While it is acceptable for him to be interested in who succeeds him as governor, his conduct is beginning to reminiscence the do-or-die approach of former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he went all out to ensure that Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua succeeded him. In his desperation, Obasanjo did everything inconceivable, resulting in the election being discredited by many credible independent observers. Even the beneficiary of the unpolished tactics employed by Obasanjo self-confessed that the election was blemished
By Charles Igbinidu
Last week, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released the names of candidates of the different political parties in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State. From the names released by the electoral umpire, Mr Godwin Obaseki and not Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
It is also a well-known fact that even if he is interested in continuing as the governor of the state, he cannot because he is constitutionally barred from contesting due to the imposed limitation of a maximum of two terms for the President and governors.
However, from the way he is carrying on, one gets the impression that Oshiomhole is the candidate of the APC. He seems to be so enamoured by the governorship seat to the extent that he wants to continue to govern the state by proxy after the expiration of his second term.
Having succeeded in imposing Obaseki on his Party at the expense of more popular and sellable aspirants like Dr. Pius Odubu, Oshiomhole seem to desperately want to also impose his chosen candidate on the people of Edo State.
Since the campaigns for the election started, Oshiomhole has relegated the candidate of his Party to the background.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting of the All APC in Benin City on Wednesday, Oshiomhole said “the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the forthcoming governorship election in the State is dead on arrival”.
He said the APC is the only party that offers hope to all our people, adding “whether you like it or not, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) engine is dead on arrival. The early morning signals are clear. For the first time since 1999, a candidate was being presented to the people of Edo State for the most important single job, and the key pillars were there fastened to their chairs and their tables, none of them could stand on their feet to say one word. Has the Oracle not spoken?
“Also, the “applicant pastor” said we have our fathers here and he called the fathers and you know when a child calls more than one father, you know what he is! But if you have three fathers seated next to each other, none of your fathers could stand up, take the microphone and said, yes you are my son; I present you. Did you observe that? Has papa not already disowned his child? Did papa testify for the child?”
Obaseki’s voice was never heard. In fact majority of Edo people cannot recognise the voice of Obaseki because he has really not been heard asking to be elected as a governor. It is Oshiomhole that is telling the people to vote for Obaseki. Oshiomhole should be informed that the people are not interested in hearing his voice but that of Obaseki.
It is ironic that Oshiomhole, who used to be very trenchant and virulent in his campaign against godfatherism, now wants to transmute into a political godfather in Edo State.
While it is acceptable for him to be interested in who succeeds him as governor, his conduct is beginning to reminiscence the do-or-die approach of former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he went all out to ensure that Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua succeeded him. In his desperation, Obasanjo did everything inconceivable, resulting in the election being discredited by many credible independent observers. Even the beneficiary of the unpolished tactics employed by Obasanjo self-confessed that the election was blemished.
The prime factor that drove Obasanjo into adopting the undemocratic approach seems to be the same factor driving Oshiomhole. Obasanjo didn’t want former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to succeed him; the same way Oshiomhole does not want the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to succeed him.
My plea to Oshiomhole is that he should not, like Obasanjo go all out to manipulate the September 10 governorship election in favour of his preferred candidate. He should allow the people of Edo State decide who should be their next governor.
Oshiomhole should not also forget how the desperation of some political godfathers both at the state and the federal level almost deprived him of becoming the governor of the state until the judiciary intervened.
Also, why the desperation to impose a successor? Who told him that if Obaseki becomes the governor that he would operate under his apron-string. The polity is awash with governors who were imposed by their immediate predecessors but who immediately they were elected went all out to extricate themselves from the control of their benefactors.