By John Mayaki
What is the price to pay for offering one’s conscience on a platter and putting knife to principles and ethics as sacrificial lambs in a desperate desire to accumulate power and attain influence? For many individuals, it is usually the hollowing of the heart, a gutless sucking up to equals and the rationalization of the impossible with the aim to impress and maintain relevance.
Unsurprisingly, Don Pedro Obaseki (PhD) has announced his arrival into this ignoble class of humans with an elaborate ceremony to boot, serving as an additional point of concern to those who are fighting the compelling urge to slip into cynicism on the genuineness of Nigeria’s political actors particularly the ‘overnight activists’.
Don Pedro Obaseki (PhD), a turncoat who loudly opposed the emergence of Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo State in 2016 on the grounds that he is an unprepared apprentice seeking to profit from a political arrangement he contributed nothing to, but is now hopping from one media station to another, offering disturbing interpretations of events is said to be paying the price for his purchase: an appointment as a consultant to the Edo Broadcasting Service even though it remains unclear to everyone what he is consulting on and to what extent his consultancy is beneficial to the EBS.
In a recent television programme, placed head to head to Hon. Barrister Washington Osifo, the courageous lawmaker-elect spearheading the resistance to Godwin Obaseki’s attempt to treat an independent arm of government as a mere extension of his office, Don Pedro Obaseki (PhD) twisted logic on its head again, and surpassed limits he himself set in the overarching aim of pleasing his cousin and perhaps satisfying the conditions of his appointment.
With a grand total of zero legal experience and no proven expertise in matters of the law, Don Pedro Obaseki (PhD) contended the judgement of a court restraining INEC from heeding the comical declaration of the nocturnal and illegal Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, wherein he proclaimed the seats of lawmakers refusing to join his illegal house vacant and demanding another fresh election.
Hon. Barrister Washington Osifo, a lawyer whose brilliance Don Pedro Obaseki (PhD) himself acknowledged in the media engagement, offered a firsthand account of the hearing being present in court himself. A consensus was established between the legal representatives of both the lawmakers-elect and INEC that given the ongoing challenge of Frank Okiye’s emergence as Speaker and the legality of the House he purportedly constituted at nocturnal hours in another court, obeying his declaration of seats as vacant would amount to an undue interference, preemption of the court and clear denial of justice to a party.
The presiding judge, seeing no basis for contention, granted the prayers of the lawmaker-elects’ lawyers and told INEC to stay its hand, effectively dismissing the instructions of Frank Okiye who continues to demonstrate his illegality by behaving in ways inconsistent with the constitution.
Hon Barrister Washington Osifo, proving too much of a contest to the hapless Don Pedro Obaseki (PhD) in the clearly mismatched duel, also offered legal precedents having actually studied them in law school, unlike Don Pedro who turned an emergency lawyer and self-appointed custodian of the constitution, to support his argument on the illegality of Frank Okiye’s actions.
To the discerning, it was clear that in the course of the programme, for a fleeting moment, Don Pedro Obaseki, stuttering and revealing a glint in his eyes, realized his fruitless chase and the sheer ignorance of his claims. He had no legs to stand on and he knew it, especially as his squirming, contrasted against Barrister Washington Osifo’s full grasp of the law and its political ramifications, became embarrassing even to the mediating presenter.
But the shame nonetheless, the tugging of the conscience and the quiet rebuke of common sense, Don Pedro Obaseki had to carry on, repeating weak arguments and at different points, appearing to be trying to convince himself on the rationality of his own arguments. His voice no longer belongs to him. All for a consultancy appointment. It is a pity.
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.