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On Saturday the people of Edo came out en masse to elect their choice leader for the next four years. The election, which was recorded to be one of the most peaceful elections in the state against the forecast of violence and intimidation as predicted by election observers had the incumbent Governor and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Godwin Obaseki defeating All Progressives Congress’ (APC) Osagie Ize-Iyamu, his main contender, and 12 candidates of other political parties.
This event demonstrated how in just six months, the political careers of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his Comrade, Adams Oshiomhole have suffered a huge setback. While Asiwaju Tinubu’s political career can be said to still have a bit of relevance, some political experts believe Oshiomhole’s career might have been reduced to rubble by no other person than the former Edo state governor himself. The victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki certainly marks the end of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s illustrious political career. It is the end of a political colossus and he was ostensibly the architect of his own debacle.
Two years ago, Oshiomhole was everywhere, he reached the pinnacle of his political career as the National Chairman of the APC, after unseating the former, John Odigie-Oyegun. Before then, he was a two-term governor who excelled and transformed Edo State in terms of infrastructure development. Then he installed his stooge, Obaseki as his successor. Obaseki, who was then Oshiomhole’s economic adviser dedicated his heart to the job, which was why the former governor trusted him. But things fell apart between the duo when Obaseki felt that Oshiomhole wanted to be the godfather of Edo politics and was taking more than he should have taken in terms of appointment from the federal.
The final straw that broke the camel’s neck was when Obaseki, in the dead of the night secretly inaugurated the Edo State House of Assembly with seven lawmakers loyal to him and shut out 14 others loyal to Oshiomhole. From then, it has been dirty and bitter battle between Obaseki and Oshiomhole. Obaseki had always had his ways in the battle between the duo.
Oshiomhole, who felt cheated wanted to show Obaseki that he is still the king of Edo politics and will unseat him. He felt that he could use his office as the then national chairman of APC to hunt him down. He then went for Ize-Iyamu, who was then in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as his joker to outwit Obaseki in a bid to retain his power and toga as the undisputed king of Edo politics. Ize-Iyamu, who contested against Obaseki in 2015 and narrowly lost, left the PDP for APC to challenge Obaseki for the crown. Political pundits had alleged that Ize-Iyamu won the 2015 poll against Obaseki and was rigged out by Oshiomhole. Oshiomhole felt he could use his popularity as a grassroots man to end Obaseki’s dominance.
The battle against Obaseki cost Oshiomhole his national chairmanship position of the APC. He was dragging the APC down, using the office to fight his dirty war. A very smart Obaseki used his loyalists in Oshiomhole’s ward to suspend him as a member of the APC on allegations of anti-party activities. Oshiomhole had waved off the suspension as nothing until it began to work against him. Series of court cases led to his being sacked as the national chairman of APC by the appeal court.
The APC chairmen in the 18 local government areas of the state also passed a vote of no confidence on him, accusing him of working against the party interest. Although Oshiomhole appeared to have dismissed the suspension as a child’s play, it would later cost him his position as the national chairman of the party as a high court in Abuja suspended him on that basis. Danlami Senchi, a judge, had ruled in March that it was wrong of the APC to have kept Oshiomhole as chairman after he was suspended by his state chapter of the party. The final attempt to get him back into the party’s hierarchy failed in June after the appellate court ruled there was no justifiable basis for an appeal against the court ruling suspending him.
In the heat of the crisis, the National Working Committee of the APC was dissolved and his loyalists lost control of the party. While it appeared as if Obaseki was losing grounds ahead of the governorship election, considering how popular the APC had been in the state, Oshiomhole relocated to Benin where he became the face of the APC governorship campaign, with Osagie Ize-Iyamu as a spectator in his own game.
His authority as a two-term governor and a former national chairman was not in doubt. Some people had, in fact, likened him to the ‘almighty’ Bola Tinubu who has remained powerful in Lagos despite leaving office as governor in 2007. To all the ears that cared to listen, Oshiomhole boasted of how the APC will defeat Obaseki in the election and even apologised for ‘selling him’ to Edo people as the best fit for governor in 2016.
Meanwhile, before his defection to PDP, Governor Obaseki had met with Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the APC, for endorsement as the party’s candidate but the former Lagos governor had referred him to the direct primaries endorsed by the party. After the governor went through the direct primaries as recommended, he was disqualified by the committee set-up by Adams Oshiomhole, his estranged godfather, who doubles as his predecessor. A few days to the election, Bola Tinubu, who was among the APC leaders who campaigned for Obaseki when he was elected for the first term under the party, had in a sponsored broadcast on TVC, urged Edo residents to vote out the governor. He had he told the people of Edo State to vote against governor Obaseki as he was an enemy of democracy and the rule of law. Tinubu who was the Governor of Lagos between 1999 and 2007 is believed to still have a hand in the affairs of the state and in choosing who emerges as the State Governor against the people’s will.
Capitalising on the ‘Edo no be Lagos’ phrase, Obaseki’s campaign team did an excellent job with motivating the people of Edo state to not only come out en masse to vote but to also monitor and guide their votes against ballot box snatchers and vote buyers.
Judging from the past political influence of Adams Oshiomhole and Bola Tinubu and how manipulative they are in Nigerian politics, one might be surprised at the outcome of the elections.
The duo are well known political strategists who have conquered many Nigerian states and secured their hold under the APC emblem. These states include Imo State, with the imposition of Governor Hope Uzodinma an APC candidate and Oshiomhole’s stooge, Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria and other political bigwigs spread all over Nigeria. But it is worthy to note that these accomplishments were made under the direct supervision and aid of the Fulani Cabal and the Federal Government. Putting two and two together, one can juxtapose that the Political plunge and the disgrace meted out to them can be traced to the Fulani Cabal.
It is no secret that since the beginning of this year, the Federal powers and the Cabal have made it clear to Adams Oshiomhole that he has bitten more than he can chew and as such has overstayed his welcome at the Zenith of political matters in the country. The reasons for these are not far fetched from the fact that all through Oshiomhole’s political career as Governor and then as National Chairman, he has stepped on a toe too many. He has also been accused by numerous APC members of bad judgement and being the instigator of the recent internal power struggle within the party. His disgraceful sack as National Chairman and suspension at State Level destroyed a huge chunk of his over-bloated ego and he minced no words as he fingered the incumbent Governor Obaseki as the cause of all his problems and the clog in his political wheel which was why he attempted to use the election to drive a personal vendetta against Governor Obaseki. Mr Oshiomhole’s dominance in the APC campaign negatively affected the visibility of the party’s candidate, Mr Ize-Iyamu, so much so that the election was viewed by many as an Obaseki-Oshiomhole fight. The picture of Mr Oshiomhole being a powerful ‘godfather’ bent on removing his estranged protégé from office naturally made Mr Obaseki look like an underdog in the election and consequently attracted sympathy and support for the governor.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on the other hand, was ruined by his love for political sentiments and a feeling of political obligation to his friend and comrade, Adams Oshiomhole. Despite warnings to stay neutral in the fight like many other APC party members like President Muhammadu Buhari and most of other APC Governors, Tinubu plunged headfirst into the Edo tussle which proved to be the proverbial ‘final nail’ in Oshiomhole’s coffin. It is also a fact that Tinubu is currently not in the good books of the Northern elite and the Fulani cabal since he has made one or two assumptions of having an eye for the top seat. The Fulani cabal strongly believe that the political power in the country solely belongs to them, and no other tribe has the authority to seek power let alone question their domination and it has been made very clear that Tinubu is not in their plan for 2023. This is the sole reason why the remained impartial in the Edo State elections thus belittling Tinubu’s political effects.
While Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers, other PDP governors, and leaders were providing funds, mobilising voters for Governor Obaseki and PDP in Edo, their counterparts in the APC quietly distanced themselves from Mr Ize-Iyamu which they apparently saw as a Tinubu/Oshiomhole project. Some APC governors were also said to have secretly provided financial support to the PDP candidate, Governor Obaseki to help push the agenda for the belittling of Oshiomhole and Tinubu’s career.
Adams Oshiomhole and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu have taken a huge blow to their political careers with the turnout of the Edo State elections. They have been betrayed by their party and have dealt a brutal by the Fulani Cabal and the powers-that-be. The only way to redeem what is left of their political careers is if Asiwaju Bola Tinubu completely renounces his Presidential ambitions and puts a check to all sycophants singing his praise as the Nigeria’s next president. Adams Oshiomhole on his part would be doing himself a lot of good if he takes a political break to lick his wounds and restrategise on his next move. The political tides are currently not in their favour and coming out to lament would only make them topic of ridicule among the oppositions and political observers alike.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK