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Edo State APC: Guilty of “forgetting themselves”!

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, the current APC State Governor Godwin Obaseki, and APC “Party Organizer” Prince Tony “Kabaka” Adun…

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, the current APC State Governor Godwin Obaseki, and APC “Party Organizer” Prince Tony “Kabaka” Adun and their sidekicks have been at loggerheads over the Governor’s re-election bid.

The free-for-all is part and parcel of the APC crisis in Edo State. Both Oshiomhole and Kabaka have accused Governor Obaseki of “forgetting himself”, while the Governor and his supporters’ say it’s his accusers who are “forgetting themselves”! Although not defined as a crime in the Nigerian Penal Code, and not mentioned anywhere within the Nigerian Constitution, the charge of “forgetting yourself” appears to be a very serious political crime which warrants all the public disturbances, shenanigans in the State House of Assembly, threats to life, destruction of property and other illegalities currently going on in the State.

In Nigeria people accused of “forgetting themselves” are those who make statements oblivious to their personal antecedents. They are either well-educated people who suffer from “selective amnesia” in which they consciously decide what to remember and what to forget! Or they are poorly-educated people who came into more money than they ever dreamed of and suffer from bloated egos. At the heart of the APC crisis in Edo State is the disagreement between Adams Oshiomhole who also happens to be the immediate past Governor of the State, and the sitting Governor Godwin Obaseki.

For reasons best known to him, Oshiomhole believes that he has been a remarkable success in every position he has held. In truth it was difficult for him not to “succeed” as Governor because the bar for good governance had been set so low by the abysmal performance his predecessor Lucky Igbinedion. There is no denying that Oshiomhole left an infrastructural legacy in Edo State, but he also left totally disproportionate debts.

He was also instrumental in the election of the relatively unknown Obaseki. However by accusing Obaseki of “forgetting himself”, Oshiomhole seems to be implying that the Governor should be eternally grateful, ingratiated and forever do his bidding! In reply Obaseki and his supporters say that it’s Oshiomhole who has “forgotten himself” in trying to become a political godfather in the State.

They remind him that during his time in office he sidelined and derided the godfathers of the day. Furthermore they remind him that he has conveniently forgotten that unlike Obaseki  his educational qualifications are still mired in controversy, and that there has yet to be satisfactorily explanations for dubious aspects of the contracts for the Central Hospital Annexe, Storm Water Drainage, Iyahmo University and Airport Road.  It appears as if both Oshiomhole and “Party Organizer” Kabaka who also accuses Obaseki of “forgetting himself” are unaware that those who love in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. According to Kabaka “after we put him there he has deserted us”.

This statement shouldn’t be taken lightly as it perhaps confirms the oppositions People’s Democratic Party (PDP) allegation that he was in charge of election thuggery and rigging for APC. It’s easy to understand how incumbent Governor Oshiomhole could help install a successor, but what could Kabaka have done to “put Obaseki there” that he feels he deserves eternal gratitude?  During Oshiomhole’s time he was rewarded for his contributions to political campaign by being appointed as a revenue collector in charge of daily cash returns from buses.

Ineloquent and poorly educated, he was able to build structures, buy exotic cars, travel abroad extensively, and celebrate his first one Billion Naira. Shortly after assuming office Obaseki reorganized transport revenue collection operations where Kabaka made his money. This led them on a collision course as Kabaka joined the Oshiomhole faction of the State APC to severally warn Obaseki in the most insulting language that he would not be re-elected. Subsequently Obaseki suddenly discovered that Kabaka’s multi-million Naira hotel was allegedly an illegal structure built on land which was formerly a portion of Ugbor Primary School playing field.

After a seven-day demolition notice was placed on the hotel, Kabaka initially went on a public rant promising to “die” if the Governor tried to demolish his hotel. The following day he was sober. Knowing full well that the rule of law under APC is a mirage he was filmed displaying his papers for the land and begging Obaseki for forgiveness claiming that his harsh words were only because he was “playing politics”! Edo State waits to see whether Obaseki will have the courage to demolish the hotel, or will lose face.

As far as they are concerned for Kabaka it’s the law of Karma as it was he who once led Oshiomhole’s “enforcers” to throw people and their property onto the street as their homes were pulled down despite extant court cases. Most despicable of all was the treatment meted out to the University of Benin Vice-Chancellor. Ironically Kabaka’s revelations concerning events have won him some sympathy. The problems of the APC in Edo State are a direct result of the sort of politics without principles prevalent in Nigeria. They are a symptom of the manner in which Nigerian politicians hold surreptitious meetings at night to make all sorts of unethical agreements which they have no intention of keeping.

As a result of APC’s in-house fighting, sordid stories are coming to light of how in spite of their claims to moral superiority their leaders acquire wealth and share government property, their Governors’ are installed through malpractice, and massive corruption by Party members is covered up. The truth of the matter is that between Oshiomhole, Obaseki and Kabaka nobody is the winner the three of them are guilty of “forgetting themselves”!


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