The politics of godfatherism in Nigeria was dealt another blow at the just concluded Edo 2020 gubernatorial polls in Edo State on Saturday, September 19,2020.
A former economic adviser to then Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adam Oshiomole, Doctor Godwin Obaseki became the favorite candidate to replace him at the end of his term in 2006. And as it is always the case when a protégé takes over from their predecessor in African politics- they still remain the back seat drivers.
Obaseki will not allow any back seat driver to navigate the future of Edo citizens. Thus became the acrimonious war of the heart of Edo politics.The personal squabbles between Oshiomole and Obaseki became a public matter-although they both downplayed it -as minor philosophical differences.
As the 2020 election drew closer and the All People’s Congress(APC) party primaries was held- the Oshiomole’s mind was made up- that Obaseki has to go after 4 years of what he saw as insubordination.ran out.
Despite Obaseki’s efforts to mend fences with his predecessor, his overtures were rebuffed, often by violent means. Just like when he paid a solidarity visit to Oshiomole home town in Auchi and his convoy was attacked by angry mob of Oshiomole loyalists( For the records-not at Oshiomole’s behest)
The APC primary subsequently convened and Obaseki was technically disqualified through a well plotted clandestine formula to pave way for the favored candidate Pastor Osagie Ize-lyamo.
Since his party abandoned him, Obaseki sought shelter under the “Umbrella” of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) who quickly accepted him as a member and gave him the ticket to run for Governor on their platform.
The Edo state gubernatorial campaign heated up more than the coronavirus pandemic that has been our nemesis this year. It was a clear war of attrition by the APC party hierarchy, including the party leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
After a very competitive campaign which saw the two candidates at each other’s throat- the people of Edo spoke at the polls. Obaseki floored Iyi Amuzu in more local governments than he did in past gubernatorial elections and coasted to victory for another 4 years in office.
This is yet another victory for our unstable democracy and a message to the so-called “political godfathers”, that our citizens are wiser and weary of their impositional political formula of leadership.
For Oshiomole,that I had much respect and admiration for when he was the leader of the Nigerian labor union -I think it is time for him to check his dwindling political lifeline and deviate from the politics of mediocrity.
Life and Times News
Los Angeles, California