Politics of bitterness: How Oshiomhole Lost Both Party Chairman and Edo State
Politics the say is a dirty game, but not so many will agree to this popular saying.
The politics and elections in Edo state is a food for thought to all well meaning Nigerians and true Democrats including Progressives.
Today is Sunday, many of us Christians must have gone to church, but the question is , what do we learn from the preachers who stand at the pulpit? The underlying factor of this article is all about forgiveness. It’s all about fighting with bitterness , anger and an unforgiving spirit. If we as Christians would learn and imbibe this attitude of letting go and forgiving our adversaries, many unnecessary battles would be jettisoned.
Some months ago, Adams Oshiomhole was the National chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Nigeria, the chairman of the ruling party of the most populous country in Africa, what a lofty height to attain after becoming the president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and two term governor of Edo state, and single handedly sponsored his now estranged political godson Godwin Obaseki to become the governor of Edo state as a result of his popularity in his state.
Over time, one thing led to the other , misunderstanding crept in, disagreement erupted between Oshiomhole and his political godson Godwin Obaseki and the battle line was drawn. Adams Oshiomhole was later suspended from his ward in his party while he was still the party National Chairman , at this point wisdom and understanding would have played a major role here and Adams would have seen the handwriting on the wall. But bitterness and unforgiveness blinded him. Many political actors pleaded with him to sheath his sword but all fell to deaf ears.
He was later to be sacked by a federal high court in Abuja from being the national chairman as a result of his suspension from his ward. With all the allegations and counter allegations, including petitions and appeals , President Buhari later intervened and called all the actors to sheath their swords for peaceful resolution and Adams Oshiomhole was later reinstated as the party chairman and was advised by the president to bring all aggrieved members of the party together including Obaseki which he agreed to do and stated that he has forgiven him and ready to allow peace to reign.
But no sooner had Oshiomhole mounted his position as the party’s chairman than he renewed a fresh fight with Obaseki the governor of Edo state whom he installed as a credible candidate to rule Edo State. Now this time around, another round of fresh war began, he threw caution to the wind, threw his weight behind Pst. Ize-Iyamo whom he midwifed into decamping from PDP to APC and finally did the unthinkable and unimaginable, he disqualified an incumbent governor from participating in the primaries based on flimsy reasons of certificate related issues. This action, many saw as an unfair treatment and bitterness taken too far. The governor had no other choice but to decamp along with his many supporters to PDP.
The opposition party in the state PDP welcomed him with open arms and by the next day, it became the ruling party. A big advantage in securing a win also. This scenario angered many stakeholders in APC, and Oshiomhole just opened a fresh can of worms with the party hierarchy. A fresh fight started again, he was later sacked from being the national chairman by the President in order for peace to reign. He no longer carried the toga of a ruling party chairman. He lost his position as the party national chairman, he became an ordinary party politician, his influence and power cut short, like someone going into a battle without a shield or a sword, he literally went cap in hand begging his people not to vote for Obaseki, pleading and in some occasions kneeling down, the height of desperation and lack of respect for someone that was hitherto held in high esteem. Oshiomhole need not kneel down for any reason, his words are so powerful and regarded with so much respect. Had Oshiomhole known better, he would have ignored Obaseki if not outright forgive him. He would have toed the part of honour and not to try play god in Edo state and politics as if Edo belongs to him. And APC has not even faired better or treated Nigerians any better at the national level.
Now the die is cast, the election has been conducted and winner announced. Obaseki has won the election with a wide margin. The people of Edo state have spoken and decided. They don’t want any godfatherism, nor interference from Lagos or Abuja. They want to be free . Free to choose the candidate of their choice.
Oshiomhole lost in all fronts. Due to bitterness and unforgiving spirit, he lost his exalted position as the party national chairman, he lost his reputation and integrity by campaigning for the one whom he first castigated last 4 years against the one he supported. He lost as the state leader. He lost as the new godfather of Edo state. Many would not take him serious after this election going forward.
We all need to learn from this story of Adams Oshiomhole. We must learn how to forgive, we must learn when and how to let go. Politics should not be a do or die affair. We need not kill ourselves. We need not destroy lives and properties. We need not tarnish our image all because of politics.an Thank God for the visa ban by the American government and UK government, it came right on time , infact at the right time, and kept many political gladiators at check.
God bless the people of Edo state, God bless Nigeria.