Countdown to Edo Governorship Elections: Part 3


By Sule Oyofo

Three months back, September seemed far; then the talk was the survival of the former APC national chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomole in office. He had faced self-imposed difficult times as a result of his needless obduracy. He wanted to prove a point to Obaseki that he was the “chair” and he went on to disqualify him from contesting the primary! A sitting first-time governor disqualified? Alarm. This wasn’t a democracy. In a democracy, you allow the people to decide—not yourself! Mistake number one. Don’t forget it was two Edo people fighting themselves—not Igbo versus Hausa or IPOB member fighting Ohaneze.  But in a twinkle, September is here—the month of election; and the bitter war of attrition between the two Edo people has now turned into a fight to finish with everything taken into consideration—guns, cutlasses, sticks, cudgels, hammer, stones –just anything. Interestingly, we are now entering the phase of the “lions” and the “tigers” with the incumbent governor promising to tame whoever is coming as a lion or tiger. I like Obaseki for this stance. He has let it be known that people who are going to vote for him on that September are human beings—nothing else. But if otherwise by dint of your wizardry you managed to appear as a lion or tiger on the field that day, he will still tame you; that means he himself will be appearing as something slightly bigger than both lion and tiger. That could be Elephant…whao….. Don’t forget now that an Igbo proverb had said and I quote: “a man likes to answer the same name as an animal especially when the animal is powerful!” hence you have the Kabakas and the Inegbininkis who by some standards resembles the very animal mentioned. Also now remember that both animals mentioned are wild; they are not reasonable—or rational in thoughts– as the language they understand is to devour their prey. In their kingdom, no prisoner is taken; they are killed and the carcasses left to rot. And if you look closely, that’s like the situation in Benin for now. Mistake number two: Tension is so high, insults have been pouring down freely that should APC and PDP happens to clash, all emotions would be let loose and the result would only be carnage. All because Oshiomole has carried over his battle with Obaseki from Abuja down to Benin. Have you ever seen a man who came out and vowed to kill you openly and you will stand by and watch him actually kill you? Hear me, the biggest surprise here is that people who are supposed to know have lined up behind Oshiomole. So the people’s welfare is mentioned just in the mouth alone—not in the heart or action. The treasury is what matters to them. Oshiomole cannot lay claim to Edo State because the State is bigger than him—including all the powerful individuals who are supporting him. You cannot wake up and say you want to “overthrow” a sitting governor; because that is what all the boosting by the Oshiomole camp amounts to. If is democracy –or the ballot box—they should be remorseful and begging. After all, Oshiomole had said if you are not an expert in election rigging, you better not come near the area. But that’s not the Nigeria we want to build; we must show seriousness; we must be accountable and transparent. Come to think of it, Obaseki has been so distracted that the poor man is now thinking more of survival than delivering on his mandate. Oh yes; the State is not talking; they are planning to use the security, they are planning to use federal power; we do not know why the powers at the centre would contemplate such. Is this the kind of election the INEC is coming to supervise? Is this the legacy APC controlled federal government is leaving behind?