Oshiomhole versus Odubu: The consequences of yesterday’s folly
Citizens of Edo state might well still be lost on the cause of the life-threatening fight between Comrade AAE Oshiomhole, the Governor of Edo state and Rt Hon P.E. Odubu, who has been the Deputy Governor since 2008 when they respectively assumed office. It is curious that a Deputy who has won laurels for his legendary loyalty to his boss would fall out of favor with the same boss just about when they should be ‘finishing well, strong and united’. Behold things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold; the falcon cannot hear the falconer! What was first the rumor of disagreement between the duo actually boiled over to open accusation and counter accusation; conspiracy to murder and reports of actual attack and counter attack either to maim or assassinate one another.
How are the mighty fallen! Odubu has come out to tell the world that he is being victimized on account of his aspiration to succeed his estranged boss but this much has been dismissed by the Governor’s spoke persons as lies. I am sufficiently informed to understand that issues of choice of candidates under our electoral system remain the exclusive preserve or internal affair of the political parties. It certainly would be busy bodying to dabble into such a matter when you are not a member of the party, which within this context, is the All Progressives Congress(APC) to pick their gubernatorial flag bearer; that therefore is not at all my business except of course to say that I shall at the election proper cast my vote in total rejection of the APC and its candidate. Let me reiterate that my focus here is not at all about who would eventually fly the APC’s gubernatorial flag which is being speculated as fuelling the real or imaginary accusations and counter accusations between two supposedly perfect partners. Nevertheless, the Oshiomhole/Odubu’s feud presents a thematic plot of retributive justice.
ON THE ALLEGATION OF PLOT TO KILL GOVERNOR OSHIOMHOLE BY JUJU
In the beginning, Oshiomhole cut the image of a Democrat a man set on a mission for moral rebirth or re-armament, hence many supported his aspirations to be Governor twice in Edo state. The statement that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely played out absolutely in the administration of Adams Oshiomhole; so much to the disappointment and frustration of very many who had nursed the hope that his reign would have brought down the incumbency of politics of bitterness, treachery, mediocrity, violence and enthrone justice , peace , fair play and honesty. I held the belief then, that Edo state under Oshiomhole and Odubu would be a model of democracy and egalitarianism for other states in the Nigerian Federation. Such is the depth of the degeneracy or lack of moral integrity of this Government and when I discovered this long ago, I left them. Odubu for manifest personal political gains or survival gave the conniving endorsement (dressed up in the fine garment of loyalty) that Oshiomhole required to assume the full – blown tyrannical status (of a demi-god) in their PARTY, APC and by extension the governance of Edo state. The consequence today is the debilitating poverty and virtual one man rule that has taken us back by several years.
Nobody would have imagined that we could still be dealing with such socio-political malaise like political stigmatization victimization, thuggery etc in its ugliest forms after over seven (7) years of a Government that came on the promise of one man, one vote, let the people lead or no to godfatherism etc. Never for once would anyone have entertained the thought that that day would come when a governor’s statement (moreso Oshiomhole’s) would be subjected to proof of truth or correctness same having been put in serious doubt by the emotive denial of no less a personality as his Deputy Governor. Such today is the weight of Oshiomhole’s charges of plot to commit homicide by juju against his erst-while ‘loyal’ Deputy. Odubu said he is being vilified and hounded on account of his political aspiration to succeed his Boss as Governor But the question he lives to answer is: AT WHAT POINT DID OSHIOMHOLE BECOME THE LIAR AND THE MONSTER THAT HE NOW WANTS THE REST OF US TO SEE HIM AS WHEN AT ALL TIMES HE HAD REMAINED THE LOYAL DEPUTY EVEN WHEN OTHERS HAVE IN THE PAST CRIED FOUL? My orientation is to seek Justice for all manner of men; friends or foes alike, otherwise, I would readily have taken Oshiomhole’s side of the tales of putrid shame oozing out of Osadebe avenue. I would actually prefer Oshiomhole’s case to Odubu’s denial because the latter had in his covert or overt actions created in the mind of Edo citizens that his ‘Oga’ can do no wrong. As a matter of fact the most valued credential Odubu trusted would guarantee his return to Government House, as Governor was to continue to take side with Oshiomhole against the people and ultimately his endorsement.
When the rest of the people would say Oshiomhole was wrong to have publicly ridiculed senior Citizens like Chief Tony Anenih, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, Gen Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, just to mention a few of them; Odubu then carried on with dangerous acquiescing indifference. When men and women of conscience rose in the condemnation of Oshiomhole for the humiliation of lesser mortals like Major Oloye (rtd), the the GO AND DIE WIDOW, Hon. Abdulrazak Momoh( a then member of the Edo State House of Assembly-EDHA- who was framed- up and firearms planted, falsely arrested, put on hand cuff and ended up in jail) again to mention a few; Odubu then opted to relish his loyalty and even curry awards for maintaining dead silence whilst his ‘Oga’, Oshiomhole like an Emperor rode roughshod over Edo state.
WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND!
Sometime in 2014 Oshiomhole made a wild allegation against some of us, who as elected members of the Edo State House Assembly (EDHA) on the platform of ACN opted out of the merger of that party with some opposition parties to form the present, APC. As we perfected and made good our intention to leave APC and joined PDP, Oshiomhole driven by imaginary fear of impeachment went to town with the false alarm that PDP had given each of us a whooping Fifty Million Naira. Suffice to mention that only some few weeks earlier, Oshiomhole had received into the APC’s fold two(2) elected PDP Legislators, amongst whom was Hon Edoror Tiger Sabor Victor (who until recently he was ‘impeached’ was the Speaker of EDHA); and Heaven did not fall.
We swore to our innocence and explained it was an allegation that was fabricated to smear our names for political reasos. To please his master, Odubu rallied together a rented a crowd of charlatans who were led by one of his errand boys, Nosa Izekor (aka Army) and they converged on the Orhionmwon Local Government Secretariat (LGA) were they like puppets issued poorly rehearsed statements in support of the governor’s slanderous attack on our persons. Today, Odubu want the world to believe him and disbelieve Oshiomhole. How amusing? There is an adage in Benin which says: ” Edenabuohien Oghionmwan, Ede ni Avbebuoghegbeomwan” Translated, it means literarily that a person sit in adjudication over himself or herself on the day he or she sits in judgment over a perceived adversary or enemy. That being the case, we must at all times be objective in our judgments irrespective of our biases or prejudices as we unwittingly, set the precedent on which we might ourselves be judged. As Odubu struggles to extricate himself from the venom of Oshiomhole’s fiery tongue, his denial of any wrong doing to his Boss is equally an appeal to believe in his innocence. Ipso facto Oshiomhole should be seen as a liar. As earlier indicated, following Odubu’s precedent would mean that Oshiomhole is incapable of wrongdoing or lying! However fanciful the logic of my preceding thoughts seems, I yield still to the nobler injunction never to bear false witness.
ON THE ISSUE OF A PREFERRED CANDIDATE, ALLEGED VIOLENT ATTACKS ON ODUBU AND OTHER CONNECTED ACTS OF POLITICAL THUGGERY
News of violent attack or shooting on Odubu and his entourage in Auchi, Edo North senatorial district followed closely on the heels of the controversy generated by the accusation of voodooism. I made statements condemning the alleged act and by extension its perpetrators. I am using this medium to clarify my position lest it be mistaken for solidarity with Odubu who is been today as a victim of political violence. If there be any person deserving of sympathy I owe this to the innocent men or women who by virtue of duty or mere political participation became caught up in the melee of gun shooting and violence at Auchi. I would have done violence to my conscience if I equally consider that Oshiomhole or Odubu are deserving of the sympathy afforded a victim of political violence because the fact of its existence under them is symptomatic of maladministration. It is indeed an indictment on the Government.
I have personally suffered acts of political violence under the duo of Oshiomhole and Odubu dating back to when APC carried out membership registration and without justification or provocation armed thugs which includes blood brothers of the Deputy Governor laid siege to my house and were shooting sporadically from dusk till dawn. I gathered expended bullets as proof of this brigandage which I gave to the police then. I still have the text of the report I sent to the Governor to this day. Again, after Uyi Igbe, Philips Shaibu and Paul Ohonbamu led some colleagues in the Edo state House of Assembly (EDHA) to effect an ignoble suspension of some of us(including yours sincerely), thugs were massively mobilized to shoot us out of our offices and official quarters. In the last elections, it is on record that neither Odubu, APC nor their Candidate had the political clout or reputation to have won in a free and fair contest. In Urhomhehe community where Odubu votes, hordes of thugs were brought into the place on the night before the election morning. The armed thugs were used to shoot at Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members and supporters and they had to run for their dear lives which then paved the way for the horrendous fabrication of the polls result in favour of the APC. Consequently, absentee and deceased persons whose names were on the voters register were recorded as having voted in that election.
It is my stout contention that political violence is not less or more so, because yesterday an Honorable member was the target and today it is a Deputy Governor.
As with political violence, so it is with imposition. It is a matter of shame and regret that these twin evil seems so established that it now threatens certain interests; particularly those of persons who nurtured it to its monstrous height. I fought against imposition whilst in APC; the gang of those rebelling against Oshiomhole’s rumoured preference foisted a Councillor on Urhonigbe south , my ward. It seems too late to change the rule now because somebody wants the Party’s ticket against the wish of an ‘almighty governor’!
HON. (BARR) OGIERHIAKHI FRIDAY OSAKPAMWAN
Lawyer and former member of Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA),
Representing Orhionmwon South Constituency.