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The Oshiomhole metamorphosis

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Police invite six over alleged attack on Oshiomhole’s Benin residenceBy Emmanuel Aziken

The campaigns that preceded the two governorship elections holding today in Kogi and Bayelsa undoubtedly provided a healthy distraction for the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

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In the wake of the unprecedented uprising to his political supremacy in Edo State, the immediate past governor of the state was reportedly turning into an object deserving of pity.

So given the chance of temporarily turning away from the upheavals at home in Edo State, the opportunity to campaign in Bayelsa and Kogi would have meant an elixir for the Comrade.

Of course, whether he was deserving of pity or not, the whipping and humiliations from his one-time political mentee, Governor Godwin Obaseki, are deserving of commentary.

Of course, only the heartless and stiff-necked would consider the political situation of the Comrade and remain unmoved.

Some others who may also be unmoved would include direct eyewitnesses to the common abuses that Comrade poured on the late Chief Tony Anenih, late Chief Samuel Ogbemudia, Chief Gabriel Igbenedion, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Chief Tom Ikimi and some other respected political personages of Edo State.

What has made the trials of the Comrade more remarkable is the fact that the attacks are not coming from the Edo State chapter of the PDP, which, while he was governor, kept him on his toes.

The irony is that the attacks are coming from within the inner reaches of the Oshiomhole political family.

Pitiably for the national chairman, some of the closest political mentees that he broke the bank to establish in high political office are the same persons spearheading the demystification of his political persona.

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It is as such no surprise that Comrade has all of a sudden turned morose shockingly, even apologizing to Governor Obaseki after the incident in Iyahmo.

Even worse for the Comrade is that his several political enemies around the country, especially those enemies he made during last year’s party primaries at all levels, are now said to be secretly egging Obaseki on.

The whisper in certain circles is that Obaseki would not have had the nerve to take Oshiomhole head-on without the encouragement of the external factors who also want to teach Oshiomhole a lesson.

If push comes to shove, Obaseki and his associates believe that Oshiomhole would either not be chairman at the time of the governorship primaries or would have been sufficiently pummeled into submission not to oppose a second term for Obaseki.

The indicators for such are increasingly showing with the almost daily interventions from the governors using the director-general of the Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, Lukman Salihu.

Unusually, Oshiomhole has refused to take the bait from the governors to summon a meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC knowing that it could well be his waterloo!

So, Comrade is playing the game, believing that he could still find accommodation with Obaseki. Note that in all his reactions, the national chairman has pulled back from hitting Obaseki directly.

Unlike his field commanders in Benin, who are bent on seeing the back of Obaseki, Oshiomhole may have come to the point that it is increasingly difficult to push Obaseki out without pulling down the house that he built on himself.

Hence the suggestion of a secret desire for reconciliation with Obaseki.

Oshiomhole’s willingness to compromise is reflected in the case of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. Not too long ago, Bello was seen among the APC leadership to be too unmarketable for re-election. But pressing the right button, the party was able to adjust to him. So, if the Oshiomhole leadership could market and adjust to Yahaya Bello, why would it not adjust to Obaseki?

But how did Oshiomhole come to this stage?

Your correspondent believes that his directive to Obaseki to face governance while he Comrade played the politics for him was the main issue.

But when Oshiomhole was governor, not only did he take control of governance, he was also the undisputed political leader. He demonstrated that eloquently with his triumphant refrain of how he retired the political godfathers he met in Edo State.

One lesson from the unfolding and interesting political drama in Edo State is learning to leave the stage when the music has stopped playing.

Oshiomhole’s unfolding experience is particularly not new. It is what happened to several other political godfathers and governors who foisted surrogates as governors and in almost all cases, were reduced by those they put in office.

The only difference in Oshiomhole’s case is that there is perhaps no one who benefited from a political structure like him, who did as much damage to the structure that threw them up.

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The Igbinedion father and son were not just humiliated, but their Man Friday, Pastor Osaze Ize-Iyamu who they delegated to build Oshiomhole up politically, was four years ago demonized in every way when Comrade wanted to foist Obaseki on Edo.

Today, Ize-Iyamu is back in bed with Oshiomhole making some to wonder that perhaps, there is still something in that Adam that would always want to be the first man!


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