By Emmanuel Aziken
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s political legacy was enthroned with the demystification of several other political icons he met in Edo State.
Chief Tony Anenih, Brig-Gen. Samuel Ogbemudia, Gabriel Igbinedion, Chief Tom Ikimi were among the political godfathers who the camp of Comrade Oshiomhole repeatedly boasted to have brought to nothing after his emergence as governor.
Helpful to him in strategy and operational deployments was Shaibu, a former student activist who took after Comrade Oshiomhole in the struggle for an ‘egalitarian society.’
Shaibu had indeed, been described by some as the political son of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
It is as such ironical that Shaibu has become one of the leading antagonists of the comrade chairman in his increasingly dragged out conflict with his former foot soldiers in his political base in Edo State.
It is such an irony that a good number of those who once pledged loyalty to Oshiomhole are today in strong disapproval of him.
Besides Shaibu, other principal rebels include the politically shrewd Osarodion Ogie, who Oshiomhole used to carry out his political operations after Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu left the camp in 2014.
Another rebel is the bombastic Mr. Charles Idahosa, who served as Governor Oshiomhole’s political adviser.
Of course, the most prominent rebel is Godwin Obaseki, who the comrade handed over to, trusting that his successor would remain a technocrat devoid of politics.
But alas today, a sizeable proportion of the comrade chairman’s field commanders in Edo State have turned against him, bringing him to his wits end on how to anchor his political legacy.
Indeed, it is a thing of irony that Comrade Oshiomhole had to go across the divide to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to renew acquittance with Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu in the face of the depletion of loyalist forces at home.
The idea is simple. With Obaseki having gone with a sizeable proportion of his field commanders, Ize-Iyamu (credited with having one of the most disciplined political camps in the state) would combine with Oshiomhole to deal with the renegade disciples!
But how did all these men who played critical roles in the enthronement of Oshiomhole as governor and sustained him through his campaigns against the ‘godfathers’ rebel against him?
Indeed, it was easily said that the appointments of Shaibu as deputy governor and Ogie as Secretary to the State Government were part of Oshiomhole’s strategy to ensure that Governor Obaseki behaved.
However, as the new government settled down, words started seeping through that expectations of friction eased away as the new government easily forged cordiality.
So what happened?
Obaseki, one source said, did it by being true to his toga of being a technocrat. He was said to have allowed each functionary of government exercise the functions of his office as designated.
Shaibu, as deputy governor, was said to have exercised the powers of his office in a way that no previous deputy governor in recent times had exercised. Of course, few would forget the acrimony that shadowed the relationship between Shaibu’s predecessor, Dr. Pius Odubu, and Oshiomhole when they were in office.
Ogie, as SSG, is also said to be excercising the functions of his office in a way that previous SSGs did not enjoy.
The devolution of powers by Obaseki was said to have been the masterstroke that built cordiality and loyalty between the new men in government to the discomfort of those who sought to cause a divide and rule scenario.
It was on that basis that Comrade Shaibu, after obtaining an order from the Inspector General of Police to stop the rally planned by Comrade Oshiomhole to receive Ize-Iyamu, said that no one would have dared done to Comrade what he was doing to Obaseki.
The deputy governor’s hypothesis can best be put to the test by recalling that Comrade Oshiomhole is not the first national chairman to come from Edo State. Before him was Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
As national chairman of the party did Odigie-Oyegun have any influence or direct the pace and pattern of the Oshiomhole government in a way that the current national Chairman is generally reported to have sought to do in Obaseki’s government?
Odigie-Oyegun indeed, gave a wise answer to the issues in Edo State last Thursday when cornered by newsmen on the sidelines of an event in Lagos.
“It is a good thing to mentor somebody, to have an elder, more experienced to help bring up the younger ones.
“But when you have mentored him, and he has attained maturity and growth, do not keep treating him like a child,” Odigie-Oyegun said.
That was perhaps Comrade Oshiomhole’s error. He didn’t know that the boys that once called him, sir, sir, are all now matured!