Big Mud Fight Divides Edo State Elites

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Obaseki Pays Oshiomhole

There is much to enjoy from modern life. There are televisions, the internet, the oven, tarred roads, car fumes, police sirens, and so much more. Enchanting and engaging as these gizmos and widgets are, there is something to be said for old, Okonkwo-type village settings.

For example, say a chief eyes the bouncy coconut tree of another chief. He goes on ahead and – against reason and morality – plucks coconuts. The village does not divide over anything. Rather, the chiefs often flex their muscles – literally, sometimes – and thoroughly thrash themselves and the matter out.

Edo State is on the brink of dividing internally over political wahala. The culprits in this story are none other than giants taking giant strides, Adams Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki. Although this chronicle is truly a confounding one – because, what could a former governor and his successor possibly have in common?

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the current national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party in more than half of the states in Nigeria. Translation: powerful no-nonsense, shine-your-shoes and watch-your-feet-around dude. He is the past governor of Edo State, the land of his birth. Obaseki, the current governor and of the APC.

So two powerful dudes with some in common: same political party, same land of birth and ‘bearing the same seat’. The last one is debatable to a degree since the buttocks of Oshiomhole should still be imprinted on the chair of the state’s power, and that means that both of them have been sitting on the same chair for some time; which might be the problem and the coconut in this story.

Both guys have been at each other’s throats which has recently led to the suspension of Oshiomhole from APC in Edo state after a vote of no confidence was passed. So although Oga Oshiomhole is still the overall boss, his party in the state has decided to push him out.
An intriguing conundrum: will Oshiomhole submit to Obaseki as a citizen of Edo State, or will it be Obaseki as a member of APC?