Random thoughts on Edo

In another 96 hours, Edo will have a new helmsman-elect. That the D-day is gonna be as Yankees will say, speaks to the truism of Yoruba ear-tilting adage of “bope titi ogun odun yio ku ola” (delay isn’t denial). The popular belief, even within the confines of the ruling APC, is that the PDP would have been the government-in-waiting if the contentious postponement had not been. Outgoing Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his party had denied being the Esau’s make-belief hand behind the Jacob’s voice which forced the postponement on suspected spurious insecurity claims. The verdict of recent history could make the insecurity excuse a fatal mistake for Oshio Baba and his party, because the last time such excuse was offered for another contentious postponement, the ruling party which was accused of stage-managing the shift, lost.

Maybe, a different excuse would provide a different aura and outcome. And to think this was an election that would not be shifted for academic progress of the younger generation whose future the politicians claim they want to secure! Contentious election shifts have a way of retching up voters. The reported revved anger in the state may now hurt more. The consequences of another shift would be better imagined. Even INEC scored with its initial braggadocio sparring with the security agencies. While the latter deserve the cross of shame for the suspicious shift, the electoral body will only speak the minds of the electorate by allowing the votes to count appropriately.

But Goodluck Jonathan and PDP almost fixed their mess within the six weeks of postponement of the presidential election, losing by the slimmest margin in history. It remains to be seen if history will repeat itself for Oshiomhole.

I have not seen Oshiomhole’s Edo for years and with the media deliberately getting more inaccurate, I will stay within the realm of “he has tried.” It would not be right to say elections aren’t about performance. Was it not why Jonathan and PDP were thrown out of Abuja? Isn’t the perceived high performance index the sustaining strength of Bola Tinubu’s political clan’s hold on Alausa? So, it could be personal or transferred. If Oshiomhole is thought to have “tried” and his candidate, Godwin Obaseki is thought to be the brain-box of the passing administration, why the widespread belief of an impending defeat?

Clannish dynamics and demographic specifics may differ from state to state, but something must have gone wrong in the last four years for a governor with a scale-tipping re-election victory in 2012, to now be engaging in underhand tactics to defeat a political grouping he once vanquished even as a Khaki-donning labour leader.

I know the governor from a distance, but I have heard “close” stories about him. If I add the two perspectives, my perception of his person, politics and persona could be reliable. Regardless of the outcome of the Wednesday contest, which I strongly feel will go APC’s way hook or crook, Oshio won’t be the same people’s comrade again.

His foray into governance has completed his metamorphosis. The unveiling has been total. Unlike when he would pop into Nigerians’ consciousness to pump their aluta adrenaline against governments and retreat until another day, the Oshiomhole being daily seen, is a quasi-intellectual, uncrowned philosopher-king, pretentious political developer and a challenged humanity worrier.

One of his messages likely to hurt him badly is the anti-godfatherism polemics. It was his roller-coaster to power. Today, he is representing the worst form of godfatherism. Apart from single-handedly choosing Obaseki and his running-mate Philip Shuaibu, who is facing alleged corruption trial by ICPC, he conducts their campaign as if it is a three-man ticket, with him atop. Hypocrisy churns. Voters are likely to punish his Janus style, considering his rude campaign against godfathers before him in the state.

But I personally hold that Oshiomhole’s greatest undoing so far in life is the twin issue of pride and verbal diarrhoea. With a tinge of over-assumption of his capacity, he defines loquaciousness in its unrefined form. From unprovoked railing against senior political actors in the state to “widow go and die” statement, the needless bombastic demonisation of “men of yesterday” to making himself look like the best graduating student among APC governors, Oshiomhole’s tongue is the fire destroying him and the death knell if eventually unplugged on Wednesday. Unfortunately, his best known media minder, Kazeem Afegbua shares his “limitless” DNA. So, who is going to help comrade-governor? What about committing Proverbs 17:27-28 unto him?


Fayose’s NECO result

WHEN you think the Ajantala (the strange one)-he calls himself Irunmole– in Ekiti, is down and out, he bounces back like the popular unbreke (unbreakable) ball of the halcyon days. Ayodele Peter Fayose is a riddle and it seems God has surplus grace reserved for him. There may be contentions, but his recent NECO result is glittering. Fayose’s Ekiti came first. He got the state genuinely earning her sobriquet of “Fountain of knowledge.” APC’s argument that the seed for the exploit was sown by its own, Minister Kayode Fayemi as governor, isn’t without merit. You can’t truly build something on nothing and about 90 per cent of the outstanding students must have come into secondary education when Fayemi stepped into government house about six years ago. But “something” not built on, is also useless. In a Nigeria of evil politicking, Fayose could, in the time he has been in government, dismantle everything Fayemi could claim as legacies, including innocent students’ future.