FREEPRESS – MANY sycophants on the side of Governor Godwin Obaseki are still clinging to the straw that the crisis plaguing the APC will further embolden the
Governor to use state power to visit more wanton terror on the powerless
party supporters who are opposed to his second term bid.
As expected, the Governor, yesterday signed a new gazette, banning
political or social gathering involving more than 20 persons in the state
without his explicit approval. Mr. Obaseki also approved the Samuel
Ogbemudia Stadium in the State capital as the only facility for any
political party desirous of gathering for the purpose of primary elections.
This has put paid to the proposed direct primary election by All
Progressives Congress (APC) to elect its governorship candidate in the
The governor’s earlier halfhearted pole-voting for peace in Lagos and Abuja
— genuflecting — left political observers bewildered and without
hesitation about the Governor’s genuine commitment to secure lasting peace
with his estranged predecessor and the National Chairman of APC, Comrade
While in Lagos pleading with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to intervene in the fight
between him and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in the midst of seven other APC
governors, scrubbing himself on the bourdillon’s floor last Sunday for the
remission of sins, a Federal High Court in Abuja temporarily stopped the
Edo State Government and Godwin Obaseki from arresting and prosecuting the
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), over his
indictment in a white paper report that probed the building of Edo
Specialist Hospital, Benin City.
Comrade Oshiomhole’s ex-parte motion against the panel’s white paper report
came up for hearing the following day (Monday), the same time the APC
Governors visited the National Chairman on behalf of Mr. Obaseki in
continuation of the Lagos peace proposal’s voyage. Mr. Obaseki was seen
presenting his nomination form to the President for a photo op in Aso Rock,
exactly the same time his counsel, Alex Ejeiseme (SAN) was engaged in legal
fireworks in the law court against Comrade Oshiomhole’s counsel!
More traumatizing for the embattled Governor is Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s
tsunami in the APC gubernatorial race that will certainly ruin his chances
for a second term in office. The Governor is alleged to have procured a
High Court judgment meant to bar the party from conducting its internal and
direct primary set for June 22 and from screening Pastor Ize-Iyamu to
participate in the primary election.
But Governor Obaseki’s travails continued since the case has been adjourned
to June 17 in what his opponents called another technical defeat of the
embattled Governor. The charges of possible purchase of judgement to stop
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu from contesting APC governorship by the Governor is
hardly a dismisible allegation given the fact that the Governor failed in
his earlier attempt to secure a black market injunction at Abudu High Court
on MondayMonday thisweek.
These cases, as I said before have been heavily criticized as unnecessary
interference by the court in internal party affairs. Critics have cited
Section 87 (10) of the Electoral Act which forbids the interference of
courts in the conduct of party primaries in the nature in which Mr. Obaseki
and his cohorts are seeking to do.
I have also exorcise my worst fears about Mr. Godwin Obaseki’s second
coming in several write ups with bleak chronicle of his fascist heavy
handedness as demonstrated by his heads hunters in the past. If by June 22
primary invalidated my stand, the dreary prognoses will have played a part
by spurring us to a post-Obaseki’s tenuous governorship. As it’s well
known, second term for many political office holders in Nigeria has proved
to be scoring points that propelled them to the league of two term
Governors or whatever and then do next to nothing, after creating an
Of major concern in this current contest is the Governor’s certification
scandal and visible discrepancies that became subject of litigation in 2016.
The APC National Working Committee (NWC) has said that aspirants
without original certificates like Mr. Obaseki who contested the APC ticket
with affidavits in 2016 because of missing original certificates wouldn’t
be allowed to fly the party flag to avoid a repeat of Bayelsa’s pyrrhic
Instructively, if the APC wants to retain power in Edo, only original
certificates can prove that Governor Obaseki actually attended the
institutions he claimed to have attended. That he left secondary school in
1973, graduated from the University in 1976, served the Country in 1979
with only three credits is untenable. The APC leadership must prevent the
Bayelsa debacle, from repeating itself in Edo. To allow such abnormality to
happen within the political structure again and again where leaders who are
not voted for by the people assume position of leadership through the back
doors. That is the end of democracy and the beginning of illegitimate
Mr. Obaseki’s nocturnal peace moves have stripped away the veneer of his
insincerity and the hidden political reality that has been masquerading as
governance over the last 3 1/2 years. But his imported friends from Lagos,
Delta and Abuja have been fantasizing about the renaissance of a new era,
known and visible to them alone.
These grim reapers who are the Governor’s nicest stars who can’t vote in
the direct primary election in coming days have become his undoing. It’s
the poorer party members he relegated and the browners that will vote on
June 22. When did the poor Governor suddenly come to the realization that
those who misled him are easy pickers in the corridor of power? How and why
did he allow himself to be deceived?
The reason Mr. Godwin Obaseki lost his luster is easily understandable.
He’s an acclaimed technocratic virgin from the outer space who found
himself accidentally in a political laboratory maternity government house!
That’s why he’s not aware that disempowerment breeds poverty, ages people
faster, readies the people for the cull and ignites social upheaval. Is it
too late for the Governor to realise that condemning his party men/women to
the class of laziness, joblessness, poor hungry individuals is against
politics of inclusiveness.
The fillers out there amongst the party’s card carrying members indicate
that they are not about to be cowed or intimidated to vote him for a second
term into office. What Mr. Godwin Obaseki is not telling us, on the flip
side, is that Edo State is buckling under towering mountains of debt he
plunged it into. The huge debt from foreign financial institutions are
never accomplished with any significant projects.
With the growing rejection of Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the obvious discontent
that gave rise to the political monsters in the state, it might just be too
late to soothe the grapes of wrath that have been growing since 2016.
To be continued.
Ikhide, A Social Crusader, Journalist and Security Expert writes from
Follow me on Twitter @ikhide_erasmus1