Oshiomhole: The Travails of a Fading Godfather


By Eddy Odivwri

Why does it look like the once famous Comrade Governor is losing public appeal?
Are you referring to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole?

Of Course Who told you he is losing public appeal? Which public?

Need you ask? Have you not been following how his popularity rating is on a steep drop? Even his party men and women want him out. The other day, they all organized a big protest demanding his resignation from the headship of the party.
His battle with his rebellious(?) god-son, Governor Godwin Obaseki is still raging and even worsening. His war with the man he succeeded, John Odigie-Oyegun is on one corner. The one he succeeded and the one who succeeded him are up in arms against him. Is it not clear something is wrong with the comrade? The Progressive Governors’ Forum is battling him, wanting to throw him out of the party. Some ministers are plotting his ouster, even youths in his native Edo State do not want to see or smell him anywhere in the state. What kind of…

(cuts in) Enough of those skewed examples. Do you need to be told that it is all politics?
Many of these hatred are sponsored and engineered by those who think Oshiomhole is too frank and straightforward. He is not the typical Nigerian politician who double-speaks. He makes his point and stance known at all times.

Look, it is not a question of being outspoken and straightforward. It is a matter of poor leadership style. He is accused of being greedy, arrogant and intolerant of dissenting views. He suffers a superiority complex, thinking he is right all the time. He is impatient with people. It is a great defect, and it exposes him to too many clashes.

These allegations are from those who hate his guts. Don’t forget this is the same Comrade Governor that was so very popular among Nigerians when he served as NLC Chairman,. He was on the side of the people all the time. The people loved him and he loved the people. It was on the basis of such affinity that he won the Edo governorship election twice. And he had a successful time as Edo State governor. So…

(cuts in) So, what? He succeeded as Edo governor because nobody interfered with his government. But he does not want to grant the sitting governor a breathing space. If possible he would want the governor to take permission and approval from him before he (Obaseki) can even breathe. What kind of micromanagement is that? His fisty grip on the organs of government in Edo State is the root cause of all the troubles. He wants to ease Obaseki out and install another godson, who may betray him again thereafter. Look there is trouble ahead, mark my words.
Oshiomhole wants to be the awesome godfather that holds all the aces, not some of the aces .

It is not true. As a comrade, who is schooled in the deep and delicate art of negotiation for power, Oshiomhole understands the concept of power and politics. He deals fairly and justly with all stakeholders. And you mustn’t lose sight of what amounts to undue insubordination from the sitting governor of Edo State. Have you forgotten how the comrade took Obaseki round Edo State and practically installed him as governor? How can such a one suddenly become so powerful as not to recognize the source from where his power came? Or do you need to be told that the spate of attacks Oshiomhole has suffered in Edo State are orchestrated, planned and executed by Governor Obaseki? What degree of disloyalty is that? Now Oshiomhole has been sufficiently harassed in Edo State such that he would now be scared and reluctant to come to his own state. What kind of politics is that?

But you know the comrade has been accused of not only planning to cause chaos and mayhem in Edo State, but also clearly undermining the powers of the sitting governor. He ignores official protocol, he defies the the state governor who is the chief security officer of the state. Was that how he was treated when he served as the governor of the state? How can he suddenly come to the state without pre-informing the state governor? Didn’t even former President Goodluck Jonathan do just that recently when the latter visited the state to see Chief Igbinedion?

So you are saying for failing to inform the sitting governor of his visit to the state, Oshiomhole had to be attacked by youths mobilized by Gov Obaseki?

I did not say so. There is no evidence that Obaseki was behind the recent attack on Oshiomhole at the Benin airport.
But more than that, all the people clamouring for the sack of Comrade Oshiomhole, are they all also being mobilized by Obaseki? Can’t you see all the widening cracks in the party at various fronts?
Can’t you see how the APC is shrinking in size and capacity? If you deny all these, tell me: how many states has the APC lost under the chairmanship of Oshiomhole? Is that the evidence of good leadership?
Look, all I can tell you is that the days of Oshiomhole as National Chairman of APC are very numbered.
As a soft landing, he may be thrown to some country as either an ambassador or High Commissioner.

Ahhhh, that would be doing violence to his career. Adams Oshiomhole is not a diplomat. He does not have the attributes and tendencies of an ambassador. Let nobody take to where he will more than struggle to stay afloat.

So, tell him to reset his ways and his methods. He is dealing with the larger public, not trade unionists. Nigeria is a deep and complex entity.

You go and tell him yourself, I will give you his address.