Comments Off on Re: EDO 2016 AND THE WAR OF SUCCESSION


By Osaretin Omoregie

I have read the article with the above title published in the Vanguard newspaper of January 28, 2016 and authored by the respected veteran writer, Josef Omorotionwan. I feel constrained to make a few remarks on it lest the whole gamut of his thoughts be taken by the gullible members of the society, particularly Edo electorate as gospel facts. The whole write up smirks of mischief anchored on the fact of his “anointed” aspirant not catching the eye of the one man he admitted “who cannot pretend or stay on the fence for longer than necessary”.


It is no secret in Edo that Governor Adams Oshiomhole has said that he cannot by any means be expected to be neutral or uninterested in who succeeds him. He has a preferred aspirant out of the lot wishing to fly the party’s flag in the coming governorship election. Who that preferred aspirant is can only be left to conjecture and if the name of one Godwin Obaseki has gone viral Comrade Oshiomhole cannot be asked to speak up particularly as Josef Omorotionwan said in his article that “we believe Oshiomhole is right in claiming that he has not anointed any aspirant as his successor”. Is it not enough that Oshiomhole has made it clear he has not done any such thing as anointing an aspirant?


There is no doubt that Josef Omorotionwan is an elder statesman and a respected party leader whose voiced opinion on any political issue should command respect. To condescend to spreading rumour and fanning the embers of war and confusion is less than statesmanlike. An example is the following statement: “Perhaps unknown to Oshiomhole as we speak, the foot-soldiers of the Obaseki project are already depositing a lot of collateral damage in the field. How else does anyone explain the wishy-washy suspension they clamped on Barrister Gentleman Amegor, the authentic, duly elected State Vice Chairman of the APC – all under the guise of acting on behalf of the Governor?” It is unfair and most uncharitable to accuse Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of masterminding the suspension of Barrister Amegor and other members of the party he claims have been penciled down “to be impeached, fired, appointed and disappointed, and denied patronage at all levels”.


Perhaps, Josef Omorotionwan betrayed his hatred for the Comrade Governor and Godwin Obaseki when he wrote: “The only credential they parade on Obaseki is that he is a Dangote man. They say Dangote will bank-roll his election and his government. This is where some concerned Edolites are beginning to wonder at what price Edo State is being mortgaged to non-indigene”. Who is mortgaging Edo State to a non-indigene? Certainly not Comrade Adams Oshiomhole whose love for the state has fuelled his policies and programmes in the last seven years.


In one breath Jossef Omorotionwan says “we must not fight dirty” but in another he reels at Obaseki thus: “Of all those who have indicated interest in the race on both sides of the divide, Obaseki is by far the most obscure. He remains an unknown quantity. We search, but in vain, for a quick background check on him. We are unable to locate him however remotely – in the academics and in the professions. Where has he made a mark?” I am amazed at the amount of venomous bile Josef Omorotionwan is capable of spewing in the direction of his unknown quantity. Why did he spend so much time and perhaps energy worrying about an obscure aspirant? If Josef Omorotionwan were to fight dirty what more would he do? Perhaps, he would reach for an intercontinental ballistic missile, an atomic bomb or any such weapon of mass destruction which would take us all out of existence save, of course, himself, his wife and his son who failed as commissioner and house of assembly aspirant. It would appear he still harbours deep animosity against Oshiomhole and the APC for the predicament which befell his family through the misadventures of his son in 2014. I sympathise with him though.


By his own admission, Josef Omorotionwan has never met Obaseki. He has, however, sought to create an impression of him in the minds of the people by seeking to rely on his own imaginary foot soldiers working for his preferred aspirant in the PDP. According to Omorotionwan, “the few people who have met Obaseki see him as arrogant, cocky, saucy and egotist. Outside himself, he sees every other person as a tout”. Would Omorotionwan not have stood on a high moral ground had he waited to interact with, and get a first hand experience of the kind of character Obaseki is before embarking on this voyage of character assassination?


Certainly, these are rough times for the APC in Edo state. The number of people beating Omorotionwan’s drum-beats for the 2016 war of succession to Osadebey Avenue are legion and the polity is divided into as many combatants. It is the responsibility of people like Omorotionwan to find ways and means of calming frayed nerves, bruised ego and not to over heat the polity as he has done in the article under reference. He must be reminded, if at this stage of his life he has become susceptible to eclipsed memory, that God alone gives power to whom He wills. If God favours Godwin Obaseki then people like Omorotionwan hate in vain.


Osaretin Omoregie resides in Benin City.

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