By John Mayaki
Happy times are here for Mr Godwin Obaseki, who was spoonfed to victory by his Rivers State counterpart and comrade in electoral sleight of hand, the flexible Mr Nyesom Wike, at the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
He has since been more vocal and less busy than he was leading up to the election. He is no longer turning down interviews on grounds of having ‘an important meeting’. Interestingly, after disrespecting Arise Television by standing them up on a governorship debate, he was only too happy to acquiesce when he was invited for another interview. He cannot be begrudged if, intoxicated by his recent electoral coup, he is keen to preach on every pulpit that beckons. He, however, must talk with caution and not chatter like a man given to all the prolixity of a canary.
On his most recent outing, he displayed a most excellent species of motormouthed pontification, perhaps a product of his recent tutelage under his newfound mentor and goduncle, Mr Wike, and opined that Nigeria’s democracy is threatened by APC chieftains such as Chief Bola Tinubu and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. The glib man continued in a rich vein of circumlocution that featured him flinging words like non-constitutional, anti-democratic, fox, vicious, evil and crook all over the place. He clearly needed to have his memory rebooted, for he thought himself a democrat.
If Mr Obaseki has character, he is yet to display the positive side to it. He has, thus far, managed to betray an unhealthy percentage of those who have worked with him. The PDP will soon bear witness to this fact. More people, though, think he is undemocratic. Up till the election, he was in the press for all the wrong reasons – reasons which many people are inclined to forget. His decision to deprive a majority of the lawmakers-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly continues to rankle and confound true democrats.
It takes an absolute lack of character or moral compass to abduct lawmakers-elect and force them to participate (with one clad in shorts) in a nocturnal, underhand inauguration for selfish reasons.
The governor, citing altruistic motives, wanted Frank Okiye to be speaker of the State House of Assembly. 19 of the 24 elected members wanted Victor Edoror to be the speaker. Obaseki, who claims to be democratic and anti-godfatheristic, therefore thought that the sane thing to do was force minority rule on the people of Edo. It was dastardly enough that the executive arm of government would even poke its nose in the legislature, but the governor simply decided to take tyranny up a notch by ensuring that only 9 members were inaugurated.
If anyone has the nerve to talk about Nigerian democracy, it is not the man who jailed market women after their shops caught fire and he refused to make good on his promise to compensate them. If anyone should talk about unconstitutionality, it should not be the person who demolishes people’s businesses, uproots the roof of the State House of Assembly, sends thugs to block up the place, and brags about running people out of the state like a child given a new toy.
If anyone should be called a fox and a crook, it is the man that masterminded the abduction and nocturnal inauguration of 9 out of 24 lawmakers-elect, it should be the fellow who was rejected by his own family, it should be the fellow who cannot keep his words. A man whose words mean nothing is a man wanting in honour and integrity.
Cynically, he ‘extended the olive branch’ – for so the press terms it – to APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, by talking about collaborations. The APC candidate is not a trickster. There is no point collaborating with ill-gotten mandates.
When Obaseki talks about collaboration, he must be asked; “Collaboration with whom? And on what?” A man who goes on like character means nothing and integrity is puff? A man who has no known campaign manifestos? The MEGA agenda is full of rhetoric that no one can work with – neither a printed copy was available during electioneering.
It would be impossible for any responsible party or person to collaborate with an Obaseki that employs sectarian slogans and tactics to mobilize its followers. What Obaseki needs to do now is to seek for atonement – the blood of the three persons killed during the election, the man whose wife was beaten to stupor by his thugs in Egor, and the people kidnapped by thugs imported from Delta and Rivers States.
Obaseki should apologise to the House of Assembly members he denied representation and desecrated their hallowed chamber by invading it and pulling it down, by parking granite trucks to block their entrances and by forcing his will upon them. There are no guarantees that the glib governor will keep his word. He has not been known to show responsibility. Those in the educational, health and entertainment sectors can testify.
A governor who promised the people 200,000 jobs but was only able to recruit boys to defend his failures on social media cannot be trusted by any responsible person. Obaseki should apologise to Edo people for deceiving them. For demolishing their properties and businesses. For his vengeful and exclusionary policies used against the people of Edo state, and for setting up his commissioner Osemwingie-Ero to rot in an Italian jail for money laundering the commissioner knows nothing about.
Prince John Mayaki is the Chairman of the Edo State APC Media Campaign Council