By Igboeli Arinze
As at the time of writing this piece, Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki is in the fight for his political future, like the warlords of old, it is a battle royale but this time around, the characters are not Aruwan, Ewuare, Esigie, Ozolua or Uwaifiokun pitched in battle, many of the gladiators are definitely not of royal blood neither will there be any form of camping at sacred Obadan, save for some whistle stop campaigns in the town which historically housed the Bini Army.
This battle, will be not only for who occupies the office of governor of Edo State but also determine the fate of the All Progressives Congress as a party and the chances of the party come 2023.
In this’ roforofo’ fight, Obaseki has dared the people of Edo State, the ruling party as well as the principles of natural justice, but then should he emerge victorious he may then rewrite the rules of present day politicking until another era or event grants an opportunity to another fellow to rewrite these rules, such is the world for us.
In this fight, Obaseki has thrown the rules to the dogs, this obviously will not be a gentleman affair; he intends to bulldoze his way back to power by smashing the solid opposition that is attempting to stand in his way, in this way, he bothers not at the calls for decency, like the deranged humans we see sometimes in fights on our streets who strip naked to convey the “I care less” attitude to their would be opponent, Obaseki is naked in this case, he is like the fabled story of the Emperor without clothes, just that unlike the fable, it is he, Obaseki who stripped himself.
Let us look at the background preceding this period, Obaseki was picked from near oblivion ahead of the likes of an Osagie Ize Iyamu, on whose structure known as Grace Group, the Action Congress had pivoted Comrade Adams Oshiomole, then leader of organized labour the platform to become Governor of Edo State.
Somehow Ize Iyamu and Oshiomole fell out with each other, which is natural in politics, forcing Iyamu to make his way to the PDP while Oshiomole campaigned with more vigor than he had done for himself in both 2007 and 2012: the reason was simple, many felt that Obaseki was not fit for the job; what political clout did he have? Matter of fact he was viewed as a political upstart, but then Oshiomole felt otherwise, with Obaseki, God would win in Edo State, the rest is history, the presumed upstart in Obaseki led by a combination of Oshiomole’s energy, oratory, populist tendencies and his sharp wit won Obaseki the most coveted seat in Edo State.
Read Also: Oshiomhole: My last moments with Ajimobi
However the dour looking Obaseki was to betray a fatal flaw, hubris. Once in power he saw himself as Emperor, one whose word was law, and replaced the essences of consultation, consensus and compromise.
In his attempt to carve out an empire for himself, Obaseki practically showed disdain for anybody who shared a contrary opinion to his style of governing, subjecting them to an infamia.
Those who had listened to the Comrade Governor and had put aside their ambitions and reservations to help elect the Emperor were shut outside the circles of governance.
Not done, the Emperor carried out a coup against democracy itself, the same democracy he swore to uphold and protect when he in secret issued a proclamation of the Edo State House of Assembly with only eight members of the 24 duly elected.
Like robbers who meet at night to share their loot, these eight members under the auspices of Governor Obaseki then went on in their drama of absurdity to elect a Speaker and principal officers.
At this point, the camel could journey no more because of that last straw, Oshiomole and every sane thinking human being cried blue murder but then Obaseki’s megalomania observed no break in transmission, for every genuine attempt to reconcile the house and the party, Obaseki would throw in the shards, Democracy in Edo could not harbour such illusive tendencies, other wise we would be creating destructive templates for generations to come, Adams Oshiomole for the greater good of the party and the people of Edo State had to act.
Fast forward to the future we see or we did see Obaseki permit me to use this language “Offing his shirt” to take on the National Chairman who was apparently the arrowhead of what i term the progressive forces in the state.
He started issuing silly proclaimations and laws even the worst of dictators would fear to tinker with, an example of such was when he issued an order where he asked the former governor to always inform him (Obaseki) anytime he intended to visit the state.
Not done, he went on to take off his trouser and underwear revealing to us an ugly sight when he sponsored several unholy attempts to remove Oshiomole from office.
Obaseki even in such an indecent state to our surprise began crying foul when it was re-election time, he first ran to Lagos and then to Abuja, lamenting that in the obscene drama which he himself had created he was sure not to get justice, he sounded like a child who had run foul of the rules and regulations refusing to be disciplined.
Today, he has run to the bosom of “tax collectors” buying succor, but then, time will surely tell whether our history can accommodate this Emperor with no clothes.