The date was 11th November 2008, it was just past midday and news had come in that the Man of the People had won. It felt like a rumour. We couldn’t believe that “salvation” had arrived. A spontaneous carnival erupted in the city-centre as Edolites got wind of reports that the mandate given to Adam Oshiomhole, was upheld by the appellate court siting in Benin. The State was in a frenzy, it felt like my people had crossed the Red Sea. In fact, there has never been a time the Edo electorates rallied around a candidate like they did the current governor.
Whether Governor Oshiomhole failed or not is not today’s debate, but one thing Edo people would agree with is that the “man of the people” didn’t live up to his Messianic hype.
Back to the matter; in that euphoria, Oshiomhole started a campaign directed at the likes of Tony Anenih, a campaign geared at vanquishing ‘godfatherism’ from the state’s politics, he termed it “one man, one vote”, a campaign many say he used to cripple competition. He’s the new Don Corleone of the Heart Beat State, the Napoleon of a thug fortress. The APC Primaries held on June 18, with nearly the whole town already buzzing with news that the anti-godfatherism Comrade Governor had anointed Godwin Obaseki his successor; the irony! Evidently, Oshiomhole wants to continue in power, but in a new according vessel. Obaseki is relatively new to Edo Politics, the opposition even christened him “stranger”.
In this match, our contender is the very politically revered Pst. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, he seems like the better choice till you remember that like every politician, he’s part of the problem. The ruling party is always quick to remind electorates of the under performance of the Igbinedion administration (1999-2007) of which Pst. Osagie was SSG (Secretary to the State Government). To many sons and daughters of the land, this governorship race is a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, which begs the question: who will the Edolites go for?
The not-so-sinless Pastor or the not-so-in-control Economist.
Barely two years ago, Ize-Iyamu and Obaseki were both members of the APC, before the former moved to the PDP for individual aspirations; ergo he was part of this current administration for six years, meaning that whatever evil he has accused Oshiomhole of, he partook off or at best, facilitated. Obaseki on the other hand has one of the most detailed manifestos in recent times, but with a high-handed authoritarian godfather like the Comrade Governor, he’s merely a puppet. There’s no obvious choice in this thing called politics, it’s never about black and white, its shades of grey.
Idealism aside; would the votes count? Would the APC use the power of incumbency to floor the PDP or would we see the PDP pull a Leicester?… The World awaits
September 28th holds the holy key, only then would we know if this was a two-horse race or a one-man charade. Destiny approaches