Edo 2020: Ominous Signs Trail Iyamu, Obaseki Peace Accord as Drum Beat of War Persist


Cast your mind to the popular programme on DSTV called National Geo Wild especially when a lion is hot in pursuit of an Antelope or any other unfortunate animal. The viciousness is unmistakably apparent. You could see the lion’s fiery eyes, bloodshot, sparkling with intense hatred, fixed on its prize. Between the predator and the prey, there is certainly no love lost; and that is the way it is with the grisly fight to finish between Comrade Adams Oshiomole and his former protégé Godwin Obaseki. It is not different from the beast and the dragon. They never take prisoners. They devour their prey and eat up the remains. If the beast and the dragon rules the land, Leviathan holds sway beneath the mighty waters. As the devastating battle between Oshiomole and Godwin Obaseki nears its climax, it is clear that there is not going to be a prisoner—only the vanquished. And both of them would strive not to fall into this obviously shameful category. Already from newspaper reports, both camps are briskly sharpening the edges of their swords, fine-tuning their grotesque strategies to outwit the other. No thought is given to the welfare of the people. The picture created is that this is no longer democracy: it is a show of force—an eerie departure from the democratic norms set by our founding fathers. Yet, were it not for the unnecessary ego escapades unleashed by Oshiomole against Obaseki, a previously loyal APC member, this darkened fight would not have been necessary. Now, it has snowballed into the conflagration we now behold in the sunny city of Benin. Why? Certain powerful elements feel they have the right to control the treasury of the State and so plotted the removal of the incumbent governor not minding the zoning formula in place that allows the Ishan people to produce the next governor after Afemai people have clearly served out their tenure with only four remaining for the Edo people to complete theirs. No thought was given to how their disastrous adventure will affect the apple cart. Yet the APC, now popularly known as the “All People Crying Congress”, have proceeded unabated to lunch an unprecedented campaign against their former man—Godwin Obaseki with the latest coming from Capt. Hosa Okunbor describing him as unfit for the position of governor, a remark many observers feel is uncalled for. “Capt. Hosa is really making a mess of himself with all these crass comments”, said Mr Ogbebor Steven. “We don’t need him talking because he is a selfish man and has not contributed anything to the development of the poor “claimed Mr Ogbebor. He pointed out that Capt. Hosa is far removed from the people and wondered what business he has with meddling into politics. “Let him go and face Rotimi Amaechi who is waiting for him in Abuja to come and account for all the millions of dollars he is collecting in the high seas”, he added. Another APC chieftain received his own rebuke when he boasted that his party will do better in Edo State. “What better is he talking about? The poverty, insecurity, fear, deprivation, banditry, kidnapping, and hunger they have heaped on Nigerians at the Federal level?’ asked Mr Simeon Irabor.”Is that what he meant by saying they will do better in Edo? He should save it for himself; Edo people don’t need insecurity, hunger or poverty”, he stressed. On John Mayaki, an Oshiomole ally, and others like him who have been chanting Obaseki’s downfall, they need not be reminded that Edo State has more proud and decent people who will come out and reelect Obaseki. “Obaseki is not going anywhere”, said one Abudu Imoga, a roadside carpenter. “Edo cannot return to the rule thugs, racketeers, corrupt elements, tax collectors” Abudu further explains. “We know Oshiomole very well; he has no time for the poor and he is not pretending about it”, he added. “But on that day, we will show him how much we loathe him and his policies”. The question however is will the people be allowed to decide their next governor? Will the process be transparent? As the drumbeat of war gets louder, with the police, DSS, Navy, Air force, Army and all carrying out drills just for an ordinary election that the “oyinbo” man does without much ado, it remains to be seen whether this is indeed democracy. Amazingly, with Nigeria reeling from multiple price increases, the fuel going up, electricity tariff high, staple foods increasing, not to mention the sharp rise of the dollar and Euros, a section of hardened supporters are still rooting for somebody they know will not perform, Meaning that we—stakeholders—are all casualties! And as explained before, Nigeria’s democracy will be in peril if powerful civilians can wake up and throw out first time properly elected governors just like that. And if this ugly situation continues, you can only guess what the country would be in the next few years. I believe we do not want to turn into a banana republic? A situation where falsehood prevails instead of transparency and accountability cannot take the country too far. Once we lose our moral grounds, then it is bye-bye to decency. With this sad trend, the APC is sending the wrong message. Maybe Oshiomole has not thought of it, but how the young generation of Nigerians would judge him should certainly worry him. If not, let him recollect the statement credited to former president Good luck who said no Nigerian blood is worth shedding because of his ambition. At the end of the day, Oshiomole would see that all is vanity upon vanity. And just in case the APC is declared winner which is impossible, Oshiomole would have another herculean fight—this time more deadly with the new governor.