By Sebastine Ebhuomhan
Abuja, Nigeria. Tuesday, 8th September, 2020. The long focus of theologians and historians on the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Pharisees has never baffled Christians. It seeks to capture a broader understanding of why Jesus disliked the Pharisees: a Jewish sect The Bible’s New Testament mentioned 100 times.
At first, Pharisees seem like a people that should be Christ’s best friends. Reasons are not far-fetched.
The word Pharisee means “separatist.” By their name, Pharisees were assumed to be the most pious people of their time. They followed Old Testament law to the letters. And they preached abhorrence for immorality.
But Pharisees were mere legalists. Beside annoyingly focussing on minute details of the law, they adorned, embellished, watered and polluted the law with traditions. For example, a person could ride a donkey on a Sabbath without breaking the law. But the same person would be guilty of laying a burden on the animal if he used a switch to speed up the animal.
In another example, a Pharisee could give alms to a beggar on the Sabbath only if the beggar stuck his palm inside the home of the Pharisee from outside.
Matthew Chapter 23 records Jesus’ eloquent verdict on Pharisees.
Jesus literarily flogged the Pharisees for pride, pettiness, clannishness and hypocrisy. Boldly contrasting his own teaching with Pharisees’ and two other groups he also confronted (the Sadducees and the Scribes), Jesus said their veiled lifestyle tend to divert public attention from their unworthy attitude towards God and other people.
Warning his followers about expectations after his death, Jesus said hypocrisies from Pharisees and other ungodly sects wouldn’t just fade away. Rather, they would increase until Judgment Day.
Although Jesus singled out Pharisees for extreme legalism, his teachings weren’t merely challenging ancient sects but the tendencies, contradictions, hypocrisies and evils of humans of today. The errors Jesus underlined are evident today of politics and governance in Nigeria, where lies, deceits, arrogance, pride, ingratitude, intolerance, lip-service, favouritism, nepotism, mismanagement, looting, voodoo, vendetta, killings and impunities are the order of the day. Nowadays, evil doers tag, mock, ridicule, haunt, intimidate, harass, threaten and attack children of God over past sins even when God has forgiven and restored their life from damnation. It signals the augury of the ruins of the world.
Edo State Governor and re-election seeking candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki, is a man who throws his name about as a tool of access to God. But his life is the opposite of being Christ-like. When carefully analysed, Mr Obaseki’s life, an encapsulation of his attitude and character, underlined by his thoughts, words and actions, is darkened and corrupted by vices that Jesus lashed Pharisees for. His politics of backstabbing, ingratitude, rebellion and violence has no comparison. He is not alone.
Watching his Deputy talking about violence in a sponsored interview aired by Africa Independent Television (AIT) edition of 17th August, you will quickly conclude that Mr Philip Shaibu suffers from the same malaise that plagues his principal. Otherwise, how can a hand-waving Shaibu, who led thousands of thugs into a hallowed legislative chamber or the one who hired hundreds of motorcyclists without helmets for a deadly expressway ride to the gates of a university marking convocation all for the purpose of a political address in front of his estranged benefactor’s home wash his hands off violence?
Without visible achievements to launch his campaign, Obaseki’s elementary rhetoric relies on the demonization of Pastor Andrew Osagie Ize-Iyamu (PAOI), the popular and formidable candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), using past campaign pomposity of former Governor of Edo State and former National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
As one of Nigeria’s greatest intellectual orators, Oshiomhole had successfully sold Obaseki, an “unripe tomato” to electorate in 2016. Now complimentarily labelled as ‘rotten tomato,’ Obaseki’s campaign strategy of negatively deploying Oshiomhole’s oratorial prowess exposes the slapdash man that Oshiomhole literarily carried on his back as an insipid, spineless, lip-service Christian, who is unable to discern Pastor Ize-Iyamu as a man at peace with God and humanity ever since he accepted Jesus Christ, repented from his sins and, just like everyone of us that truly calls upon his name, earned God’s forgiveness in return.
In Chapters 8 and 9 of The Acts of the Apostles, Saul “consented” to the murder of Stephen through stoning. He led “great persecution” against the church at Jerusalem, breathing murder against men and women, resulting to their scattering throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.
Verse 3 of Chapter 8 states: “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.”
The same notorious Saul would become Paul in Verse 9 of Chapter 13, “filled with the holy spirit,” after an encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus, where his scarlets of sins were immediately whitened as snow. He harvested countless unbelievers for God.
No other issue has portrayed Obaseki as a Pharisee than the needless controversy he used his family minions to create over The Simple Agenda, the manifesto Ize-Iyamu wrote and published. In 2016, Obaseki contested Edo governorship election without a manifesto. He won with the support of Oshiomole and the Comrade’s countless foot soldiers. But having suddenly realised the need for a manifesto to anchor his re-election campaign, he launched a move to covet Ize-Iyamu’s document.
On 17th July, 2020, a member of the extended family, Tony Osayi Obaseki, declared his intention to pursue litigation over ownership of the document after another member 2016 failed governorship aspirant, Pedro Obaseki, laid half-hearted claim. While Dr Obaseki controverted his recent claim in an old television programme of 2016, where he acknowledged Ize-Iyamu’s copyright, the needless controversy showed Governor Obaseki’s desperation to reincarnate himself in office in the face of public rejection.
Seeing the futility of his desperation, Obaseki, a self-acclaimed technocrat who studied Classics in the university without mandatory admission subjects of Mathematics and English, quickly cobbled a phantasm: Make Edo Great Again (MEGA). Presenting it in a recent virtual conference, he couldn’t even explain the meaning or workability of MEGA. As records have shown, the acronym, MEGA, was first publicised in 2017 when organisers of a cultural education adopted it for an event tagged: Edocated.
Obaseki’s desperation to covet Ize-Iyamu’s intellectual property fertilized after his aides couldn’t get the permission to use this writer’s critical handbook on the manifesto. At APC’s final rally in 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and the entire party followership used the critique on the manifesto to campaign for Obaseki against Iye-Iyamu. That day, 10, 000 copies were distributed free-of-charge. Having locked himself up at the Government House since 12th November 2016, Obaseki had hoped to re-use the handbook to undo Ize-Iyamu again after they swapped parties.
Whereas in 2016, Obaseki campaigned free-of-charge with the handbook, won and smartly evaded any acknowledgement of its impact on his victory, this writer stopped his aides that broached the idea of underwriting the handbook review for a re-use after primaries in June. Furthermore, this writer warned Obaseki’s aides on the consequences of campaigning with the handbook without a written permission.
There is no controversy, whatsoever. Obaseki has no manifesto. He has never written any.. He campaigned on the continuity of Oshiomhole’s developmental stride in 2016. Ize-Iyamu is the author and copyright owner of the only manifesto Edo State knows today: The Simple Agenda, a manifesto of hope. This writer believes in the ideas Ize-Iyamu espoused for Edo State’s encompassing development. He has read the manifesto copiously, analysed it painstakingly, criticised it positively, published his opinion carefully and distributed it freely in 2016. His critique intended to make a more workable document of the manifesto. He freely and wholeheartedly endorses Ize-Iyamu’s governorship bid. He enjoins all good people of Edo State to work for PAOI, the acronym of Ize-Iyamu’s name, by voting for APC.
The essence of criticism is to build with sound value judgment. The critic’s general purpose is to enrich the reader’s understanding of a literary work by wearing the hat of the writer. That is why Samuel Johnson, the English critic, biographer, essayist, poet, and lexicographer thrived as one of the greatest figures of 18th-Century life and letters. The devout Anglican and committed Tory once declared, “I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works.”
As Ize-Iyamu explained days ago, The Simple Agenda is a smart document describing how Edo State will be governed under his leadership. As the Heartbeat of Nigeria, with multi-ethnicity, multi-language and uneven development, the complex state of Edo State is neither near the easy contraption of Confucius, the Chinese philosopher nor justifies the rudderless drift in four years now. The 48-page half-A4 sized white paperback print is complete with author’s vision, mission, preamble and content, organized under each letter of: S-I-M-P-L-E. With vision and mission that explain the author’s idea of what good governance is, the preamble describes his personality and principles for achieving lacking good governance in critical sectors of economy.
In Ize-Iyamu’s manifesto, S stands for Security and Social Welfare; I for Infrastructure Development and Urban Renewal; M for Manpower Development and Training; P for Public, Private Partnership; L for Leadership by Example; E for Employment Creation and Social Empowerment. It provides the platform for measuring Ize-Iyamu’s government from 2020 to 2024.This writer recommends the manifesto to all Edo State and Nigerian people, including Obaseki. The Simple Agenda is not a bullet for all socio-political and economic problems in Edo State. But compared to the convoluted guesswork of four years now marked by the abandonment of pivot projects of the Oshiomhole era, it is a template for the renewal of Edo State development.
The non-anchorage of Governor Obaseki’s campaign on a tranquil bark exposed his re-election bid to evils such as: looting, lies, threats, violence and impunity in the face of intangible achievements in four years. After laying a false claim to Ize-Iyamu’s manifesto, Obaseki began his campaign with another falsehood that President Buhari has rejected his own party’s candidate. Riding on the crest wave of Buhari’s platform for free, fair elections, Obaseki circulated the falsehood to divert public attention from the billions his opponents alleged he used to obtain PDP ticket for himself and his running mate after APC disqualified them for certificate infractions. Whatever body language the governor misinterpreted, Mr President has since endorsed Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu after which he handed Edo State campaigns to Kano State Governor, Dr Umar Ganduje, to lead. Seeing the public endorsement of Ize-Iyamu, Obaseki’s followers have changed their slogan from “Buhari and APC governors have distanced themselves from POI’s campaign” to “Buhari will not support illegality.” What does an ingrate that immorally bought a party’s tickets with billions of naira few hours to its primary after disqualification for criminal offences know about illegality? President Buhari needs not attend mere campaign flag-off ceremony. He will come to close all campaigns for a resounding APC and Ize-Iyamu victory as he did in 2016.
Obaseki had thought that by conspiring to remove Oshiomhole from office, relentlessly demonizing him and adopting a derailed, irrelevant Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) instrumentality to continuously taunt and ridicule him, Oshiobaba would recuse himself from leading Ize-Iyamu’s campaign. He goofed. As impetuous as Oshiomhole might seem to be, he acts and takes responsibility with humility, unlike Obaseki, whose obstinacy seeks who to blame for failures. So, the shock of seeing a humble Oshiomhole on his knees begging Edo people for unintentionally selling a bad product to them in 2016 coupled with continuous resignation of his trusted aides has left Obaseki, his government and campaign organization disorganised, paranoid and violent.
Oshiomhole’s remorse has earned respect from sworn adversaries while attracting goodwill of citizens, to the extent that sea of heads accompanies Ize-Iyamu rallies. Judging by the aggressive campaigns of Ize-Iyamu to nooks and crannies of the state, led by the indomitable Oshiomhole, President Buhari is very proud to make Edo State a marked improvement in credible, fair and free election in Nigeria.
Obaseki falsely claimed godfathers wanted him to share Edo State money. He would rather import strangers who knew nothing about election and governance than appreciate the huge sacrifice people made to install him in power. Yet, he was paying the benefits of his jailed Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and the Diaspora, Mr Osaze Osemwengie-Ero 10 months after rumour of the latter’s jailtime in Europe surfaced with claims of INTERPOL’s seizure of millions of dollars allegedly laundered in a deal security busted when both men were allegedly travelling.. In addition, endless financial demands from PDP have almost grounded his campaign amid fears that without life-centred projects, Obaseki’s chance of winning the election is very low.
He has big billboards all over Edo State with rehashed promises of 2016. Particularly, he erected electronic billboards for videos of a state governor campaigning against him. In a classical case, one of such billboards shows American, Chinese and Indian films at Ring Road instead of the governor’s MOU projects. In another classical case, he uses the crying picture of a widow, whose husband unknown assailants mowed, to appeal for votes. A picture taken when he went to sympathise with the grieving family. Curiously, the killers of the husband are yet to be apprehended long after he promised to bring them to justice. In yet another classical case, he begged for votes at Uhiele, claiming he has graded a link road he promised in 2016 to construct!
Meanwhile, Edo government PUWOV, Obaseki’s armed gang, daily unleashes terror, violence on people, especially APC members, destroying Ize-Iyamu’s billboards and posters everywhere. An end-to-end drive from Okpella to Ologbo will show the few remaining PAOI or APC billboards compared to the virtual defacing of the entire state with Obaseki and Shaibu’s faces. You’ll also notice Obaseki’s fearful withdrawal of Comrade Buses. Will these wicked acts of a rebellious ingrate win him re-election? No! Edo people are prepared to exercise their democratic right to correct the error of electing Godwin Obaseki in 2016 with the election of Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a man who is more prepared for the challenges of governing Edo State now.
As Abraham Lincoln tasked Americans yoked by the burden of slave trade, “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.” That right shall be exercised in Edo State on 19th September, 2020.
Obaseki has continued his violent assault on institutions, groups and individuals intended to intimidate opposition, especially the legislature. It began with his deliberate exclusion of 14 lawmakers of Edo State House of Assembly from inauguration held at 9.30pm on 17th June, 2019. The lack of due process indubitably breached the law as per Danladi v Taraba State House of Assembly (2014), 11, SCNJ, 134.
Obaseki made himself an Oghionba when he extended his violence to the palace of the Ogidigan, Oba Ewuare II, leaving blood stains and injuries from a gun duel his aides unleashed there. After ridiculously forgetting to present His Royal Majesty with kolanuts and gin for a royal blessing, Obaseki turned his guns on the palace. Days before the siege that recalled the historic armed invasion of the palace in 1897, a treachery against Oba Ovonramen that unsurprisingly bears footprints to the antagonist, Obaseki reiterated that he and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu, have constitutional immunity.
Not unrelated is Obaseki’s evil attempt against one of the kingdom’s most philanthropic sons, Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo, the Chairman/CEO of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, for not supporting his re-election. Evidence shows his government has benefitted much goodwill and support from Mr Okunbo’s personality, influence, contacts, wealth and businesses. Yet, Obaseki had gone after Okunbo, an investor with interests in agriculture, aviation, real estate, oil and gas, maritime, hospitality, entertainment etc. and one of the largest in Edo State after series of media attacks accused Okunbo of housing estranged state lawmakers in Abuja, sponsoring an aspirant in APC primary, recruiting armed thugs for election, and later, masterminding palace shooting. Mere unfounded and baseless allegations without proof or evidence. As the billionaire’s singular media response pointedly indicated, the governor’s henchmen were looking for a reason to burn down Okunbo’s greenhouse farm, West Africa’s largest.
Okunbo remains unfazed. “Obaseki has dragged me from my comfort zone to the market square. I love my state and would always advocate for its progress, which can only be guaranteed by capable and responsible leadership. I want Edo citizens to use their votes to actualize this on 19th September, 2020,” he says.
Obaseki’s attack on Okunbo marked a continuation of his hatred for the progress of Benin Kingdom and citizens of Edo State. Suffice to say the governor underlined this agenda with his public opposition of Dr Pius Odubu’s nomination as NDDC Board chairman.
Obaseki and Shaibu invaded and led the vandalization of Enahoro House to stop 17 APC majority lawmakers from sitting after his seven stooges were reduced to four before taking his violence to Apana in Edo North and Igueben in Edo Central: where they left sorrow, tears and blood.
Meanwhile, a Benin High Court (Vacation Court 1) has remanded seven armed gunmen nabbed with five rifles and live ammunitions by the Nigeria Police Force during the invasion and destruction of Edo State House of Assembly on 6th August 2020. Named as: Festus Agbonreren (25), Odion Osayande (23), Ogbewi Wilfred (52), Morgan Uwagboe (47), Osayomore Salami (25), Ifeoluwa Oladele (36) and Igbinobaro Collins (26), Hon. Justice Efe Ikponmwonba remanded them in police custody. Police sources disclosed that the suspects confessed to being armed by two senior aides of Governor Obaseki to provide cover for vandals that removed the Assembly’s roof. Expectedly, the APC is seeking the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the governor’s aides.
Scared of issue-based campaigns that would expose his lies: like adopting anachronistic crime-fighting strategies against N700m increased monthly security votes, Obaseki has focused his campaign on Oshiomhole instead of his much-touted MOUs. His pitilessly ridiculous situation has reinforced the failure that made his campaign director-general and ex-Edo PDP chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, to score Obaseki F9 in all critical sectors of economy before PDP ‘tax collectors’ sold its tickets to the governor and his deputy.
When they are not calling Oshiomhole names or reeling on his grandiloquence, they are busy writing, posting, sharing and commenting on inanities such as: tagging pictures of Hon Gani Audu (Ize-Iyamu’s running mate) to false claims of drinking Heineken just because a community youth that chaired the table offered the politician his chair and table during a campaign tour; or claiming that Obaseki built a hospital in each of the 192 wards as Barrister Kenneth Imansuagbon, who is yet to erase the allegation of being paid to step down for the defector, shamelessly lied on Channels TV; or making wild and fallacious ownership claim of Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Company, owned by AIPCC Energy Limited, a joint venture of AFCOM and Peiyang Chemical Equipment Company of China, built at $10.2m, for which Edo Government invested land worth N700m just as the FG granted duty waivers.
Obaseki and his aides criticised, ridiculed and mocked the conferment of a traditional honour on Pastor Ize-Iyamu by the revered Otaru of Auchi Kingdom even when there is neither a contrary directive nor a prima facie rejection in the Bible. After making a mountain of the molehill, the governor rushed to an unknown village shrine to buy one for himself and his deputy.
“I was in Auchi to campaign. I visited the Otaru of Auchi to solicit for his royal blessing and support. I had thought after seeking for his royal blessing and support, he would ask me to go. But to my greatest surprise, he said: give him a chair to seat down. They brought out their traditional attire, saying: dress him up. And the king pronounced that as from today, you are given the honour to be called: Our Own.” Since then, Okpojenaga of Ora conferred on Ize-Iyamu: The One Who Will Wipe Our Tears and Oliola of Uzanu: One Who Has Come To Take Away Our Loneliness.
If the governor’s handlers had done a little research before talking, writing and posting, they would have known that the Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Church, Dr Paul Enenche, was honoured in 2016 with the chieftaincy of Kurityau U Tiv (the Warlord of Tivland), owing to the successful crusade the medical doctor cum preacher held in Gboko to save and empower lives, spiritually, physically and materially.
Incumbents run re-election campaigns on achievements. But Obaseki and PDP have nonchalantly been distributing comedy, laziness, promises, abuses, lies, threats, deceits, hypocrisy, blackmail and violence wrapped as Akara. But the game is coming back to haunt them. How? You may ask. Esan people are the most marginalized in Edo State. Yet, the most fraudulent slogan of the Obaseki’s campaign is ‘Esan Agenda,’ supposedly promising to transfer political power in 2024 to Edo Central District, the most disadvantaged population, developmentally. Before PDP campaign began, Obaseki and his aides sang about the agenda. However, with the rumour of a secret pact pre-existing between Obaseki and Shaibu, anchored on the claim of buying Esan agenda during negotiation for PDP tickets, Obaseki has become tight-lipped at campaign grounds in Esan land, where leaders of PDP have demanded he openly commit to Esan Agenda, if re-elected.
In reality, Esan agenda is at best, an unintelligent scam by Obaseki to get votes from a people his government has shamelessly relegated and marginalized for four years. Pointers? Almost all of the most senior positions of the government are owned by recycled politicians, stunted professionals and incompetent technocrats outside Edo Central District. Correspondingly, all those from Esan land that committed their intelligence and resources to install Obaseki had nothing till today to show as appreciation. Worse still, there is no tangible infrastructural development in Esan land under Obaseki and Shaibu.
Beyond politics, Edo State economy has not fared well under Obaseki. Placed on a time bomb, it survives on borrowed time. A 2019 Report of the Auditor-General of Edo State indicted the government for excess expenditure of N122,793,925.03 hidden as Personnel Cost: N83,680,804.30 administrative expenditure and N39,113,120.73 economic expenditure.
Latest Annual States Viability Index (ASVI) report, which marked seven states as insolvent, didn’t list Edo among states with impressive IGR in 2019. Whereas monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) peaked at N1.6bn from N300m in 2008 under Oshiomhole (over 500 per cent leap), it has remained marginally stunted at N1.8bn (12 per cent increase) in four years of Obaseki.
Furthermore, Obaseki failed to attract any capital investment to Edo State in the second quarter of 2020, as National Bureau of Statistics newly reported.
From being a sound and impressive economy in 2016, the state economy has slipped into debts fuelled by puerile, costly, barren Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs). While the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Quarterly Review tagged Edo State with N94.54 billion debt as at December 2016, the Debt Management Office (DMO)’s External Debt Profile of States and FCT puts Edo State Multilateral indebtedness at USD $275,926,866.66 million as at December 2019; and its Domestic Debt Data at N84,763,453,988.79 billion as at March 2020. These figures put the total debt profile of Edo State under Obaseki at: N216,380,569,385.61 billion at the exchange rate of N477 to $1.
Riled by Obaseki’s unfulfilled promise of 200,000 jobs made during his 2016 campaign, Edo people have been stunned by conflicting figures of unseen jobs from its blind government. Governor Obaseki’s recent claim of creating 157,000 jobs since 2016 conflicts with reality and that of his spokesman, Crusoe Osagie, who claimed 174,000 jobs. Both relied on Edojobs, the state agency that is yet to support its figures with facts. Facts supporting figures such as: how many employees have formal employment letters; how many of its entrepreneurs are registered with CAC; how many trained artisans have been set up; how many beneficiaries have TINs; and how many of them pay PAYE, are yet to be provided.
While waiting on Edojobs to support its figures with facts, the people are, instead, insulted with equation of skill training of a few youth to dubious and fallacious job claim. The web of government lies made ex-Chief of Staff to Governor Obaseki, Mr Taiwo Akerele, to ask rhetorically at a recent national webinar, “Where are the jobs”? Akerele, Obaseki’s long-time ally, said he resigned to end the shame of not identifying acclaimed job beneficiaries in his constituency.
With regard to infrastructure, many rural and urban primary and secondary schools red-roofed by Oshiomhole now boast of just a teacher or two in the face of Obaseki’s Edobest. Although he promised to build a cottage hospital in each of the 192 wards, he has not only failed to fulfil this promise but also refused to commission the General Hospital Federal Government equipped in Otuo after ceding Benin Specialist Hospital to private contractors.
The monthly subvention of Ambrose Alli University, largest employer of labour in Edo Central, has plummeted from N250m under Oshiomhole to N96m under Obaseki, forcing the institution to take bank loan for July 2020 salary.
Obaseki has perpetually shut more state institutions than he has rebuilt. Examples are: College of Agriculture, School of Nursing, School of Health Technology, Tayo Akpata University of Education etc. In the former’s case, the governor shut the school for “three months” since 8th August 2017 with mere oral pronouncement; sacked all staff without pay in May 2018 and disobeyed the National Industrial court that voided his actions. He boasted in his alumni lecture at Ibadan in 2018 that he was “restructuring the curriculum, rebuilding the institution and upgrading the facilities.”
Reviewing the situation, Dean of Students Affairs and chairman of Academic Staff Union, Adorolo Michael Osikhena says, “Justice Oyewunmi gave judgment in favour of staff and students on July 2, 2019, asking Mr Governor to re-open the college and release its subventions for education of students. Up till now, he has refused to obey the judgment. The school situation has worsened. We have been protesting. We have lost many staff and students in the struggle.”
Before Obaseki obtained PDP tickets, the party beamed its searchlight on the college. In a statement: College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi: The Rot Created by Governor Godwin Obaseki, signed by Edo PDP spokesman, Chris Nehikhare, the party accused the governor of illegality; impunity, looting, vandalism and abandonment. After giving Obaseki its platform, a gluttonous PDP no longer remembers Iguoriakhi. Likewise, the non-existent Gelegele Sea Port, the audio International Trailer Park, the abandoned Benin Storm Water Project etc.
Before now, Obaseki often rushed to Lagos to beg traditional rulers, party leaders, hold town hall meetings, recruit new aides etc. Today, he turns to Port Harcourt for new agenda. With little knowledge of local politics, Obaseki never thought of strengthening APC against other parties in South-south. As an APC member, he gloated and celebrated at Edo Government House when APC lost Bayelsa governorship victory, an anti-party act. His greed and misplaced priorities have given all APC and non-party members in South-south the resolve to vote him out of office.
An APC chieftain in Ughelli South LGA of Delta State, Mr Omote Edesiri Joseph, minced no word in predicting his defeat. Delta people, he says, are behind Ize-Iyamu, Buhari, and entire APC leadership. Edesiri, who berated Obaseki for doing nothing to build Delta APC, says: “We need a core progressive who will painstakingly build APC in the entire South-south like Oshiomhole did in his eight years as Governor and until recently as APC National Chairman. Only Ize-Iyamu can do that.”
An Outline of Obaseki’s Early Rebellion
(i) Appointment and patronage of incompetent technocrats
(ii) Rejection, shaming, arrest and detention of political leaders
(iii) Abandonment of those that helped him to power
(iv) Muzzling of dissenting voices
(v) Abandonment of his predecessor’s policies and projects
(vi) Loss of 2019 presidential election in his ward, local government area and district
(vii) Nocturnal inauguration of Edo Assembly with nine legislators
(viii) Imposition of Assembly Speaker
(ix) Opposition of appointment of Edo sons into NDDC and other federal agencies
(x) Masterminding removal, suspension and call for arrest of APC National Chairman
(xi) Rejection of APC National Reconciliation Committees
(xii) Open call for attack of political leaders opposed to his re-election
(xiii) Demolition of properties and businesses of people opposed to his re-election
(xiv) Threat, assault, violence, bombing and assassination attempts
(xv) Attack on APC rallies held to receive new members
(xvi) Initiating court cases and using APC platform to explore opposition
(xvii) Celebrating APC’s loss of Bayelsa State
(xviii) Lack of transparency and accountability
(xix) Mismanagement of Edo economy
(Xx) Shutting of College of Agriculture, Tayo Akpata University of Education, School of Nursing, School of Health Technology etc. and disobedience of National Industrial Court.
Seeing himself as smart, Obaseki has evaded or absconded from every debate till date, carved his path to perdition by lying against his benefactors, repudiated continuity and denounced those who suffered to achieve his victory. But as Indira Gandhi, the late Indian stateswoman remarked at New Delhi on 19th October, 1971, “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.”
Obaseki desecrated APC and failed Edo people that trusted him in 2016. Even the wary PDP has become unsure of Obaseki, seeing his unpreparedness and discovery that he cannot win the election without rigging. President Buhari and NGF should distance themselves from Obaseki immediately while all lovers of democracy must unite to throw the ingrate out of Edo Government House. Vote Pastor Andrew Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a man who has family value, Godly value, social value, cultural value and party value. PAOI is prepared to make Edo great again.
Sebastine EBHUOMHAN is a multiple award-winning journalist from Edo State resident in Abuja. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 08037204620. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.