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Godwin Obaseki, Edo State gov, and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

“It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's truer that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.” - David Brin

Power to the ambitious, is like an aphrodisiac. It creates the enabling self-satisfying platform for the realization of other insular pursuits and wants that can only be sated by a higher dose of its finer or baser attributes.

It has been used by so-called leaders to subjugate and strangulate the opposition in the selfish race to personalize, enslave or colonize it. Others want power for its sake as a development tool or vehicle to emancipate a larger mass of the people he/she intends to lead. An admixture of these variants sometimes occurs and limits performance holistically.

In its pristine form, the beauty of politics is the allure and aura of power, in the Nigerian context, there is the added tendency for some of these wearers and wielders of this power toga to use it to accumulate economic capital for self and cronies. It is not enough to apportion the accruing “dividends of democracy”, as many of those within the periphery of the power modem develop viruses and strains of “resource control”, “stomach infrastructure” or a brazen form of “self-help” where some party men and women resort to “rag” party leaders to feed themselves and their families.

It is in the light of the foregoing that we must situate the desperate and precipitate actions, activities and vile utterances of a certain section of the political class in Edo state. This political class mentored by the deposed, disgraced and sacked National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. He has indulged in wanton disregard for constituted authority; rebellious activities designed to instigate other sections of the society to do same and other actions and attempt to demonize the sitting Governor as not fit for a second term.

The impression Adams Oshiomhole is conveying, albeit through his ad-hoc Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), one of the factions in the now near defunct Edo APC, is that if not through barefaced impunity and lack of diplomacy, Godwin Obaseki would not have served his ongoing first term as the Governor of Edo State. Oshiomhole's lack of trust in Obaseki ab-initio resorted to his deployment of Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu to “close-mark” him and make sure he performed as "programmed" – the formula failed woefully when Oshiomhole needed it most, as Shaibu shunned the self proclaimed godfather and made it crystal clear that he was not Adams Oshiomhole's puppet but a partner in the Reset Edo Project! A decision based on having worked closely with the Governor and witnessed firsthand the merits of the Obaseki dispensation.

It is gradually being unravelled that the main signature or legacy projects – (a) the 200 Bed Accident and Emergency Ward, (b) the Iyamho Palace (c) Iyamho University (d) the Edo Roads and some other financial games between November 12, 2008 and November 12, 2016, were responsible for the abrupt severance of comrade-ship between Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, both former acolytes.


As things are wont to turn out in a classic display of the Law of Karma, Oshiomhole thought, albeit without any care in the world, that Obaseki was his Elisha, who is malleable “follow-follow” and oriented to do his bidding as far as turning the state Treasury into his personal Automated Teller Machine (ATM).  Oshiomhole’s conviction was that the few so-called “legacy projects, which commenced in his two tenures were veritable avenues of using Edo State’s allocation without budgetary provisions as what is needed was the sitting governor’s acquiescence and understanding, then the deed is done.

The 200-bed Accident and Emergency Ward at the Benin Specialist Hospital was designed as a financial drainpipe to enrich friends and family. To facilitate the quick completion of the “family” project, or so we thought, the Oshiomhole Administration was expected to pay the sum of N1,878,455,343.71 (One Billion, Eight Hundred and Seventy-eight million, Four hundred and Fifty-five thousand, Three hundred and Forty-three naira, Seventy-one Kobo), on the completion of the full project.  In his usual manner, Oshiomhole discarded the normal accounting requirements and due diligence and offered Vamed Engineering Nigeria Limited N1,408,841,507.78 (75%) representing the mobilisation fee for the supply, installation, training of personnel and the maintenance of the equipment that was paid for in defiance of accounting due diligence.  No equipment was supplied for the abnormal and illegal sum of N1,408,841,507.78 that was paid in advance.  In reality, the same Oshiomhole also contracted the equipping and maintenance of the teaching hospital segment of Edo University, Iyamho, to Vamed Engineering Limited, after vilifying it some years earlier for the supply of fake, sub-standard, irrelevant and out-dated medical equipment to Stella Obasanjo Women and Children Hospital Benin City.

Oshiomhole’s audacious expectations of Obaseki to defend bogus projects and activities like his palace at Iyamho, his country home; the Edo University inappropriately named at Iyamho, instead of Uzairue, the overpriced and padded road contracts across Edo State, the unending storm water project etc, hit a brick wall when Obaseki refused to be manipulated by the Master Puppeteer who wanted to run an unconstitutional third term, through a surrogate Obaseki. As a true son of the soil he rebelled against him and “answered his father’s name” and went independent to protect the people and resources of Edo State. Oshiomhole's cover up to his nefarious activities was try to  demonize the Governor as one who did not cater to the welfare of his party men and women.

When Oshiomhole pronounced a “fatwa” on Obaseki, the battle line was drawn between pro and anti-Obaseki and then Oshiomhole's tendencies within the Edo State, nay Nigeria, APC.

It is, also, clear that with Oshiomhole’s famed predisposition to shun all processes and procedures with particular focus on budgetary requirements, spending Edo State Government funds as if it is his personal cash reservoir, a clash with Obaseki who is widely known to be adverse to reckless spending of state funds that can be deployed to more useful sectors of the state’s economy ensued.

When Obaseki started to chart his own trajectory devoid of the imposition of Oshiomhole’s ideals and ideas, and his government’s decision not to use motor park touts and people of questionable characters, he drew the ire of Oshiomhole who sees this set of people as an essential part of his idea of participatory politicking. What many watchers of Edo political battle are not aware of is that the state direct control of the daily humongous revenue accruing from Benin City, the state capital and which Obaseki divested from the free control of the many warlords, who were, hitherto empowered by ex-Governor Oshiomhole to collect same and pay a less-than-1% of it to the state or local government, as tax. In the process, many miscreants, with no visible means of legal employment or profession, were made millionaires (and even billionaires) by Oshiomhole. A policy that threatened and almost began to discourage youth from academic pursuit and educated and responsible citizens doubting their competence, questioning benefits of education and values!

Governor Obaseki has been known to be adverse to Oshiomhole’s plan to foist a regime of control and a gate-keeper/governor status on him. Less than two years into the inaugural Obaseki tenure, Oshiomhole began to suspect that Obaseki was erecting independent structures that would enhance and maximize resources contrary to Oshiomhole's personal agenda that was a path that would have crippled the state. The formation of the renegade Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) was principally directed at providing a rallying point for the pro-Oshiomhole elements within Edo APC.

It is significant to point out that Oshiomhole did not believe that the quartet of Major General Charles Airhiavbere; Dr. Pius Odubu; Engineer Christopher Ogiemwonyi and Mr. Solomon Edebiri, severally and together, did not pose or possess the needed political clout or savvy to give Obaseki the Ambode Treatment and win the governorship. More importantly to him, he believed these men would not succumb to his command or tolerate his antics!

In his desperation to hold on to power as he tried to gain the governorship seat in order to run a third term by proxy, Adams Oshiomhole was sacked, deposed and disgraced from Office as National Chairman of APC. Sadly, Oshiomhole's actions can be described in Ayn Rand's quote which says "Power lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind “Resetting Edo will quash Adams Oshiomhole’s godfather ambition and deny him the unconstitutional third term in office he seeks!

Support Godwin Obaseki and Vote PDP on September 19, 2020.

    v    Chris Osa Nehikhare, is the State Publicity Secretary, People's Democratic Party, PDP, Edo State.

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