By Osaro Akpata
As Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State prepares for ballot, he seems oblivious of extra traps that will scuttle his ambition
Three weeks in the past, he began what’s seen as the method of clearing the impediments for his re-election by saying that he has moved from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP); few days after he was disqualified by the APC screening committee for the Edo State governorship election.
Obaseki’s disqualification, climaxed what’s seen as a long-run battle between the governor and the quick previous APC Nationwide Chairman and a former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole.
His disqualification was occasioned by damning discrepancies within the certificates introduced and in addition the distinction within the names contained in his NYSC certificates dated sixth August 1980.
The committee noticed that he bears the identify “Obasek” Godwin, totally different from Obaseki, an element the committee believed might compromise its possibilities within the election.
Such errors have value the APC a state previously. No critical political occasion would danger the potential implications of such grave error in an try and please its members.
Though Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, made his disqualification from the competition appear to be a witch-hunt by what they typically describe as godfatherism orchestrated by Comrade Oshiomole, it’s clear that the APC was not able to take any likelihood and permit itself to be a keen device to win the election for an one other occasion, taking into account its expertise in Zamfara and Bayelsa states.
“In our interplay with points raised, we concluded that HSLC was faulty, the NYSC certificates and based mostly on the occasion’s structure, this has made us to suggest that the above candidate, Obaseki, is just not eligible to take part within the election,” chairman of the committee, Prof. Jonathan Ayuba acknowledged in defence of the motion.
Obaseki’s spokesman, Crusoe Osagie, described the result of the screening as a mockery of democratic course of, which he claims Oshiomhole is administering and superintending over in APC.
“It has been an unlucky, disheartening and dreadful spectacle,” Osagie mentioned. Whereas Osagie sees Obaseki’s disqualification as open present of disgrace, illegality and travesty of justice, he did not see the plain.
When Obaseki was disqualified by the APC screening committee and he finally jumpsuit in his desperation to clinch to energy, not a number of individuals mentioned it was clear Obaseki is in for a critical bother as a result of with out Oshiomhole and the APC that introduced him to workplace in 2016, he is likely one of the most unpopular candidates within the election.
Should you ask those that have been watching the flip of occasions in Edo State between 2007 when Oshiomhole was first elected as governor and the function he performed within the election of Obaseki in 2016, they’ll possible inform you that profitable the September ballot will probably be tough for Obaseki.
He faces grave hurdles which might be probably to cease him from coming again as governor of the state in September.
Pitching tent with the PDP gives him some semblance of stability or leeway to succeed. However, in the actual sense of it, Obaseki’s candidature is sort of a factor constructed on nothing.
Past the truth that making Obaseki their candidate has emerged as an albatross for the PDP, Obaseki is presently like a basic with out command. He has no political construction to drive his ambition.
Obaseki has and remains to be dealing with stiff opposition inside his new occasion, the PDP. Many PDP members are averse to his emergence because the occasion’s flag bearer.
Apart from the intervention of high pursuits from inside and out of doors of Edo State, selecting the ticket of the occasion would have been a shadow chase, largely resulting from the truth that he was not proactive sufficient to construct friendship throughout occasion strains, like his predecessor.
Many nonetheless see his coming into the occasion as an imposition by those that wish to takeover management of the state in any respect value.
A staunch member of the Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP) and former Commissioner of Info in Edo State, Kassim Afegbua, is amongst these within the PDP who’re against Obaseki’s adoption within the state.
Like Afegbua who has vowed to affix forces with the APC to make sure the defeat of Obaseki within the September 19 election, many PDP members should not glad over his coming into their occasion.
The quantity is large within the state. Obaseki might want to work tougher to persuade such opposing voices, to have the ability to get their votes on the polls.
Those that belong to that group marvel – rightly how Obaseki it as soon as branded a failure, all of the sudden merited the ticket a lot that each one three aspirants stepped down for him.
“We’ll be a part of palms collectively with the APC candidate to make sure that Godwin Obaseki doesn’t return. I’m PDP member, however I’ll vote APC.
A person with the humility of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is healthier than a governor who fights everybody who disagrees with him,” mentioned Afebgua.
With out Oshiomhole’s help, Obaseki is standing on an empty stage with out followership or congregation to name his personal. That’s the reality. Not a number of individuals would agree that Obaseki now faces his hardest battle in his political profession.
He rode on the crest of evidential recognition and enviable goodwill of the APC in Edo State to change into the governor in 2016.
Other than the overwhelming help for the APC within the state, Obaseki’s entry to the Authorities Home was additionally largely aided by the legacies of his predecessor, Oshiomhole, who bestrode the state to a better standing, making it one in every of Nigeria’s quickest rising states – in roads community, schooling, job creation, financial development, youth empowerment and safety, amongst others.
Because it stands, he has swept the legacies of his predecessor underneath the carpet, whereas elevating politics far and above governance and provision of the dividends of democracy for the nice individuals.
Obaseki is definitely strolling a tighter rope for the time being. There are indications that he’s not even in style amongst his Benin individuals like his main rival and candidate of the APC, Pastor Ize-Iyamu.
Those that describe Obaseki as a political weak leak are fast to recall that on February 23, 2019, Obaseki misplaced his ward, LG, federal constituencies and senatorial district within the presidential/Nationwide Meeting elections.
On March 18, 2019, Obaseki purportedly suspended Gen. Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (rid) from APC. That apart, on October 6, 2018, he was accused to have allegedly imposed his most well-liked candidates for Nationwide/Home of Meeting elections on the occasion in a number of LGs of the state.
On the peak of his political idiosyncrasy, on July 3, 2019, he sacked individuals he believed had been loyal to Oshiomhole, whereas accusing the state APC leaders of preventing him for entry to the state treasury to share Edo cash.
On the throes of that unwarranted struggle with some occasion stalwarts, Obaseki sacked eight commissioners and particular advisers and plenty of Native authorities Chairmen believed to be Oshiomhole”s loyalists.
On July 4, 2019, Chris Okaeben was suspended from the APC by the Oredo LG chapter of the occasion. On July 23, 2019. Obaseki was fingered within the struggle towards the ministerial nomination of Clem Agba by President Muhammadu Buhari. On July 31, the chairman of Etsako West LG, Yakubu Musa, was suspended.
One other issue that may make it tougher for Obaseki to win the election is the rising degree of unemployment and its resultant impact on insecurity.
Individuals lament the rising insecurity, prostitution, web fraudsters and rituals within the state, a scenario they attribute to the governor’s insensitivity to the plight of the individuals.
Afegbua aptly put it just lately in a media engagement when he famous that Edo has change into too polarised over avoidable and unnecessary battles.
As an answer, he known as for a brand new management that may usher in quiet and peace to everybody. The noises from the Obaseki aspiration have change into too polluted and can’t be in one of the best curiosity of anybody, he mentioned.
Some aggrieved youths of the state had threatened to withdraw their help for Obaseki’s re-election over his failure to ship on his promise to them. Their declare is that ladies and elders of the occasion who voted for him have been deserted.
How the governor hopes to win the individuals’s confidence within the face of defects in his administration of the state within the final three years stays to be seen.
The favored view within the state is that Obaseki has not achieved vital nicely for the state to advantage a re-election in September.