By Osehobo Victor Ofure
It has become increasingly evident that Mr. Godwin Obaseki’s tenure as Edo State Governor has taken a significant turn. His transformation from a humble and promising leader into a near tyrant has been a startling revelation in seven years.
This transformation calls to mind the age-old adage, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Obaseki’s journey began in 2016 with praise for his mentor and predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who had provided dedicated leadership to Edo State.
He vowed to build on Oshiomhole’s legacy and serve the people diligently. However, as time passed, Obaseki’s actions spoke louder than his words. He confirmed that there is more to a book than it’s cover.
As Obaseki entered a new year in office, he promised to work directly with the people and fulfill campaign promises. He intially praised the All Progressives Congress (APC) for its commitment to delivering on its pledges and touted the successes witnessed in Lagos State as a model for Edo’s development.
Fast forward to 2019, the Edo State House of Assembly(EDHA) inauguration, where controversy surrounded the event. Obaseki’s government claimed it took place with nine members present, while other sources indicated a different timeline. This marked the beginning of Obaseki’s belief in his invincibility, as he seemingly fulfilled the prophecy of deceitfulness.
Further incidents, such as the attack on political rallies and Oshiomhole himself, as well as the suspension of key party members, revealed Obaseki’s growing authoritarianism. He ordered that the APC national chairman, Oshiomhole, needed his permission to visit Edo, despite Oshiomhole’s significant contributions to the state.
Obaseki’s actions left no doubt that he had become a victim of the “illusion of confidence,” a cognitive bias known as the “Dunning-Kruger effect.” This effect describes the tendency for some people to overestimate their abilities and inflate their self-assessment, leading to disastrous outcomes.
Just as McArthur Wheeler robbed banks in broad daylight without a disguise, Obaseki’s political maneuvers lacked subtlety, making it clear that he believed himself to be invincible. The key to avoiding such mistakes is to accurately assess one’s competence and not be fooled by illusions of superiority.
In conclusion, Obaseki’s journey from praise to power in a record 7 years, has been marked by an increasing disregard for accountability, transparency, and probity. His political maneuvers have raised concerns about his leadership, leaving the people of Edo State to ponder whether they can afford to continue down this path especially as he is dressing up to be a godfather by promoting a stooge as his successor.
The countdown to Obaseki’s exit may be imminent, and the Alaghodaro charade has unveiled itself as a potential conduit for looting Edo State funds. It is essential for Edo APC to address this issue and take action to ensure the state does not fall into Obaseki’s traps.
Mr. Ofure Osehobo is the Deputy Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State