Allegation of Godfatherism: Obaseki, Oshiomhole in Verbal Punches

As the political camps of the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki and his predecessor, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole continue to bandy words over allegation of godfatherism leveled against the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, the former has accused the immediate past governor of the state of not only picking the governor, the deputy governor and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in Edo State but also compiled the list of the state’s commissioners in his living room in 2016. Oshiomhole had in a television interview Friday stated that he nominated only one person as commissioner in 2016 following Obaseki’s victory. But the governor, in his reaction Saturday accused Oshiomhole of lying.

A statement by the governor’s special adviser on media and communications strategy, Crusoe Osagie said “we are once again forced to call the attention of members of the public to Comrade Oshiomhole’s ability to compulsively falsify the facts. The ease with which he lies, especially on issues that are public knowledge, underscores the content of his character and portends an existential threat to the survival of the APC and the impeccable integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari who is forced to continuously engage with Comrade Oshiomhole being the national chairman of his party”.

He said, “If indeed Oshiomhole appointed only Mika Amanokha to Governor Obaseki’s cabinet, why then did the former governor scream to the high heavens and embark on vitriolic media attacks against Obaseki when the governor reshuffled his cabinet, taking out some persons who were sabotaging the administration at the behest of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. In fact, Comrade Oshiomhole compiled the list of those to be appointed commissioners in Edo in his sitting room in 2016, asides picking the governor, his deputy, and the SSG. Comrade Oshiomhole, indeed, has not kept his dishonesty and inability to abide by due process and the provisions of the constitution to his destructive activities in Edo’s political space, he has exported it to the Federal level of government, placing the presidency under undue pressure leading them to take decisions that run afoul of due process and the constitution. A case in point is the recent incident when the President was away from the country and Comrade Oshiomhole got top officials at the presidency to approve the composition of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), made up of his cronies apparently in violation of the existing rules”.

According to Obaseki, “uppermost on Comrade Oshiomhole’s mind was his desire to annex the NDDC and make it a slush fund from where he expected to finance the political tension in Edo State towards possibly seizing control of the Edo State Government from Governor Obaseki. He did not care whether the rules were followed nor the integrity of the people being appointed. All he wanted was to achieve his aim and keep Edo State under his stranglehold as the new godfather”.

He said fortunately for Nigerians and Niger Delta people, “our calm and methodical President, Muhammadu Buhari, has since seen through Comrade Oshiomhole’s mischief and ordered the forensic audit of the NDDC and the re-composition of the illegal board which Comrade Oshiomhole was trying to emplace”. Osagie said it had become clear that “it is second nature to Oshiomhole to be dishonest, not to play by the rules, and respect the authorities, making him dangerous to the survival of the APC”.

Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu & Oshiomhole
Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu & Oshiomhole

He called on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC to do the needful and rescue the party from imminent implosion by setting Oshiomhole aside as the national chairman, adding “apart from no longer having the support of his people, having been suspended from the party at the ward, local council, and state levels”, Oshiomhole also lacked the moral rectitude to continue to function in the office of the National Chairman of the APC, stressing that the earlier this is done, the better for the party and Nigerians.

Joining issues with the governor, Edo APC Secretary, Lawrence Okah said Obaseki and his media aide are too inconsequential to tell lies against Oshiomhole. While noting that it had become clear that “in his mad desperation for a second term, Governor Obaseki and his media aides who have no root in Edo State, have gone berserk calling the name of Oshiomhole to the extent that “even when some of them quarrel with their wives, they blame it on Oshiomhole. Oshiomhole explained openly how he nominated just one Commissioner and this not the first time he is making this explanation”.

He said in the first place, the list of commissioners was compiled in 2017 and not 2016 as claimed by Crusoe, adding that Obaseki took over office on November 12, 2019 and Commissioners were appointed in the first quarter of 2016 because he, Okah, was privy to all that transpired. “Crusoe Osagie who was imported from Lagos after his failed journalism career was not there when those things were fixed, so why come in defence of Obaseki when he was not privy to the issues. Telling lies against Oshiomhole cannot help him and his principal. Rather, it will compound his problems”.

Challenging Obaseki to speak out on these issues and not through fake proxies if he was bold enough, Okah pointed told the governor that “he should not be a coward. The position of the National Chairman of a ruling party is not a tea party and those refugees imported from outside cannot change it”. On the suspended board of the NDDC, Okah noted that Obaseki has squandered the resources of the state in a bid to remove Oshiomhole as National Chairman and would continue to fail “just as he sponsored war against Odubu, a fellow Bini man because he was appointed Chairman of NDDC”.

He said the governor should be ashamed of himself today for “shamelessly” celebrating the decision to overhaul the newly constituted board, stressing that it “is the decision of Mr. President and not the business of Obaseki”.  According to Okah, “Obaseki will still be there when Odubu will be re-appointed; then, we expect him to hang himself. Those who wish others evil will inherit evil on their way. Oshiomhole will remain stronger and stronger while Obaseki will become weaker and weaker. These people are too little to get the attention of the National Chairman”.

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