Opinion

Edo 2020: The end game

With all that had transpired on the political scene in Edo State, one would have thought that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole sought a quieter way of getting back to the political arena.

 

But not for Oshiomhole, who over the years is accustomed to grandstanding, dramatic display in a burlesque manner and sometimes brusque. It was vintage Oshiomhole, who some days ago, made a dramatic entrance to his Iyamho village.

 

His address to the group of people who came to welcome him home after his fall from the ‘Olympus’ height, clearly is a pointer to the next dramatic stage of event that will soon unfold in the state leading to the September 19 governorship election. “I made a mistake by supporting a man (Obaseki) who has no vision for my people.

 

So, I want to correct my mistakes by making sure a servant of God, Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu, is elected as governor on September 19 this year and to kick the snake out of Government House, Benin.’’

 

This statement by Oshiohmole lends itself to many interpretations, depending on the leaning of the interpreter. For the purpose of this write up, two angles are clear.

 

First, is the fact that Oshiohmole has unwittingly given vent to the claim of GO and his team that he is the new political ‘godfather’ of Edo State, as his statement clearly shows that he has the power to both install and depose any governor of the state as can be evinced from Governor Godwin Obaseki’s saga.

 

Simply put, haven succeeded in ensuring that GO did not get the ticket of APC, it is now time for him as the godfather of the state to install his ‘anointed candidate,’ POI, by kicking away, the ‘snake,’ in the person of GO.

 

This has grave implications for all the political gladiators and citizens of the state. Because by this statement he has made it clear to everyone that absolute power to determine the fate of the people when it comes to exercising their right to chose who governors them lies with him and not even the party or anyone else.

 

This type of arrogance, impunity and attempt at playing God is what the people of the state must resist otherwise their fate is already circumscribed as they would be subjected to the whims and caprices of the godfather.

 

Ironically, this type of arrogance, is what Oshiomhole himself prided himself as having exorcised from the body polity of the state and for him to now be the one brazenly promoting the same ‘godfatherism’ and declaring him the ‘political emperor’ of the state with the power to ‘remove and install’ anyone he so wishes, gives cause for concern.

 

But what he seems to have forgotten is that ‘snake’ has venom which is most dreaded and is not the most easiest of wild species to either kill or caged because in trying to do so the snake is capable of unlashing maximum if not mortal damage on his attacker(s).

 

Therefore, if a reading of the political happenings in the state over the past few weeks leading to this stage, is anything to judge by, then many discerning followers may be tempted to believe that the so called ‘snake’ has already exerted half of his ‘pound of flesh’ on Oshiomhole given the manner in which Oshiomhole was brought down from his ‘Olympus’ height in the party.

 

What is now left is perhaps for the ‘second half of the pound of flesh’ to be exerted and this is something that Oshiomhole appears not to have taken into cognsiance as he seems to believe that all the events leading to his suspension from the party, the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) headed by him and Governor Obaseki moving to the People Democratic Party (PDP) and clinching the governorship ticket, are mere happenstances.

 

At the end of the day, the people will be the worse off as no defining issue will be canvassed that would enable the voters judge correctly who of the two leading candidates; GO or POI, rightly deserved their votes to steer the affairs of the state in the next four.

 

Certainly, the emotions and sentiments presently pervading the political arena of the state will heighten in the coming weeks leading to September 19.

 

What this means is that if the voters themselves don’t pull back and look beyond the present veneer and vacuous campaigns, to critically examine the individual candidate based on their antecedents and what is it that they expect in the next four year and who is better placed to serve them that sumptuous meal then the ‘end game’ may just be the same – ‘as it has always been so shall it be.’ Andrew Iro Okungbowa, writes in from Lagos

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