By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, on Friday, shunned a meeting with the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was in the state to woo the party’s delegates ahead of the presidential primary slated for next weekend.
Osinbajo, who arrived in the state on Friday afternoon, had an unproductive outing as he received a lukewarm reception from the delegates of the party.
Some of the delegates who were at the venue donned the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s insignia, while leaders of the party in the state, including Governor Gboyega Oyetola; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye; National Secretary of APC, Senator Iyiola Omisore and all National Assembly members from Osun State, including Senator Bashiru Ajibola, the senate spokesperson and Director-General, Oyetola Campaign organisation, were conspicuously absent.
Osinbajo was however received by the deputy governor of the state, Benedict Alabi.
Also, only four out of 40 cabinet members of the governor were at the event. The four cabinet members, including the Commissioner for Works and Transport in the state, Engr. Remi Omowaiye, also adorned the Tinubu cap to the venue of the event.
Those that graced the occasion include some of the elders of the party in the state under the aegis of APC Igbimo Agba, led by Pa Gbadebo Ajao and Pa Fakayode who also used the Tinubu cap
His visit to Osun was significant because the state boasts of one of the highest number of delegates. However, the meeting with the delegates, who assembled at a hall within the Government House did not go as expected. Aside the fact that key players were conspicuously missing, the delegates did not show enthusiasm to meet the vice president.
It was gathered that it took the intervention of the party chairman in the state, Prince Gboyega Famodun, to appeal to the delegates to stand up to greet the vice president.
Earlier, the vice president had visited the palace of Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji, where he was received by APC members loyal the former governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who could not attend the delegates’ meeting at the Government House because they are not delegate members.
Osinbajo in his message to the delegates reiterated that he remains the best to clinch the APC ticket because he is the most prepared and experienced of all the aspirants in the 2023 presidential race.
He said the country needs a leader with experience, courage, capacity and economic understanding that will rescue it from its current challenges, adding that he is the one with the requisite experience needed to pilot the affairs of the country having learnt under President Muhammadu Buhari.
He noted that his mission was to inform the delegates of his intention to succeed President Buhari having served under him “loyally” for seven years.
The reception given to the vice president, however, angered his supporters who went on social media to condemn the act.
One of his supporters, @Ogbeni_Skrtel, on Twitter, wrote: “I swear, when we (Osinbajo) become the president, we‘ll not bring a single development to Osun. How can a whole VP enter the hall and they cannot stand until the MC told them, worst still, they could not clap or hail him, still they flaunt Jagaban’s cap. I swear, na rubbish o.”