Former Edo State Commissioner of Education Gideon Obhakhan examines the factors that will shape the All Progressive Congress (APC) primary in Southsouth
If I were Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State today, I will simply leave and not participate in the race to return as Governor of Edo State for a second term. The reason is simple. All odds are against him, he lost the four aces and there is no Joker in the group.
He has neither the capacity nor the temperament to remedy the situation. As a gallant fighter, I prefer not to be dishonored outside the office. I would console myself with the popular saying that those who fight and flee, live to fight another day.
The open battle to expel the current governor of Edo State began more than a year ago, with few people coming together to demand that the governor retrace his steps and bring the party together, rather than choosing who he talks to or works with in politics. . class.
The governor simply renounced the idea and continued to call politicians unprintable names, and his expressed frustrations were seen as the protests of an ant. Obaseki knew little that what started as a small tea party will eventually become one of his biggest nightmares as governor of Edo state.
Somehow, I am tempted to excuse Mr. Governor's stance because, as a political quantity unknown in 2016, he did not know how difficult it was for the political class to make him governor of Edo State.
For him, it was a simple command by the then governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. It is almost obvious now that he did not know that the seemingly easy project was the result of long years of selfless service to the people, respect for the political class and a conscious and untiring effort to work with all Tom, Dick and Harry.
In trying to solve the problems that became evident when the battle took shape, Obaseki ended many mistakes and offended many people who cannot really forgive him between now and June 22, the day set by the APC All Progressives Congress, for party primaries.
Obviously, he received an unfair share of bad advice from his fellow travelers. The list is endless, but I think some deserve some mention here. The first shocking and I must say that the most embarrassing thing to me as an indigenous Edo was the nightly inauguration of nine of the 24 elected members, which to date have remained unchanged.
The State then sponsored violence against elected members who dared to condemn their exclusion from the process that they had a legal right to have won their elections in their respective constituencies.
The battle continued and, at a certain stage, became violent, with bombs being dropped on the homes of certain leaders, as well as arbitrary destruction of property on stage.
At some point, there was an open and direct order (with video evidence) from the governor to deal with anyone seen gathered under the platform of the now defunct Edo People's Movement, EPM.
The order was further extended to the revered national party president, who was asked to obtain permission from Mr. Governor each time he needed to visit Edo State. The vice governor even admonished the inspector general of police to arrest Comrade Oshiomhole. within that same period.
When all these efforts did not produce the kind of results that Obaseki wanted, he decided to change the strategy a little. I believe he was told that when he succeeds in removing the national president accused of sponsoring so-called greedy politicians, his problems will be over.
He played everything he could to get the national president removed from the party. Support at some point transcended the borders of Edo State towards the north and other parts of the country, culminating in a court order ordering the APC national president to stop presenting himself as governor of Edo State.
This became the culmination of Obaseki's battles. However, that order was overturned by the Court of Appeal and today Comrade Adams Oshiomhole remains the party president.
Very recently, the APC National Labor Committee (NWC), in the performance of its legal functions, released the schedule of the primaries and the mode of the primaries.
They decided that the primary mode should be straightforward, which means that all APC cardholders must vote for their favorite candidate on June 22, 2020.
Surprisingly, that decision sparked some debate across the state with Obaseki and his followers vehemently opposing him.
Even the suspended APC state president, Anselm Ojezua, said he decided that the primary mode should be indirect and the reason he gave was that it is not safe to hold direct primaries in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The reason he gave has become a source of comic relief for Edo State citizens who wonder whether INEC will also be advised to hold indirect elections on September 19, 2020.
The same government that is talking about the COVID-19 risk is allowing markets to open and trade in large numbers when compared to the potential number of party members who will be leaving for a few hours to exercise their franchise on the chosen date.
The drop of water that broke the camel's back was the recent demonstration of statesmanship, courage and wisdom of aspirants to the APC platform, such as Dr. Pius Odubu, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, General Charles Airhiavbere, Chief Solomon Edebiri, Professor Ebegue Amadasun, ex. Saturday Uwuilekhue and Hon. Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma – they all chose a consensus candidate in the person of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and agreed to work with him.
You hardly find that kind of compromise anywhere in the world, where would-be opponents completely abandon their personal ambition to support a single person and work together in unity to achieve a common goal.
That for me deserves some praise. He also remembers: how Governor Godwin Obaseki will take these people by his side if, with some magic wand, he gets the party ticket. Is it not political suicide for the party to hand over its flag to such an unpopular candidate?
These schemes, comments and more leave one with no option but to ask, "Isn't the game over for Obaseki?" Is the handwriting on the wall not clear enough? Does he need another dose of the kind of advice he has enjoyed all this time? Will they urge you to contest in the face of impending defeat? The answers to these questions are obvious. The game is over. This may be your last chance to leave with honor. I sincerely advise you to do just that.