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COMRADE OSHIOMHOLE: What Next?

The gubernatorial election in Edo State had come and gone (last weekend) with the victor and the vanquished emerging. The incumbent Governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 307,955 votes across the 18 local government areas of the state to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who scored 223,619 votes according to the figures announced by the INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof Akpofure Rim-Rukeh.

The Edo guber poll was not only controversial and acrimonious but dramatically suspenseful all along leading to the Sept. 19 D-Day. Many things were at stake prior to the polls: godfatherism, ego, political survival and prostitution etc. The election was made even more pessimistically interesting given the political figures involved and the issues bothering on superiority complex involved as well.

While Governor Obaseki remains the greatest beneficiary of the guber battle the overall loser happens more to be Comrade Adams Oshiomhole than Pastor Ize-Iyamu. The former Governor of the state and fallen National Chairman of the ruling APC had taken the Edo poll as a ‘war’, one he waged with relentless determination and desperation as if his entire political life depended on it.

But in a way his political life and future depended to a large extent on the final outcome — one that has become disafavourably a source of nightmare and depression. The victory of the PDP represented a huge blow to the Comrade’s huge ego and psyche. But it was not surprising given the circumstances. There was no better way of demystifying a vindictive man.

Long before the organization of the poll the Comrade from Iyamho had taken it upon himself to deal decisively with an insolent ‘godson’ who failed to show him gratitude for his efforts toward making him Governor four years ago. As a ‘piper’ he was not given any room to dictate the tune!

And now that the estranged godson has prevailed proclaiming his victory as one tailored against godfatherism it is left to be seen how Oshiomhole would react and what could be next in line in terms of political obituary or rehabilitation.

Beyond the bliss of triumph in Benin city and elsewhere and the bitterness of defeat what the Edo 2020 brought to the fore was the political prostitution of the discredited political class in Nigeria. And their lack of political ideology and principles in pusuit of power for the sake of power.

How on earth would a discerning observer comprehend the fact that both the incumbent Governor and the principal challenger had swapped parties in order to become Governor desperately? The desperation in both camps was indeed mind-boggling!

Governor Obaseki, four years ago, was armed with a tattered broom and Ize-Iyamu under a corrupt umbrella. Yesterday the former found himself holding out a dented rainbow umbrella while the latter was presented with a fagged broom.

Now, with Comrade Oshiomhole encountering failure to foist a man he had ‘condemned’ four years ago on the Edo people the question is what is next for the glorified godfather. Would the failure to clinch gubernatorial gold signal an abrupt end to his political life in Edo state or would he bounce back through the back door using the compromised court processes?

The two godfathers (one already established invincibly in Lagos and the other, a novice, trying hard to establish himself in Benin City) were partly responsible for the crushing defeat suffered by Pastor Ize-Iyamu. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had released a video few days to the election disparaging Governor Obaseki and calling him names — including not being a democrat. That infamous video went a long way to damaging the APC candidate’s reputation and credibility as a man capable of resisting the ‘bullion-van’ diplomacy.

Read also: Enter Nyesom Wike – Obaseki’s new godfather

When a renowned godfather like ‘Jagaban’ told an electorate as sophisticated as Edolites not to cast their votes for a sitting Governor who had performed above average in his first term in office then suspicion and mistrust could have been sown in their minds for the opposition. Besides, the Lagos conquest by the Tinubu gang could have rung a deafening bell in their political consciousness. Hence the demonstration of their disdain for the Tinubu/Oshiomhole crowd of suckers and free-loaders.

And when Comrade Oshiomhole came back home from Abuja after his ouster as the National Chairman of the ruling APC he overreached himself by marketing a ‘product’ he had demarketed four years ago. He was arrogant, loquacious and overbearing in his outings sowing fear of his undeclared vested interest in the race for the Government House in Benin City.

Kneeling down before local kings or apologising for making the ‘mistake’ of foisting Obaseki on Edo people were not enough atonement for the ‘sin’ of godfatherism. It must be killed electorally for the people to be assured of a better future.

Between Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu, therefore, a clear choice presented itself: voting for a ‘devil’ the people knew better or the ‘angel’ they never knew! The former proved to be more appealing and more trust-worthy.

The PDP, going into the election, had Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as its Campaign Council Coordinator while the Kano Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, played similar role for the APC. Between Governors Wike and Ganduje it was political worlds apart. While Wike is reputed to be an eccentric combustious man with oscillating moods Ganduje is notorious for dethroning the Emir of Kano. And above all, for stuffing Dollars (in their millions) into his flowing robe, a kickback he received after a contract!

The APC in Edo state had rejected the election result declaring that irregularities marred the exercise. They equally hammered on the claim that their supporters were prevented from casting their votes in different polling boots.

Now, with a judicial battle announcing itself in the horizon given the unsatisfactory declaration of the vanquished party it would be interesting to know who wins when the litigation gets up to the Supreme Court for final adjudication.

Our fear is that the Obaseki people celebrating their Champion’s victory at the polls could be feting too soon, too early. In the end the judicial system may be called upon to ‘cast’ a ‘vote’ authoritatively on the general outcome leading to gnashing of teeth by the present celebrants.

Against this backdrop, therefore, Governor Obaseki may be open for a political swindle of a century. He could be called upon by the Wikes and their judicial network of fraud to shell out millions of Dollars in order for the compromised Judges to deliver judgement in his favour!

Governor Nyesom Wike has proven to be an expert in judicial mercantilism in connivance with the former Governor Peter Odili. Yet Governor Wike could meet his match in Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, the so-called Supreme Cult (sorry Court) Governor. Governor Uzodinma knows surely one or two things in the politics of supreme verdict in favour of a guber loser.

Since the “lions and tigers” had been sent “into the zoo to be caged permanently from the state’s politics” what’s next for the beloved Comrade? Retirement in Iyamho or wait for the final outcome of the judicial battle? Or simply congratulate Obaseki and move on with life? The future would answer these questions sooner than later.

AUTHOR: SOC Okenwa…


Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.

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