Written By John Mayaki
Official statement from Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole over his planned remarry weekend, may have ended series of speculations, gossips, rumors and blackmails suffered since the Peoples’ Comrade lost his wife, Mrs Clara Oshiomhole to cancer in December 2010. Though he keeps rumor-mongers guessing about his next move but he hasn’t failed in giving the needed respect to his departed wife. “Even Governor self na man, body no bi fire-wood”.
Rumor-mongers had feasted on the patience of the Comrade over the years. In fact, he personally dragged News of the People, a soft sell weekly magazine before a Benin High Court, asking for N250m as damages, for alleged libel. The magazine had falsely reported that the Governor was about getting married to a university student, and that the said wife-to-be was already pregnant.
Ending speculations, the Governor will be getting married to his fiancée, Miss Lara Fortes on Friday, May 15, 2015.
The Wedding invitations already sent out by the governor to close friends and associates indicates that the solemnization of the marriage ceremony will hold at the Etsako West Local Government Council Marriage Registry, Auchi, at 10 a.m. while reception, according to the notice that was personally signed by the governor, will take place at the People’s Hall, Iyamho, Oshiomhole’s country home.
The statement quoted the Governor as saying, ‘While looking forward to the honour of your distinguished presence, I sincerely crave your pardon for the rather short notice. Please accept the renewed assurances of my highest esteem,” Oshiomhole wrote.
Alot of things are expected at the wedding. From the terse statement, the wedding promises to be a quiet one without much ado but as a Governor whose party fought hard to stamp its feet at the center (Federal Government), Iyahmo, the home country of the Governor will, no doubt, host the high and mighty, and the creme de la creme in the country and beyond.
Men of timbers and calibers and plywood, from the National Leadership of the party waiting to form the next government at the centre, the All Progressive Party, would be there. Am sure you know them? Statesmen would top the early arrivals, no doubt.
Governors and Governors-elect. Senators, members of the House of Representatives and elected members of the State House of Assembly would not be waiting on the lists of dignitaries.
Secondly, do not be disappointed, when you see chieftains from the opposition-ruling party (the Peoples Democratic Party; now in opposition but still ruling for the next two weeks) at the reception. They sure cant miss it. They want to make a statement that irrespective of political party differences, The Comrade is Our Man anytime any day. Am sure you know failure is an Orphan?
Those jostling to succeed Oshiomhole as Governor are already making frantic efforts to put a showing there, I suspect. The race seems to have commenced and the Governor’s blessing and endorsement would play a key factor. They may not come in form of campaign with placards and banners but would devise other subtle political means at making a point to win his confidence and to justify, why they are the best to take over from him.
The other set of persons expected to play the eye-service role or so, are those seeking appointments at the Federal level. They would pose as if they are his confidants and would never disappoint. The game is up to them.
Of course, Commissioners and Executive Directors would sure put on their best clothes and struggle for space while making sure they are conspicuously seen officiating “God knows what” because they still can enjoy the perks of office for the next one year and six months. Either to avoid being sacked in a likely cabinet reshuffle or keep being in the good books.
Apart from local politicians who would naturally flood the venue of the event, there are the Senior Special Assistants, the Permanent Secretaries, Directors, Chairmen of Commissions and Boards among others that would grace the occasion. Their joy would be to partake in the joy of “Our Oga, The Comrade”.
There is a question journalists would not miss to ask Mr. Governor. And this question, the Governor would wish they don’t ask it, if he hasn’t devised or rationalized another reason already.
Hear this question and answer session say between www.johnmayaki.com and Comrade Governor
Why have you not remarried since you lost your wife?
I wish you would have avoided the question because really when I talk about my late wife, people may not understand why? You are in a position to judge whether to agree or disagree. When a man in my own case has the privilege of being elected as a state governor or president, your wife’s status changes automatically to the first lady of the state or the country with all the glamour that goes with it.
To have the kind of wife I had, who was familiar with all the police stations in Kaduna and outside, and sometimes searching for her husband who might have gone to work and detained by Police on account of trade union work, it was her lot to stand by me and she bore all the deprivations of a husband you were never sure where he was going to be at the next minute. At a point, she called me an absentee husband.
In one interview she said ‘I have donated my husband to the Nigerian workers’, so she went through all that pain and the day we were inaugurated is usually the day where women put on their very best, befitting a stature of the first lady of a state. But on that occasion, we discussed how to appear because we didn’t have the opportunity of long planning. I was declared on the 11th as the winner of the election and was to be sworn in on the 12th.
So I said to her, I can’t change my identity now because I have been a worker and have used khaki as a factory worker and President of the NLC, and I don’t want to look different and she agreed. Rather than going to buy lace, she opted to wear the same khaki, except that my own was better sown than hers because the woman who made her own was not used to sowing khaki for women.
If you come from my background, any woman who agrees to marry a man who is not rich, a man who alternates between police stations and cells and lives in a one or two bedroom apartment, that is your real love. When my wife said I love you, it was from her heart.
The only worry she ever had was who was going to employ our children owing to my agitations with big establishments, because as an organized labour, when we leave the NLC, we fear that our lives would be lonely because it would be a payback time for all those big people I have harassed in the course of my work. So, it would have been joyous for her to see that five years down the road , I have more people around me than I have before.
Her second fear was that she never approved my involvement in politics because she was very proud to be referred to as the wife of Oshiomhole because then she gets all the favour and saw the affection because most Nigerians were happy with my stewardship at the NLC.
She was worried that once I get into politics, I would be ridiculed and all of that would go. She felt I should keep the name. But I told her even before I went into the NLC. NLC was a write off as military apologists, the human rights community distanced themselves from the NLC and I said you can always chose how you want to be remembered; that I’m going into politics to redefine and demystify governance and reconnect with the very ordinary people and politics offers that platform for anyone who believes the ordinary man deserves a better deal.
So for all that and for many other reasons, that is one thing that I regret that she should have been there to also see the other side of life. I have seen it all, in this state now, they are people who will call me the oppressor and you know who they are, the oppressors of yesterday.
If you ask ‘Mr fix it’ who I am, he will tell you I’m oppressing him because I have de-fixed him. It would have been nice for my wife to see life’s full circle; that those guys who feasted on us and cheated, that we have reduced them to political vegetables and placed them on permanent political oxygen”.
There is certainly one thing the wedding would help to achieve, put gossipers and rumor mongers at bay for the next unforeseeable future. Am sure this is relief for the Comrade and his well-wishers.
Best wishes from Johnmayaki.com