By Oteghe Adams
It was expected that the Edo State leadership of the PDP would at least display some grace and respect for the unquestionable verdict of the Edo electorate in the just concluded Edo governorship election; that a modicum of dignity, honour and honesty will be demonstrated in the reaction of PDP to what was obviously a uniquely free, fair and significantly violence-free exercise. For any unbiased participant and observer of the September 28 election, the scenario of the historic date was completely different from the doomsday prediction of the PDP.
Across the voting units and the wards, incontrovertible reports indicate that the voters – the market women, the civil servants, the teachers, the pensioners of various political stripes related in friendly manner during the voting exercise. Even in situations where spirited and vigorous conversations ensued among the voters about preferences for their candidates, such engagements never degenerated to the gruesome level of anarchic acrimony that Ize-Iyamu’s campaign had secretly calibrated.
Rather than join the rest of the country and international observers in commending Edo State electorate for the patient and enthusiastic performance of their civic responsibility, the Ize-Iyamu’s group resorted to its characteristic theatrics: the seeming delusive pattern of perpetual denial of reality and psychopathic inclination to blame other people and agencies for their failure.
The leadership of Edo PDP has unfortunately resorted to insulting and negating the collective will of the people of Edo State as expressed on September 28 by alleging rigging and other invented excuses for the party’s abysmal defeat.
The failed hierarchy of the PDP has shamelessly continued with the same line of lies that they purveyed to their followers right from the beginning of this electoral exercise; the sorry story being peddled now by the former governorship candidate is from the same booklet of political scam that he, Ize-Iyamu, canvassed during the election.
Nearly 70 percent of the Edo electorate wisely and clearly rejected the menu of fanciful but poisonous tales from Ize-Iyamu at the polls and opted for credibility and integrity within the paradigm of progressive continuity. The electorate spoke in unison endorsing the economic vision and political mission of the APC and Godwin Obaseki in their 21st Century march to progress.
Perhaps, it is a quality far beyond the moral universe of Edo PDP factional leadership to rise with a spirit of humble courage, to accept defeat with grace, to embrace political challenge with philosophical nobility and deliver a memorable message of congratulations to their opponent. Maybe, such endearing qualities will never be manifested in the lives of a cabal that is wallowing in the grip of hallucinatory political power and the unquenchable lust for public wealth. And this is a crucial anchor where the post-election conduct and utterances of the PDP leadership engenders a lot of curiosity.
All through the primary nomination process and campaign period including few hours after voting, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu hardly factored God’s name into his political equation as he attempted to bully his way towards his inordinate terrestrial ambitions, forsaking everything celestial. Now suddenly after the election and having tried but failed to mobilize Edo people around the fake result manufactured by his campaign organization.
The pastor now says that his decisions are being guided by the voices of some Higher Mighty powers. It seems that our Pastor would need a combination of sobriety of thought and spiritual re-birth before he can clearly hear the voice of God that we all desire to worship. We are sinners, the Holy Scripture rightly says. We must also forgive, the Holy Book instructs, but, the scripture did not say we should forget especially when the characters involved have not done any truth-telling.
Let Pastor Ize-Iyamu do what could be of minimal redemption, to immediately step down from the altar of false prophecy and hear the energetic calls of the people to let the incoming government begin work immediately. If Ize-Iyamu was truly ‘in the spirit’, he would concede that very often, the voice of the people is also the voice of God.
If the PDP is to ever regain a modicum of respect with the electorate of Edo State, the party should begin with an earnest exercise of soul-searching and rigorous self-assessment. How can the PDP in good conscience be manufacturing tales of victory and rigging when all the self-baptized giants of the party woefully lost either their polling units, their wards or their entire local government areas; what justification do these self-proclaimed ‘Irokos’ have to allege rigging when the truth is that they were nothing but exaggerated Bamboo shrubs when it came to the crucial political ground game on the day of battle.
From High Chief Raymond Dokpesi to the Oduma (the Lion) of Esan Land, Chief Tom Ikimi who roared into Igueben but sneaked out with meow-like cries of a domesticated cat following his disgraceful defeat, and the members of the self-venerating “House of Igbinedion” in Ovia North East, they all lost their supposed political home fronts.
And from Ovia to the zone of state party chairman, often hailed at campaign rallies as the Kulukulu 1(the Commanding General), Chief Dan Orbih in Etsako Central Local Government Area, to Erie, Ward 10 in Oredo Local Government Area, the cultural and political cradle of the Ize-Iyamus, PDP dangled lifelessly between insignificant wins and total defeat. Not even the combined efforts of the reputed Iyasere of Esan Land, Chief Tony Anenih who desperately asked for pity on the grounds of old age and ill-health and the deputy governorship candidate of the party, John Yakubu, could deliver a clear win for the PDP in Esan North East Local Government Area.
The High Chief of Gbode fell irredeemably low, the factional personality who recently gallivanted around the country seeking and posturing for the national leadership of PDP could not even win his voting unit.
This is the bleak landscape of the map that the PDP membership must carefully re-imagine; it is the sad but true picture that the deceived followers of the PDP must now deal with and, perhaps, the unchangeable reality that they must confront.
The Ize-Iyamus in their hallucinatory universe may try to write new songs proclaiming the possibility of resurrection for Edo State PDP, but the party of Dan Orbih and Anthony Anenih never had a soul, hence there can be no redemption much less a resurrection. Ize-Iyamu cannot be allowed to open another chapter in his book of political skulduggery; this is the final inglorious burial rites for a plundering economic beast. Edo people have spoken, the chickens have come home to roost and History has been manifested with consequence.
Adams writes from Benin City.