Something terrible is happening in Edo state and has a recipe for bigger trouble. The electorates will go to the poll this weekend to determine who governs the state for another four years, but there is an impediment– Adams Oshiomole.
Oshiomole is a former governor in the state but he has his eyes gazed on something even bigger– annexing the state to himself. This is a man who was governor in the state for eight years and throughout his time in the office, created an impression that godfatherism is evil and should be resisted by whatever means necessary.
But Oshiomole has not only become the same ‘evil’ he repulsed a few years back, but he has also turned reckless in his lustful quest to lord over the people of Edo state. What this means is that Oshiomole now seems to be the opposite of what he advocated for some years ago and now desperate– and this makes him dangerous.
This was obvious in Oshiomole’s fickle character, viewing governance from the prism of what he will get and the level of control he has. Four years ago, Oshiomole was everywhere in Edo state, telling the electorates how Obaseki is the brainbox behind the success of his government, and voting him will move the state even higher.
In that same period, Oshiomole painted a shoddy image for Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a pastor, who he projected as unbefitting for the top political office in the state because he cannot be trusted with the ‘key to the kitchen’. But he has switched position, and went back to his putrid vomit of four years, moving door-to-door to foist on the state another administrator.
Oshiomole must have been frustrated by the fierce resistance he met in Obaseki, whom he had hoped would hand control to him and be able to rule the state by proxy. He was hoping to replicate the Lagos example in Edo state but he was wrong.
Now frustrated, Oshiomole is resorting to all kinds of maneuvering to dislodge Obaseki and force on the throat of Edo people the bitter pill he had in the past warned against. In short, Oshiomole is trying to introduce something unusual to Edo state– turning himself to the alpha and omega that determine the political direction of the state.
What I can say is that this posture poses a grave danger to our democracy and making it worse, is the desperation being exhibited by Oshiomole. Three weeks ago, a picture of the former governor kowtowing to Benin traditional chiefs went viral. It was the usual trick to lure people into subservient and a pronounced message of desperation.
That was why he could face the people and tell them he made a mistake with the choice of Obaseki four years ago. “I have made my honest mistakes,” Oshiomole told a gathering of APC members in Benin, the capital of Edo state, going on to say “Only God is perfect. I am now 68 years. I have come to apologise for the mistake of supporting Obaseki in 2016.”
This is ludicrous, to say the least. I assess that Oshiomole has lost it to desperation, and has let his selfish motive of annexing Edo state get the better side of him. Now that he is saying Obaseki was a mistake and he is “in Edo to repair my mistakes”, what is the assurance that he would not come back later to say the same thing about Ize-Iyamu if his plan to hold on to the state by proxy also failed.
After he was unceremoniously thrown out of the All Progressives Congress (APC) chairmanship seat at the centre, it is understood that Oshiomole would be desperate to hold on to anything for political survival. But he is wrong to assume he is the one who should decide who governs the state in every election circle in a state that has people like Chief John Odegie-Oyegun, Chief Tom Ikimi, the Igbinedons and a host of others.
While Oshiomole, like every other Edo electorate, has a right to their choice on who should become governor in the state, it should be done without any attempt to force that choice on the entire state. That is not what we are seeing from Oshiomole, who is pushing all the buttons that worked for him in foisting his choice on Edo people in 2016.
The trouble with Oshiomole is that he is not reading the body language of Edo people enough, otherwise, he would have realized that he is traveling on a deserted route. Things are so bad that he is even struggling to convince people in his party on why he should be the landlord of the state, which must have aggravated his frustration. Anyway, he will be answered by the Edo people at the poll, and by that time, we will know whether the state will or will not fall to godfatherism like Lagos state.
Written by Oke Umurhohwo, a Political Analyst and Strategist. He tweets via @OkeStalyf and can be reached on email@example.com