By Erasmus Ikhide
At the moment, Edo North Senatorial sweepstakes is on the boil, courtesy of Mr. Adams Oshiomhole who appears to have chosen to become a leader in hell than to be a servant in paradise. It’s the way of primitive ethnic warlords who never imagined themselves to scale obscenity of abject poverty, recluse, and perilous scourge of retardation.
In 2011 for instance, the venerated Reverend Peter Obadan, a former Deputy Governor of Edo State pioneered a group in collaboration with other Owan and Akoko-Edo prominent politicians with a mandate to mirror Oshiomhole’s lopsided political appointments in the state in favour of Etsako people. The platform exposed Oshiomhole’s ethnocentrism as facts emerged that he actually gave 61% of the state’s total political appointments to his Etsako people. The merest of 35% was given to Edo South and Edo Central with homogeneous 75% of voting population, while a paltry of 2% was tossed at Owan and Akoko-Edo!
From the report, a total of (123) one hundred and twenty three persons were appointed from Etsako, while (28) twenty eight persons were appointed in the two Owans and Akoko-Edo Local Government Areas respectively, (68) sixty eight persons were appointed in Edo South with seven Local Government Areas and (42) forty two were appointed from Edo Central, comprising five Local Government Areas.
Trust Oshiomhole’s proclivities for cloak and dagger politics with a lethal sledgehammer, his ritualised gesture of obeisance and forced capitulation of people when he sensed that Reverend Obadan’s Afenmai’s renaissance movement will crumble his 2013 second term reelection bid.
Swiftly, he called on a few pliant Afenmai political leaders for a meeting in Government House where Mr. Agogundade, and others were in attendance. That was the last time the Afenmai group ever held their meeting after Oshiomhole band wad of cash around. Like kids, he deceived them, shot their eyes to the political reality of marginalisation – never to mention de-marginalisation – with the believe that the tactile evidence of irridentism and ethnic egoism will simply fade away! As a poor student of history, Oshiomhole believes that self-interest is the foundation of morality.
Here is the summation of political appointments under Oshiomhole as Governor of Edo State for eight years:
1. Etsako: (123) 61%
2. Edo South: (68) 30%
3. Edo Central: (42) 8%
4. Owan/Akoko-Edo: (28) 1%
As Oshiomhole’s ethnic chickens come home to roast, the signals of trouble and the smoke of imminent combustion are too visible for him to ignore. As he regressed into fighting for one third of his former position as Governor, the wheels come off the mobilising vehicle. He’s now confronted daringly with his ugly past of politics of exclusivism, outlandish bazaar of splashing dirty, illicit money to buy political support, without depths and ideological stand point.
Despite Oshiomhole’s pretentious claimant to progressivism and appearances to the contrary, he’s not different from the dubious and conservative phalanx he seeks to supplant. Apart from the fact that Senator Francis Alimikhena and Mr Oshiomhole come from the same Etsako axis, can anyone tell the difference between Senator Alimikhena and Mr Oshiomhole when it comes to ideological disparity? Can anyone ascribe rudimentary ideological or any intellectual attribution to Oshiomhole? What bills did Oshiomhole tell Afenmai and Nigerians in general that he will be sponsoring as a Senator?
Part of Oshiomhole’s tragic and outdated politics is the underpinning blustering that foisted the serpentine betrayal and medieval tyrant called Godwin Obaseki on Edo people as Governor. Oshiomhole is good at supplanting the best of us for the worst of us. The calculation and agreement he entered into with both Obaseki and Alimikhena, and a few of his political sons fell flat on his face. Obaseki reneged on all the pacts he had with Oshiomhole; ditto Alimikhena whom Oshiomhole signed a deal with to rig out Prof Julius Ihonvbere in 2014 Senate primary election in the believe that Alimikhena will resign as Senator and hand over to him in 2016 as soon as his second term in office terminates as the Governor of Edo State.
Oshiomhole is the only ‘Comrade’ in history who assumes he attained stardom all by himself and tendenciously refused to build fortresses of Comrades around himself from the same constituency who will host the pragmatic banners of solidarity around him. It’s rightly in my place to exorcise the unappeasable demon of self-annihilation from Oshiomhole in order to save him from himself.
As it stands, Oshiomhole’s fidelity to Afenmai unity, solidarity and oneness which has never be part of his preoccupation is the more reasons why he must be resisted at all costs for the restoration of equity, fairness and justice. In our own elite self-interest the collective viability of Afenmai must not be sacrificed at the altar of hegemonic pranks. In the long run, the excluders will also be excluded eventually, either now or later.
Therefore, every true political, intellectual, religious, businessmen, women and youths of Afenmai land must fight on the side of equality, fairness and social justice and pitch for progressive emancipatory politics. Etsako with just three Local Government Areas can’t have (16) sixteen years or more in the Senate in a role while the rest three Local Government Areas of Owan East and West and Akoko-Edo are relegated to the back waters of politics of stagnation in a multi-ethnic Senatorial District.
It’s time to sweep Oshiomhole off his feet before his horse of irreconcilable agenda bolted from the stable because he’s driven by self-consuming personal ambition, treachery, perfidy and quicksand of ethnic dominance.
• Ikhide, a journalist, wrote from Benin and could be reached via: [email protected]