By David-Chyddy Eleke
The tortoise in the famed Igbo fable was once arrested (very easily), and was being taken to the galore. He begged his arresters to drop him on the ground for a while. When they did, he scratched the earth roughly, and asked the arresters to take him. His arresters were puzzled at what he did and asked him why. He replied, “atleast, anyone who comes here will see the resistance I put up, before my arrest.”
I am not a politician, and can not lay claim to greater wisdom than the dramatis personae in the Edo political space. Whatever actions they have taken in the past and present is their right, after all, all is fair in a war, and some people even say all is fair in politics too. Maybe it was for politicians that Shakespeare dropped a line in his novel, Macbeth, saying: fair is foul and foul is fair. Depending on which side you belong, fair can be foul, and foul can be fair.
It is for the above reason that I will not judge Oshiomhole with the many pictures, quotes and videos being bandied on the internet about claiming he wants to kill godfatherism in Edo, or tagging Pastor Ize-Iyamu as a thief, or claiming that Obaseki was erudite and had a hand in all his achievements during his governorship tenure.
It is also for same reason that I will not judge Obaseki when people try to say he bit the fingers that fed him, or that he refused to swear in Oshiomhole’s boys in the Edo House of Assembly. This is because even deceit and cheating and backbiting and other more dangerous vices are allowed in politics.
That is why Obaseki who was good and sold to Edo people as the best, just four years ago is now the worst. That is why Ize-Iyamu who is a thief (atleast, Oshiomhole thought so) has now become a saint.
My concern is – is Obaseki good for Edo people? Has he performed as a governor or has he failed the people of the state? Beyond the bitter war between Oshiomhole and Obaseki, I urge Edo people to think about the questions above and now decide whether to vote Obaseki again, or to dump him. Unfortunately for Edo people, the options before them are limited. If they reject Obaseki, they are going for Ize-Iyamu; same man Oshiomhole had told them in clear terms is a ‘thief’. The choice is Edo’s, but in making that choice, they must remember that a devil you know is better than an angel you do not.
Back to the coming election. Many have faulted Obaseki and his political moves, others saying he is up against a force that is way higher than him. His disqualification from the primary election is enough to tell so, but his refusal to appeal is also enough to tell he is no fool. If he had dumped the party earlier (as many thought would have been best) many would have argued that he dumped the party that made him, but here, he diligently followed the process to the end. If not for anything, he has proven that APC was not ready to field him. Forget the noice about discrepancies in certificate, even if Obaseki presented made-in-heaven certificates, he would still have been disqualified.
For example, the screening panel (which it is not in doubt was working for Oshiomhole) can simply accuse him of competing with the national chairman in complexion. They can even say, ‘for trying to compete with our chairman in ‘ugliness’,you are hereby disqualified.’ Or even, ‘why is your nose bigger than the chairman’s own,’ or just anything. What matters is that there is an instruction to disqualify him.
Even before he made his move, I had written and advised that what was best for Obaseki was to move to PDP, consult its leaders, especially the likes of Rivers State Governor, Barr Nyesom Woike who has fought similar ‘war’ before on how to contain the forces in Abuja.
I already said I am not a politician, but my idea of politics is not one man, running the show, no matter how big he is. godfathers are godfather’s, most times, they are bullies. It is better not to disagree with them if you are not ready to fight. But if a politician thinks he is big enough to disagree with his godfather, then he should braze up and fight the battle to finish.
Former Lagos State Governor, Ambode had the chance to fight, but he chickened out. If you have the liver to disagree with your godfather, you must also summon the courage to fight, if not, remain in perpetual bondage and enjoy your position. But, I will end here about Lagos, because that state is half of Nigeria itself.
For Obaseki, the courage to dump APC is victory already. To move to PDP is another victory. It is better to lose a fight than not try at all. By joining PDP, and even going to consult its leaders like Wike as Obaseki did today (Sunday) shows a man who is his own man.
To me, if Obaseki loses the Edo Governorship election, his decision to dump the Oshiomhole-controled APC is victory already. Like the tortoise, even if he doesn’t win the election, anyone who comes to Edo will be told how much fight Obaseki put up, before he was subdued and Edo taken. It is for this reason that I personally declare Obaseki the winner of the Edo battle today, while we wait for the election. Head or tail, Obaseki has a trophy in his hand already.