By Ubong Creativity
Amidst the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic that is threatening the global community, in Nigeria attention has been shifted to Edo State with the current political quagmire between the suspended National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole and his political son, Godwin Obaseki ahead of the gubernatorial election slated to hold on September 19, 2020.
Barely less than 12 hours after the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu have resigned their membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State after the governor met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, a Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja affirmed the suspension of the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole dismissing his appeal as lacking in merit.
It will be recalled that there has been a power tussle between the estranged political godfather, Adams Oshiomhole and his political son and governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki for months over what pundits described as insubordination on the part of the governor. Several attempts to broker peace with both camps even with the intervention of President Buhari and leader of APC, Bola Tinubu have proved abortive.
There has been series of accusation and counter-accusation by both camps which has regenerate a national discourse but all entreaties to bury the hatchet has hit the rock as neither Adams Oshiomhole nor Godwin Obaseki is ready to concede.
Last week Friday, the APC Governorship Screening Committee screened-out governor Godwin Obaseki as not qualify to participate in the coming APC Primary slated for June 22 on the ground that there is inconsistency in his educational qualification. Reacting, the governor said he will not appeal the ruling of the Screening Committee as it is teleguided by Adams Oshiomhole to serve his parochial interest of fronting his rival and former PDP Governorship Candidate, Pastor Ize Iyamu.
Considering the decision taken by the governor to resigned his membership of the APC that gave him the mandate to fly the party ticket four years ago, some pundits have forecasted that he will not win the election even if he fly the flag of the main opposition party PDP in the state. A Journalist and Public Commentator, Babajide Otitoju on Journalist Hangout Monday Edition of June 15 on TVC Television said that there is no way Godwin Obaseki can win his re-election in Edo State as the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole with support from Federal Government will mobilize all security apparatus in the country and overpower him at the election.
INEC had in February fixed the governorship election in Edo for September 19 while the APC had fixed their party Primary for June 22. After announcing his resignation from APC at the Presidential Villa, Governor Godwin Obaseki has expressed confidence that he will win his re-election bid against the conspiracy by Adams Oshiomhole, declaring that Edo people are with him while his deputy, Philip Shuaibu has restated his commitment to go wherever his boss is going. The deputy governor said he has taken their political destiny in their hands and with God on side and support of Edo people, they will triumph.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, 14 Members of the State House of Assembly, 16 local government Chairmen and 196 Councillors have resigned their membership from APC with governor Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shuaibu ahead of their formal defection to the Peoples Democratic Party.
Moreover, the Court of Appeal affirmation of Adams Oshiomhole’s suspension from the party has changed the political dynamic of Edo State. While Godwin Obaseki is expected to join the main opposition party in the state, PDP after visiting Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State respectively, his estranged political godfather Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on the other hand has been relinquished of his office as the National Chairman of APC and his security details stripped off him by the court.
The question is: How will Adams Oshiomhole prosecute the election of his prefer Candidate, Pastor Ize Iyamu and on what capacity?
Again, the swapping of political position by Governor Godwin Obaseki and his former rival, Pastor Ize Iyamu who is moving to APC is a subject of political interest in Nigeria. While Obaseki will have a waiver from PDP to fly the party ticket, Pastor Ize Iyamu is penciled down for APC ticket but the election might not be a walk-over for the two candidates. Nigerians are watching with keen interest to see the outcome of this political rumble in Edo State.