January 25, 2020

An end and a beginning: The meeting in Orhionmwon 

Edo State, INEC

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

By John Mayaki

The post-Obaseki era will be remembered to have started in a historic style. It will be remembered to have, from the very beginning, began the cleanup of the perverted ways of doing things instituted by Obaseki.

In Godwin Obaseki’s administration, due to his hatred for dissent and opposition, political sportsmanship and decorum in disagreement have become a forgotten virtue even as we are told of the disruption of the venue of the proposed Edo North rally by thugs, where the National Chairman of the ruling APC is billed to receive PDP members into her fold – the new era promises a new experience.

One of the new experiences has already begun as the frontline ticket contenders of the incumbent party, All Progressives Congress, gathered in Orhionmwon local government to assure and implore their followers of peace, sanctity, and their submission to the party’s supremacy despite the final outcome.

This gathering, although of short notice, was characterized by calm, order, and vision. It directly speaks of maturity and wisdom, and the ability of the present leaders to understand that despite personal interests, there still exists a unifying bond that holds them to account as they are all members of a party with a single vision and manifesto.

The men in attendance, taking turns to speak, emphasized on the same idea: a unity of purpose, loyalty, and party supremacy. Although the meeting gave an avenue for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who recently joined the party to integrate deeper with party leaders and the constituency people alike, other party chieftains like Dr. Pius Odubu, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi and Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, Hon. Saturday Uwuilekhue, Comrade Godwin Erhahon,  Mr. Chris Azebanwan, Mr. Mathew Ehigie, Hon. Jackson Eribo, Hon. Etiosa Ogbeiwi, Francis Osabohen,  Hon. Osawaru, Hon. Osaretin Edoma, Hon. Osaretin Ogieva, used the opportunity to express their faith in the party structure.

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What made the obvious integrity of these men remarkable, equally authenticating that this group of people meant good for Edo people and the APC party, was their outstretching of hand to anyone across the divide, reminding them that it is only through unity, purpose, and togetherness that the party’s ambitions can be achieved.

This makes it clear where the problem is coming from. If all these celebrated men, in their own capacities, found the wisdom of putting aside individual interests and calling for devotion to process, why then is Governor Obaseki hesitating to integrate himself to the normal process of providing a flag-bearer, and ultimately, the state’s governor?

It only validates the long-held notion that Obaseki is terrified of the due process taking its course. This fear, however, stems from the fact that he has greatly underperformed both as the people’s governor and as a party member. That explains the reason for the kerfuffle led by the mischievous elements in his administration: having failed the people, sure that he won’t be favoured by the results that will emanate from the due process, Obaseki and co seeks to force themselves on the people, whatever the cost.

The greatest irony in all this is that peace and due process is less expensive—financially, emotionally, and psychologically. So when a man refuses to submit to this less daunting option, justified suspicion will deservedly be held of him. Worse, history has proven that beneath every violence, calumny and the politics of acrimony, there always lies incompetence, confusion, and inexperience. Emptiness is loud and no wise man applies a complex solution to a problem he has a simple alternative.

The meeting in Orhiomwon Local Government Area will most likely have two effects on Obaseki and whichever he chooses to act on, explains who he is and will determine his fate.

First, it will put righteous fear to his heart, seeing a peaceful gathering of men of such calibre and substance, outstretching a brotherly hand of peace, calling for party supremacy and process. But it may drive him to blind rage, leading him to ask ”what do these people think they are?” if he entertains the second thought instead of submitting to the party’s will, his chapter is finally closed.

Mayaki is an Oxford and Cambridge University-trained entrepreneurship, leadership and sustainability expert. He’s also a Professional Consultant (CMI) on Communication, Management and Strategy.