The Vanguard interview with Mr Osa Director, published on Saturday, August 13, made an interesting reading. His responses to the questions were smooth, almost silk-like. I didn’t expect anything less from him, after all, he has practiced as a journalist for over 20 years, rising to the very top in the process.
Osa would make a good teacher, since he has, according to him, no fewer than six degrees. However, he is not cut-out for politics, which he found too rugged in his attempt.
While one needs not be a giant to be a great politician, but one must be a giant among the people he seeks to represent to win their trust and eventually, their votes. Sadly, Osa is neither a giant in frame, nor one among his people.
When the political gates were thrown open for elective positions in the last general elections, Osa pitched his tent with the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and sought to get the party’s ticket to the Senate for Edo South. Of course, there were other parties in the state, but he chose the ACN because, like many of his ilk, he wanted the easy way out as the ACN is the party on ground that could quickly guarantee his heart’s desires.
Even then, Osa knew he was up against political heavyweights in the party and elsewhere. When asked about his chances in the race for the senatorial ticket, Osa told Ademola Adegbamigbe, his interviewer in the September, 2010 issue of The News Magazine: “The truth is that it is only Matthew Urhoghide that is in my party right now, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. He is a political heavyweight and he has been a governorship aspirant several times over and he has also contested for the Senate twice before. He is well known”.
The fact is Osa is a political neophyte. He might have practiced for over 20 years as a journalist, but politics is a different ball game altogether. Even some of his fellow journalists laughed at his naivety and scoffed at his very tall political ambition, especially when they know he cannot win even a ward!
Seeing the handwriting on the wall that the senatorial ticket was too hot a potato for him to handle, Osa quickly dropped it on the last day of nominations, picking the ticket of the House of Representatives instead. However, he made another mistake. He forgot that politics is a game of one man, one vote. He thought he could depend on one man, then his friend, now someone he has marked out as an enemy, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Osa had thought that Comrade Oshiomhole, being his friend of many years, would simply snap his fingers and the ticket would fall on his laps. He was wrong. Even Comrade Oshiomhole couldn’t vote in Osa’s Southern constituency, he being from the North, and the party’s tickets for all elective positions were decided by all card-carrying members of the party who thronged out to vote during the primary elections and Osa was roundly beaten by Mr Rasaq Bello-Osagie.
When Osa described Matthew Urhoghide as a political heavyweight who had contested elections before and is well-known, he failed to add that Bello-Osagie is another political heavyweight who is also well-known and only lost in court to Patrick Obahiagbon in 2007 on technical ground.
However, rather than admit his shortcomings, to wit, that he is not known by his people who refused to vote for him and that he lost to a better candidate who is on ground, he chose to blame Comrade Oshiomhole for his woes.
Back to the interview he granted the Vanguard newspapers on Saturday, August 13, Osa turned comical when he said: “A situation where you see great impact being made by governors of Lagos, Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom and Jigawa which does not earn more revenue than Edo, you’ll be encouraged….
“If you compare the achievements of these governors with that of Oshiomhole, you will know that Oshiomhole has not done anything in Edo. I want you to go to Jigawa to see what Sule Lamido is doing, and Ondo to see what Mimiko is doing without the noise and razzmatazz Oshiomhole is deploying. He is about the only ACN governor who has not performed”.
I couldn’t help but laugh at Osa’s comments. Apart from Lagos State, Edo is the only other state that is working in his list of states, without disparaging the achievements of other ACN governors. Osa showed some level of ignorance when he said Oshiomhole is about the only ACN Governor who has not performed. For his information, Lagos and Edo are the reference points for other ACN governors and indeed, other governors elected on the platform of other parties in the country.
It is, however, worrisome that Osa made a quick turnaround just a few weeks after the House of Reps ticket was not hand-delivered to him. It is sad that Osa who had praised Oshiomhole to high heavens during his declaration for the senatorial race when he said, “I am in the race to offer true and undiluted service. It is time for men and women who have vision, sound pedigree and (are) knowledge-driven to seek political offices and help in the ongoing positive transformation of the state under Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole”, now say Oshiomhole is deploying razzmatazz.
There is no doubt that Osa would today be singing a different tune, like the Vanguard interviewer told him, had he been handed the Reps ticket on a platter he sought. He would not today put a log in his own eyes to prevent his seeing the transformation going on in Edo State.
It is, however, good that Osa is showing his true colours now; it would have been a great disaster had he got the ticket only to desert his people after getting to Abuja. Perhaps the ACN voters in Edo South had a premonition of the kind of man Osa is, which informed their wise decision to kick him out with their votes at the party’s primary election.
No one will take Osa Director seriously, since he now talks with both sides of his mouth, depending on which side his bread is buttered, and since he is bellyaching today because he did not get a ticket which he clearly lost and did not deserve, he has found a new pastime which is to blame his loss on Oshiomhole who only sin was to provide a level-playing field for all aspirants.
Mr Osatohamen Omoregbee, a political analyst, wrote from Benin City, Edo State.