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A ventriloquist at work

It was a matter of time before the cookies crumbled. The political tsunami threatening the fledging assemblage of men and women of disparate and indeterminate character under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State is not strange to watchful political observers and actors.

The reason for such fears is simple. The defunct ACN which was the dominant party in the marriage was a party subsumed under the thumb of a man desperate to be a political godfather at all cost, in spite of his media and public posturing to the contrary.

However, it was also inevitable that his ambition was soon to clash with the vision of the founders of ACN. The truth be told, the political group, Grace Movement with the motto: “No man is God”, owned and provided the structure that metamorphosed into ACN in Edo State.

It was led by the former secretary to government, SSG, under former Governor Lucky Igbinedion, a grass root mobiliser and cerebral politician, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. He has nurtured and sustained the group with loyalists across the state.

Therefore, when Adams Oshiomhole, then President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, almost turned into a political normad, searching for a political platform to actualise his dream, having been frustrated and rejected by PDP, ANPP and unable to organise the Labour Party, which he founded, the Ize-Iyamu group offered their platform when he approached them. Obviously such offer was not without conditionalities. Hence, for those who know Governor Oshiomhole in his heydays at NLC, it was obvious a clash of interests occasioned by backstabbing, deceit and hypocrisy would rock the political marriage between him and Ize-Iyamu.

The current crisis of confidence between both gladiators was delayed  till now largely due to the reticent, savvy and astute political husbandary of Ize-Iyamu, a clear departure from the vacuous ideological pontifications and overrated oratory-cum- sophistry of Governor Oshiomhole.

That matters came to a head between both political captains is not a surprise. What is shocking perhaps is the ventriloquist approach of Governor Oshiomhole in explaining the issue. Hacks and faceless writers, who are nothing but paid agents of Edo State government, have suddenly emerged, attempting to twist logic on its head and rewrite the known political history of Edo State.

Instead of attempting to control the political implosion in APC, Governor Oshiomhole chooses to sleep like the Roman emperor did when Rome was burning. One such writer in his article claimed to be a retired Permanent Secretary at a Federal Ministry, an obvious lie. His pedestrian, if not gutter language, shows the traits of a half baked semi-literate unionist who employs duplicity, hypocrisy and chicanery as a way of life.

While not holding, and indeed cannot hold brief, for Lucky Igbinedion’s administration as actors in that regime are alive to do so, it is untenable as a journalist, lawyer and insider in APC to refuse to correct the falsehood being peddled by quislings. I stand in a vantage position to make informed commentary having known too well Governor Oshiomhole, Ize-Iyamu and APC.

It is an open secret that in 2007, Oshiomhole could not muster neither the financial resources nor political structure to run a governorship election in Edo State. Hence, he approached but was rejected by PDP and then ANPP. Frustrated, he went and floated Labour Party which he abandoned and went crawling to Igbinedion and his main man, Ize Iyamu to rescue him from looming shame. They offered him the ACN platform which was anchored on the membership of the Grace Group. The rest is history.

Today, Oshiomhole prances around as a messiah who was head hunted to run for Edo governorship. But that is very far from the truth. We know our history no matter the sophistry, empty oratory and sophisticated charlatanism employed by any one. Again, Governor Oshiomhole pretends to be an apostle of openness and accountability in governance. But, if we may ask, where did Igbinedion get the money he used to finance Oshiomhole’s campaign in 2007? Was Oshiomhole ignorant of the source of the money? Therefore, as a lawyer, I am strongly of the view that if Igbinedion is accused of looting Edo State, then Oshiomhole should face trial as an accessory to the fact of looting.

Indeed, is Oshiomhole really a democrat and fighter for democracy and the rule of law as he is made to appear by his hirelings? If Governor Oshiomhole is such a democrat, the civil society and vibrant section of the media which I proudly belong to and which fought the military tyranny of Generals Babangida and Abacha is yet to credit any role to Oshiomhole in those dark days.

Perhaps, it is time for the critical media and civil rights activists to rise up and document the roles of some people at various levels of government today who now masquerade as crusaders of democracy. When in fact and indeed they were smart paid agents and informants of the state, who waltz their way to relevance through sheer oratory without epistemology.

Lest we forget, Governor Oshiomhole was the Deputy President of NLC under the late Pascal Bafyau, a union which supported and sustained the annulment of June 12, 1993 election. Now that the chickens are coming home to roost in Edo State APC, it is better for a Daniel to come to judgement as the media must have the courage to examine Governor Oshiomhole and his true role in the political history of Nigeria as a classic ventriloquist at work.


OSA DIRECTOR, a journalist and a lawyer, lives in Lagos.





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