Obaseki/Shuaibu: Oshiomhole’s Gods Are Alive (1).


Politics in Nigeria can be said to be a delicate game of thorns and swords; not one of ideas and emotions, or creativity and innovation. It seems to be a deadly game, where character is not defined, and content doesn’t necessarily matter.

If a person is seen as politically savvy, it means he possesses ingredients that represent the negative vibes of society: back-stabbing, manipulation, draconian conduct, avarice, gerrymandering, subterfuge, pretentiousness, lies telling, deviousness and the like. With these vices, a politician is more likely to make progress more aggressively in Nigeria, than in any other legitimate endeavor. Those are the veritable currency in the typical Nigerian political space. When one speaks too much of honesty and truth, one is likely to be branded as “knowing too much.” Knowing too much in Nigeria’s politics is tantamount to keeping you long enough on the queue for political relevance. When Godwin Obaseki was seeking Governorship, he was an unknown quantity, who warmed himself into Comrade Oshiomhole’s heart; he carried Oshiomhole’s handbag, ran errands for him, was always present for lunch, and pretended to be a great guy. Those of us who could see through his pretense were branded “disobedient;” we were said to be disobedient to Oshiomhole. I was never cowered, I told my boss that Obaseki was no good. His candidacy in 2016 was sour grapes for me. I was called all sorts of names, but I am happy that time has proven me right, and history has added a feather to my cap. Those who accused me of being “recalcitrant” when I declined to support Godwin Obaseki, were the earliest casualties of Obaseki’s torrid person. He went for their jugular and rendered them impuissant. With his usual smile, he dealt blows to those who had stood by him in the course of his Guber project. This man made me understand the Bible passage that talks about the evil heart of man.

To say that Governor Obaseki is a serial betrayer is to exhibit astute knowledge of his political trajectory over the last seven years: he stabbed the back of Comrade Oshiomhole; the very one that brought him in, and indeed forced him down the throats of Edo citizens. Comrade Oshiomhole thought he was doing a good friend a great deal of good, and would thereby sustain his own political relevance and aura. He meant well, but the object of his good heartedness had his own different and distinct agenda; it was incongruous with his plan. Obaseki went for Oshiomhole’s jugular, and tried to strangulate him and skin him alive. From one devious plot to another, Obaseki and Shuaibu, two of a kind, combined their evil forces to undo Oshiomhole. Shuaibu, the Deputy Governor, whom Oshiomhole had recalled from the Federal House of Reps in 2016 to take the number two slot, suddenly became the agent provocateur to bring Comrade Oshiomhole down even if it meant using the bluntest scalpel. Once he set the stage for disagreement, and it set in, the field for combat was then open; he enlisted Shuaibu to collaborate with him. Shuaibu unleashed his gambits, sparing nothing in coalition with his new boss, taking Comrade Oshiomhole to the political golgotha. He was an agent provocateur: They armtwisted some of Oshiomhole’s ward executives, cajoled them into traveling to Benin City, where they made them sign a letter of suspension of the then National Chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole. The desperation was fierce. Like a piece of indiscriminate plot, that suspension was further charted to assume a gargantuan plot, that led to the ouster of Comrade Oshiomhole. They succeeded in making sure Oshiomole left the party, but they themselves, were thrown into torrents of rain until the PDP offered its umbrella to shield them

I must mention here that Phillip Shuaibu is from Oshiomhole’s Ward; his house is a stone throw from his benefactor’s and that Oshiomhole had been cautioned to steer clear of a supposed “adopted” political son, who didn’t mean well for him, but Oshiomhole never imagined that a Phillip that he had nurtured for long, would wear the cassock of malevolence at any point. In secret, Phillip Shuaibu dug the trenches to swallow Oshiomhole, right there in Iyamho, the latter’s ancestral home. The drama that ensued at the convocation ceremony of Edo University, Iyamho in 2020 was a glimpse into the nature of Shuaibu. It was awry, ugly and awkward, as the behaviour of Phillip Shuaibu, the Deputy Governor, who rode Okada to the arena in Iyamho and caused the breakdown of law and order, was most disgraceful. The drama was meant to ridicule Oshiomhole, but the state Government, and Phillip, in particular, got their hands burnt, and their noses bruised. They thoroughly humiliated themselves, and left their visitors, including the Lagos monarch, Oba Akiolu, in a state of bewilderment. Bad character, no matter how long you try to cover it, would naturally expose itself someday. The duo, Obaseki and Shuaibu combined their knavery and ingratitude to humiliate Oshiomhole; but today, Oshiomhole’s gods are smiling. Despite his orchestrated suspension by his APC Ward Executives, Oshiomhole ran election for Senate, and won fair and square.

After the Edo University ugly incident, the two first citizens of Edo, shame-faced and with their tails in-between their legs, hurriedly visited the Lagos Monarch, to apologize for their crude and barbaric behaviour. The Oba of Lagos, being an ex- Police Officer, knew the crux of the matter and absolved Oshiomhole of any blame. What they wanted to achieve rebounded to haunt them. The public condemnation against them, was tellingly agonizing for them. Still in their evil elements, they declared Oshiomhole persona non grata and barred him from entering Edo State; a state he had once governed. It was arrogance of power taken too far. It was a replay of conscienceless power that intoxicates. They put Edo State in the news; in the news constantly, for the wrong reasons. Having been showed the exit door in the APC, Obaseki enrolled in the PDP, taking all his excess luggage with him. I had cautioned PDP to reject him, but those power hawks that populate the PDP, wanted an addition to their fold; a Governor with “deep pockets ” to confront the APC candidate. I shouted blue murder, but no one cared to listen. I was called names, and they tried to expel me from the party. Some APC Governors, in show of gubernatorial solidarity, worked behind the scene to ensure that Obaseki secured a second term mandate, to push the blunt scalpel further, into Oshiomhole’s bleeding skin. The rest, as they say, is now history.

As soon as Governor Obaseki joined the PDP, he imported his attitude into the PDP fold; he wanted to appropriate and reprobate the fortunes of the party into his fold. He wanted the title, “The Leader” of the PDP’s progeny. Those he met on ground were to be crushed. The Leader of the party in Edo state, Dan Osi Orbih, a man of suave political skills, was his first prey. About eleven chieftains of the party were suspended by Obaseki’s fiat. The court quashed the suspension and set the tone for what has now become a war of attrition between the Legacy PDP and the New entrants led by the Governor. Phillip Shuaibu, the Deputy Governor also masterminded the refusal to swear in 14 members of the Edo House of Assembly, who were duly elected by their constituents. For four solid years, 14 members who were legitimately elected by their people, were bluntly and wickedly disenfranchised from partaking in the law making activities for the good governance of the state. Obaseki and Shuaibu recognized and worked with only 10 members to operate the entire 24-member House, and denied people who were legally elected to claim their democratic rights and do their jobs. So, if Shuaibu is to be impeached today, I will implore the Governor to hasten the process. In fact, both Obaseki and Shuaibu deserve to be impeached for the flagrant abuse of power in the denial of the democratic rights of the people. The Edo House of Assembly was hurriedly inaugurated at night; at an unholy hour, simply because they were afraid of their shadows. It is not only heinous, it is indeed the colossus of inhumanity and political savagery, in fact, call it daylight robbery.

Also, if Shuaibu and Obaseki have now decided to put their legs in one trousers, it will only help to whet and salivate my appetite for the annihilation of each other; we are watching this interesting twist to the inglorious politics of these two ingrates lodged in Osadebe Avenue. Shuaibu deserves no pity, nor does Obaseki deserve any. In trying to enter the APC through the backdoor as alluded to by his boss, Governor Obaseki, does Shuaibu mean that he would be queuing behind Senator Oshiomhole in the APC; a man he once described as a psychiatric patient with warped mentality?. Would Phillip Shuaibu be bold enough to confront a man suffering from “psychiatric” affliction, person wey dey craze? Would Oshiomhole, so described, in such banality and utmost disrespect be willing to accept him back into his fold, as was the case in the trite biblical prodigal son story who was shown mercy? Would Oshiomhole’s foot-soldiers accept Phillip Shuaibu into his political fold by poohpoohing the earlier insults as sheer political chicanery and brigandage? From whatever angle one looks at the issue, I just really want to first appreciate God on behalf of Senator Adams Oshiomhole. Truly, Oshiomhole’s gods are alive and awake. He cannot be twice lucky; having been ostensibly decimated by the dangerous politics of his fellow APC chieftains, those who love to play God in the lives of men, and thought it was all over for him. The proponents of “Edo no be Lagos” have suddenly fallen down the ladder, and Senator Oshiomhole has bounced back, is riding high, and is sitting on the throne of political relevance. His traducers, Obaseki and Shuaibu, are now at daggers drawn trying to strangulate each other in a game of thrones and thorns. Shuaibu is running from pillar to post, seeking the Court’s protection from his imminent impeachment. I can smell the sweet aroma of the coffee, brewing as it lets off steam before we take a sip.
……to be continued…


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