Edo Political Chaos; not just ‘Godfatherism’ or Control but ineffectiveness to manage people and power.
By Gloria Adagbon
The reactions on social media and the illusion of control and Godfatherism has led to this piece: Edo Political chaos, not about Godfatherism or control but ineffectiveness to manage people and power. I invite you to read with an open mind.
The issue of Godfatherism or political is not new in our polity but the current political chaos in Edo is hardly occasioned by the struggle of control and Godfatherism. Some people argues that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole want to control the governor, that he want to become the Godfather, and supporters of the Godwin Obaseki will blutt are rooted in this. Some commentators also allude to the same point that because Obaseki had refused to be controlled by Oshiomhole, hence the fight to finish that we are now witnessing in Edo State!
Well for these set of people and school of thought, I do not fault their understanding as there has been a deliberate media narrative carefully choreographed by the Obaseki media handlers. This narrative has been sold to the unsuspecting minds and it would have been difficult to disabuse their minds had the Governor himself not vied off the script.
Why do I say this? In 2016 when Obaseki was introduced to the Edo electorate, very little or nothing was known of him. He was introduced as a technocrat, a successful manager, a financial guru, a new kid on the bloc. Edo APC under the leadership of the then Comrade Governor, Adams Oshiomole ran a massive campaign and the rest they say is history. Godwin Obaseki emerged as Governor although his main opponent, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu challenged the results of the election, the Supreme Court eventually gave the final verdict and declared Obaseki as the rightful winner of the election after a successful legal battle.
The supreme court declaration was the last hurdle. Obaseki became the Chief Executive Officer of the State. As the CEO, he was fully in charge of the affairs of state. Since then, he has been in the saddle leading Edo and her people. During campaign promises were made to the people especially about continuity and consolidation of Comrade Oshiomhole’s projects. And I must add that the people also voted on the basis of continuity. It was not until the late 2018 that most people began to sense that all may be well with Oshiomhole and the benefactor of the 2016 elections. Initially, there were denials of any problems and then came the acknowledgements and the subsequent full blown war now being waged openly by Governor Obaseki.
It is this full scale war being fought mercilessly against some persons or perceived opponents that have destroyed the carefully choreographed narrative that Obaseki is being hindered by forces who wants to control him or simply put that Oshiomhole wants to play the Godfather hence the political chaos.
From the analysis of facts, issues, the actions or inactions, it is obvious that there is something inherently wrong, something that has nothing to do with Godfatherism or control because how many aspiring political Godfathers does Obaseki have? How many people want to be Obaseki’s Godfather? How many people want to control him? For anyone who has been following the sad and unfortunate events that have thrown Edo State APC into a political stalemate, one would fully grapple that there is more than meets the eye.
Starting with Edo APC leaders, do they also want to be Godfathers, or control the Governor? The accusation of greedy politicians by Governor is all over the media space but who amongst the “greedy politicians” have the Governor really given money? Who among them is really greedy or being thievish? Who are these people? Don’t they have names? What about Obaseki’s political appointees, the 192 Special Assistants he appointed that he had recently sacked? Do they also want to be his Godfather and control him? How about those appointed to work under the Local Government Chairmen that were sacked recently? What about the Eghe Ogbemudia? The daughter of late Samuel Ogbemudia! Does she also want to be a ‘Godmother’ to the Governor as well as some of his Commissioners too! Do they also want to be his Godfather and control him or his decisions as governor? What about the Edo APC spokesman that has allegedly sacked? Is he also trying to exert control and be a Godfather to Obaseki? Not to mention the councillors who have also fallen victims of the political fallout either sacked for not supporting his second term ambition or for being in the ‘targetted’ APC leaders constituency?
The truth is that the narrative of Godfather was sold to curry empathy and sway the people on the Governor’s side and cover up whatever he does to retain power. Don’t get me wrong. Fighting to retain power is one thing and how to go about it is another and you cannot expect the people who had helped you to climb the political ladder to support you again after you have thrown away the ladder forgetting that you will one day need that ladder to come down.
The political chaos in Edo is not about the much touted Godfatherism or Oshiomhole trying to control Obaseki but rather it is about the latter’s inability to manage the people and power given to him on a platter of gold. The Edo State House of Assembly clandestine inauguration is also another issue. EDHA members and members-elect (still yet to be sworn in) are all elected on the platform of APC. Do they also want to be Godfathers? Even the paranoia of impeachment is another ruse. Why would they impeach him – a governor unanimously produced by the party? There is this adage that says the ‘sinner runeth when no one pursueth’. And whether we like it or not, second terms are always harder to get than first term. At first term, the people didn’t know you or your character but rather the belief of what or how he was described. At first term, people don’t ask for achievements but just what you can do.
For a second term, it is about giving account of your stewardship. Furthermore, the people having seen your flaws and inadequacies will easily buckle out from supporting unlike the first term. When the crises started, a good manager would have dialogued and even if not resolved, a good manager would have managed the crises better. The crises are now full blown and to label it on the door of Godfatherism or control is being economical with the truth. You cannot expect the people whom you jettisoned after attaining power to now bend backwards to support you for the second term, and it will be their decision, free-willed. A better and effective manager would have managed this crises and I don’t know whether it is now too late…2020 is still a while away.