFE MORE ABUNDANT’ for the people. Our party is the platform for OMOLUABI politicians not the theatre of absurdity for all comers, regardless of character.
“I am here to announce the dissolution of factional tendencies of all shades in the party with the sole objective of harmonising all core OMOLUABI PROGRESSIVES on a rebuilding mission that will bring us back to the leadership of our state and people.
“We are hereby dissolving The Osun Progressives (TOP) and the faction of 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 a 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,” Salaam said.