ANALYSIS OF EVENTS LEADING TO EDO GUBER ELECTION & WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN FOR GOVERNOR OBASEKI
-Femi Afolabi Peters
(UK International Security & Intelligence Consultant; Political Analyst & Election Strategist)
But people like you, my dear erudite brother, SHOLLYPINO of the FRIENDZ INTELLECTUAL FORUM, should have advised OBASEKI to the contrary when he started that macabre dance against his erstwhile political godfather and partner in ‘rigimo’.
He , Obaseki allegedly funded the coup that eventually consumed Oshiomole’s national chairmanship of the APC, and he was openly elated over the development. The coup had been in the offing for quite awhile and had the hallmark of 2023 presidential election and the mostly rumoured one LION of Bourdillon’s probable intention to run. However and for whatever reason(s) some governors in the APC felt and still feel very uncomfortable with the LION entering the game. Arrowhead of this group of governors in the Southern Nigeria is the elitist politician and 2nd tenure governor of a SW state. He was believed to be a one time political benefactor of the LION but has now sufficiently come of age to twist the tale of the LION.
With Oshiomole as the APC national chairman, the LION might have a good shoulder to lean on if indeed he runs in 2023 hence, Oshiomole must be removed at all cost, so thought the anti LION 2023 presidential ambition group, predominantly dominated by serving governors both in the Northern and Southern states of Nigeria.
One thing that gave their group a fillip was the alleged support of a one time Super CoS, some saw in him as the real ruler of the country instead of a Bubu president who’s lost touch with the governed and indeed the groundswell of support and goodwill that gave him a second tenure ticket in 2019.
Were the CoS still to be alive today, the political calculations in Edo State would have been entirely different. He’d have ensured that Obaseki got his second tenure ticket as APC Governor instead of being stampeded out of the party by no one else other than his estranged godfather in Oshiomole. Had Obaseki and his handlers given a second thought about FATE playing a hand in all of this, they’d definitely have played the game differently. They showed their hands too soon and put all their eggs in a basket and the moment that CoS breathed his last, not a few pundits like me know that Obaseki has got this one terribly wrong! He tried some fence mending with his estranged godfather in Oshiomole but it was too little too late. Oshiomole had been hounded and publicly castigated by Obaseki and the former would stop at nothing to take his pound of flesh.
This brings me to how good or bad a student of politics Obaseki is?
My take on this is predicated on studies of practical politics in Nigeria’s peculiar sphere. It’s a game you play with all your wits and always be on guard and act the wily fox. The uninitiated would be quick to denigrate Godfatherism in Nigeria’s political firmament but contemporarily, that’s an idealist view which holds no water in practice. It’d have been different if political parties are founded on strong ideological persuasion and voter education is consistently revised and disseminated for improved results. Alas, this isn’t the case and combined with money politics in a society where there’s abject lack, sadly, Godfatherism will continue to thrive until there comes a time the polity will embrace a long overdue paradigm shift in the rules of the game for fairness and collective good.
President Bubu admonished the contestants and other stakeholders in today’s Edo guber to play by the rules and showcase good and commendable electoral conduct to the watching world but that’s just a mere talk that nobody will walk. Not until fundamental changes are brought to our electoral laws under which election offenders are tried swiftly and justice handed down appropriately that we will begin to see the desired change and its good harvest.
Conversely, the security show of force in Edo state in the last few days doesn’t necessarily translate to impartial conduct on the part of election duty security personnel. It’s not improbable that there are team leaders and members who will compromise their professional obligation as dictated by the various heads of their organisation once the ‘right package’ is dangled before them. It’s on record that election security personnel and indeed staff of the umpire Agency in INEC won’t bat an eyelid to perpetrate electoral infractions in conjunction with a willing political party as long as the reward of filthy lucre is worthy and guaranteed!
Besides, the stakes in Edo guber are just too high for either of the two main protagonists not to throw in the kitchen sink! Be that as it may, Oshiomole has a lot more to lose than his ‘ingrate’ one time godson. Obaseki’s victory today, which is extremely doubtful, will almost certainly consign Oshiomole to the political dustbin of ‘have beens’ in his native Edo state and by extension at the centre as well….. and he’ll be gladly welcome by his forerunner APC national chairman also from Edo state, Pa Oyegun who’s waiting in the wings to gloat over Oshiomole’s political downturn!
Finally, methinks Obaseki is a poor student of Nigeria’s Brand of politics and strategic planning simply due to his inability to manage whatever Oshiomole’s excesses might be, at least until he had the second term APC guber party ticket in the kitty and most probably go on to win the election and thereafter, he can show his fangs!
Obaseki’s almost definitely electoral loss today should serve a lesson in practical politics to other politicians of his mould, mindful of this yoruba adage:
“Iku to pa ojugba eni…owe lo n pa fun ni”