By Ehigie Uzamere
The simmering disaffection between Adams Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki has festered long enough. It looks like we are well past the stage of reconciliation between them. What, with notable names that have tried to mediate and get them back as friends. But the milk seems spilled into the sewers.
In all these, I wonder if we have tried to find out the genesis and nature of their differences. It is pertinent to know so that if there is no resolution to their quarrel, we will at least know why they disagreed to agree.
And to get to the root of this intractable situation, we have to go all the way back to how Oshiomhole got into politics in Edo State, promises he may have made, and gentlemanly agreements he did not keep.
Many of us in the state, know the role of the House of Igbinedion and their close friends including Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu in the emergence of Adams Oshiomhole as Governor of Edo State.
With internal squabbles in Edo PDP then, Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s administration picked on a friend an assumed trusted ally as successor and worked for his emergence as governor. That person was Adams Oshiomhole and his party was AC, a relatively unpopular party in Edo State then.
Having won through the Appeal Court judgment, Oshiomhole wasted no time in abusing and denigrating the same people that made him, all in the name of fighting godfatherism. He extended his abuse and denigration of people to almost all notable sons of Edo South including the revered Benin Monarchy whose son he forcefully took his parcel of land.
In the twilight of his administration, he reneged on his earlier promise to Oba Erediauwa that he Oshiomhole, would allow Edo South pick the next governor, under the advisory role of the Oba. Oshiomhole didn’t keep his promise, he single handedly picked his friend and trusted ally Godwin Obaseki.
He marketed Obaseki as the economic pillar of his eight years in office. He saw in Obaseki, a no nonsense administrator who would further fight the war against godfatherism. Again he felt majority of Benin leaders in APC were not in support of the emergence of Obaseki therefore he sadistically foisted Obaseki on his people. To the Glory of God Godwin Obaseki became a blessing to Edo State.
But we all learn from our masters. The apolitical Obaseki together with his deputy, Philip Shuaibu, who happens to be Oshiomhole’s political son, continued with the fight against godfatherism, to Oshiomhole’s consternation.
Oshiomhole must have a very short memory or has employed selective memory. If not, how could he have quickly forgotten what he did to the Igbinedions and late Chief Tony Anenih who also played role of godfather to Oshiomhole. He didn’t spare Chief Odigie Oyegun either. He thoroughly abused Chief Oyegun and hounded him out of office as APC National Chairman. What goes around comes around?
Today, Oshiomhole and Obaseki are fighting. What we ought to dispassionately examine is their service delivery. Who has worked more for our people Edo State in general and Edo South in particular?
All those, who are today jostling for Osadebey House were all in active politics, all in APC, and had the ambition to rule Edo State even then. Why didn’t Oshiomhole pick any of them? Not even his deputy Dr. Pius Odubu who gave him unflinching loyalty for their eight years in office. What has changed within four years? Not even Oshiomhole’s continued use of people from Edo South to fight and destroy fellow Edo South citizens.
The fact that Oshiomhole can market Ize Iyamu who four years ago he told us so many negative things about, and was ready to waive his immunity to appear in court over his assertions on Ize Iyamu, shows that Oshiomhole may not be a credible character.
For him, leadership of a people is a huge joke for draught board game at a pepper-soup joint. Or was there a sinister pact between Oshiomhole and Ize Iyamu at the point Oshiomhole was produced by Lucky Igbinedion and friends?
From all these, we can deduce that the bone of contention is the refusal of the present government of Edo State to be tale guided by Oshiomhole. Obaseki was brought in to conserve dwindled resources of the state through the stoppage of undue largesse to politicians. We must make a choice: development of Edo State or sharing her resources with a few privileged individuals to the detriment of the State.
This is a quarrel that has simmered. We as a people, having failed to resolve their issues, share in the blame and will continue to share in the blame, if we fail our state. Do we want godfatherism enthroned, or good governance? This should be our major consideration.
“Your character defines who you are, by the actions you take”
– Catherine Pulsifier.
There must be something good Govenor Obaseki is doing that rankles some politicians, hence the gang up against him.
In concluding this, Adams Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki understand each other more than we may think or know. It is therefore imperative that a political solution should be applied to resolve this imbroglio, than a judicial solution that could cause more bad blood.
In God I trust,
Senator Ehigie Uzamere, KSC