By Emeka Obasi
Governor Godwin Obaseki must not look back, there is so much work to be done. It should dawn on him that the world is watching. God made victory possible and ancestor, Agho Ogbedeoyo, the Obaseki of Benin will be all smiles in his grave.
There is so much in a name. God won the election for the Edo State governor. I pray he realizes that. For the very first time, millions of Nigerians followed events in a state like their lives depended on it. And this cut across party lines. Certainly some APC governors backed Obaseki, in spirit.
Many in Edo State did not know that beyond the known godfathers, there were behind the scene strategies. Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, lived in Uromi as a young man. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole hurt the Esan of Edo Central beyond measure, they worked against him.
Oshiomhole’s late wife, Clara, was Esan, from Ewohimi. That was not enough to treat him as an in-law because he desecrated tradition by deposing a king. His former wife’s family did not like the way he flaunted the lady from Sao Tome and Principe.
Onwa Oyoko of Omuma was therefore in Benin to work on the Edo Central senatorial district, having lived there. The belief was that Hopism could be exported from Owerri. And he listened to one of his commissioners, Simeon Ebegbulem, a Bini grounded Oshiomhole man.
General Murtala Mohammed was from Igbein in the Edo North Senatorial zone. His Kano connection came through his mother, Ramatu, of the prominent Inua Wada family . Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had to show interest.
Malam Ganiyu Audu was part of the Murtala connection. An Audu got the former Head of State to build a mosque in Avielle, home town of the APC running mate.The emergence of Ganiyu Audu as deputy to Osagie Ize-Iyamu was to neutralize Obaseki’s deputy, Philip Shaibu.
Who else could have survived this battle, without God the father? President Muhammadu Buhari watched from the Villa, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, spoke from Lagos and Oshiomhole, the godfather, danced like a real warrior from Iyamho.
It was like dancing naked in the village square. Adam had eaten apple according to biblical records. God warned Adam, the man did not hearken to that loud voice. I am not sure Garden of Eden was located around Ring Road Benin. Another Adam was tempted by power but Godwin won the battle.
Governor Obaseki, Nigerians are happy with your victory. I must state here that this is time to work, and you must forgive. Obaseki must also be a statesman. He is no more Obaseki, the rejected stone that was picked by PDP.
The first thing Mr. Governor should do is to begin the search for a credible Esan man to succeed him as governor in 2024. This accord, written or unwritten, must be respected. Edo Central lived up to the spirit of Esangbedo [Esan does not harm Bini] by giving Obaseki maximum votes.
This brings me to the very loyal deputy governor, Shaibu. Obaseki should start preparing him for a place in the Senate. Shaibu has age on his side, he could come back as governor in 2032. This arrangement is not only democratic, it is workable.
To make things happen in Edo, there should be consultations with relevant stakeholders. It makes sense to set up an Advisory Committee made up of people like Tom Ikimi, Dan Orbih, John Oyegun, Mathew Uroghide, Kenneth Imasuangbon, Rowland Owie, Daisy Danjuma, Ehigie Uzamere, Charles Idahosa, Tony Azeigbemi, Osaro Idah, John Abebe and Basil Omiyi.
May I plead with the governor to ask his wife to forgive Tony Kabaka Adun. Let God judge him. I wonder why a man should use fruit of the womb against a woman.Yes, the man’s hotel was demolished but even Kabaka of Buganda would not descend so low.
Kabaka means King or Emissary. The Buganda and Bini share something in common. The heir apparent is kept away as long as the King rules. In Benin, the Edaiken is sent to live in Uselu. In Buganda, the Kiweewa, cannot be king at all. Tony Kabaka thought he was untouchable.
Ebegbulem made a disturbing allegation. He was told that Obaseki described him as Igbo,not from Edo. This one sounds like ‘dem say, dem say’.I do not want to believe it. The governor’s wife, Betsy Bene, is a proud Kalabari daughter from Buguma City, Rivers State.And the original Obaseki, son of Ogbeide, hailed from Agbor.
Dr. Owen Jackson Obaseki, the first foreigner to become Chief Consultant in Germany, spent over six decades in that country. He was buried there. His secondary education was at Christ the King College [CKC],Onitsha.
I am Igbo but I am a stakeholder in Edo. I was born in Benin. I graduated from the University of Benin. I do not want to see Obaseki as an Igbo hater and he should not be. The two governors who stood by him all through, Nyesom Wike and Ifeanyi Okowa, are also Igbo.
Obaseki should confide in the Oba of Benin. The Otaru of Auchi bears no grudge. Politics is over. There should be malice towards none.History is a teacher. ‘Edo no be Lagos’ reminded me of Ogboni and Otu Edo. I trust this Obaseki, he will not fail.