The Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimo Olanipekun, on Wednesday, described the immediate-past Minister of Interior and ex-governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as an achiever, whose imprints in Osogbo would forever linger.
This was as he said Aregbesola intervened on behalf of Osogbo when the location to site the Nigeria Air Force base in the state was causing issues.
The monarch said this when Aregbesola paid homage to him and his chiefs in his palace.
According to the monarch “When Ogbeni (Aregbesola) took over governance in Osun, everyone thought he was going to dethrone me because I was enthroned by an opposition government, but he announced publicly that, that wasn’t going to happen.
“When the location of the Nigeria Air Force base was going to cause issues, the former minister intervened on our behalf. He stayed with me, stayed with Osogbo, and he’s still with us.
“We appreciate you. We appreciate all that you have done for us. Osogbo will forever be grateful and be with you.”
The ex-governor while speaking said he holds no grudge against anyone in Osogbo or Osun State in general.
Aregbesola, who arrived the state capital on Wednesday to a warm reception, after his tenure as minister, said, “For the rest of my life, I will continue to thank Osogbo and its people for adopting me as their son. I deeply appreciate it.
“Anywhere I am, please rest assured that Osogbo’s interests are covered,” he added.
Presenting his compendium of achievements to the monarch, the former governor reminisced on when he first arrived the town after the All Progressives Congress had lost power in the state, stating that after four years in government, people started eulogising him for his contributions to the turnaround of the state capital.
Aregbesola said, “I’m happy to say that between then and now, the eulogies have not stopped. Between Ilesa and Osogbo this morning, the people trooped out in their numbers to welcome me.
“It was because of my promise to the then Ataoja of Osogbo that I picked my deputy from Osogbo. It is never my desire to leave any of them, but now that they have gone the way they did, I beseech you, our royal father, to plead with them. I would always wish them well and always desire to work with them.
“I hold no grudge against anyone in Osogbo or Osun. My hands are wide open to work and receive anyone. Anyone who has issues with me has their reasons, but I hold no grudge against anyone.”
On his ministerial appointment, Aregbesola said, “Please thank President Muhammadu Buhari for giving me the opportunity to serve in his government.”