By John Mayaki
“There is always an entry point and also an exit point”, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said, addressing journalists, confirming his acceptance of the NEC dissolution of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC). For a man whose oratory brews words, pressing them into sweetened honey able to captivate an audience, Comrade Adams did not fail to briefly cast the gaze of his listeners backward in a press conference held in an afternoon he dubbed a session of few words but much wisdom.
Yet it was worthy, due, and even necessary, to look backward at that point. At least from 2018 when Oshiomhole, invited by the President, enjoyed massive support that spanned across the six Nigerian geopolitical zones—it was instructive to look, again, at things. And when it was done, what we found, if we must be honest, is that the former two-tenure Edo Governor is an achiever who has now decided to step aside in style and pride.
Oshiomhole walked into the APC leadership at a time when the party was in tatters and at the brinks. It looked like the doomsday prophecy championed by naysayers was about to manifest. Accordingly, people had forecast that APC, given the nature of its coming to life, and the very vast and disparate nature of people and interests that constituted it, was destined to a catastrophic implosion even right from its inception. It looked like it was happening and it was almost complete but then came Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, the Edo man famously known as Comrade.
With his emergence, he brought exactly what he was called: comradeship. Fence-mending, tie repairing, bond dressing—all done by wide consultations through lobbying, compromises, and outright personal charisma led by the vibing Adams Oshiomhole. In a seemingly magical U-turn, a party once tottering to its Golgotha veered right into a path of glory. The transfiguration defied plain logic yet this man from the South of the South did it. He rescued a party with glowing embers, its fiery impending break up fanned by elements of rancor, and have it set to a glorious rise and rise that has continued to culminate to this day.
The results are there to speak for itself: the APC after its landmark 2015 victory, struggled to achieve a firm grip on power at the legislative level, hence having itself trapped in assorted bottlenecks that inhibited the full execution of its ideals, philosophies, and manifesto. The opposition, People’s Democratic Party, made leadership a nightmare for the ruling APC both in the executive and legislative levels. At the knee of 2019, the year this party would seek reelection, it was getting crippled by the impossible atmosphere artificially but effectively created by the opposition, and a series of internal conflicts: the fire was clearly on the mountain and things were falling apart.
In the current situation of things, especially as the rampaging Covid-19 pandemic has made adequate consultations and communication a hard task, it is easy to forget that it was Adams Oshiomhole the Comrade who stepped in and changed the narratives and the reality. Within a long string of months stretching from 2018 to 2019, APC slew and decapitated the stubborn hydra-headed opposition, PDP, clinching a straight-jacket control of the legislative chambers. The number of states governed by APC governors exponentially grew, ensuring the quickest spread of party popularity in the democratic history of Nigeria.
The greatness of such magnitude doesn’t come without negative implications. For Oshiomhole, it was that his decisions, many of which were informed by an unbending principle of fairness and resort to party supremacy, would hurt the feelings and end the personal ambitions of some certain persons and blocs. Individuals and blocs who, in failing to understand that by temporary resigning to party supremacy, would in the long term have their expectations exceeded—and so they nurse a resentment that would metamorphose into a vendetta. And so we arrive at this exact moment: a legend walks whence he came.
But there is always an exit point just like there are entry points and The Wolf from South of the South is at its exit from the stage. Yet like all wolf, and as seen in the Comrade’s own words, he is yet loyal to the pack. He has led the pack and he led them to victory through a terrible winter and into a turbulent summer. Now, even as he hands duty over, The Wolf of the South yet lives long and its fangs ever sharp. So long there is life, nothing is ever over.