By Francis Ilenloa Igberaese, Ph.D
Who is the intellectual that didn’t know even right from 2016 that it wasn’t possible for Oshiomole and Obaseki to be friends for so long? Who doesn’t know that the way of the educated person is always a threat to the uneducated or a half baked?
At is it in Robert Glen’s 48 Laws of Power, Obaseki has outshined his master; in performance and in building harmonious living across the Edo State, resulting to Oshiomole’s anger.
Obaseki doesn’t even know how he had offended Oshiomole after helping him to realize his ambition to be the National Chairman of their party, the APC. He unknowingly started a war against Oshiomole when he started courting a race he (Oshiomole) hates so passionately that he would wipe them out of Edo, if he has his way. Upon handing over in November 2016, Oshiomole expected that he would become the new and undisputed godfather. He didn’t expect that Obaseki would not wait for his directives or permission before he would do anything, even as a governor, let undoing anything he has done. He expected that Obaseki should inherit his enemies in the Esan people. He expected that as he had done, Obaseki should capitalize on the seemingly historical rivalries between two brothers; the Binis and Esans, to intimidate the Esan people. In short, he expected that Obaseki should help complete his ambition by finally wiping away the Esan people.
The trouble really started, even if Oshiomole couldn’t speak out then, when Obaseki finally reinstated the Oshiomole’s suspended Onojie of Uromi. And to worsen the situation, Obaseki declared Chief Anenih’s burial a state burial and participated actively in all the activities. Many says Anenih himself had forgiven Oshiomole for all the insult. Anenih could have actually done so but he had no power to solely forgive evil done to the entire land.
Just then, Obaseki made inroads and became a darling to the Esan people and had remained so since then, especially with the return of the Speakership position of the state Assembly to Esanland, which was the last thing Oshiomole wanted. Oshiomole, like many of us would do, began to jealous this Obaseki, since there was nothing he didn’t do in vain to conquer the Esan people. How could Obaseki have pretended so well to be his friend, he thought. How could Obaseki’s name be so sweet smelling in Esanland and his an “Abacha” sort of a thing?
It wasn’t long that the Edo People’s Movement (EPM) came and Oshiomole easily found a ready group to tell the governor that he had broken the Calabash of oil and that it was time to pay him back. EPM themselves didn’t even realize this because all that concerned them was get Obaseki our and free the treasury.
If baseki had not shown the Esan people some soft spots, if Obaseki had suspended more Enijie in Esanland, if Obaseki had not tarred roads on Ekpoma, if Obaseki had continued his trend of gradual abandonment of Ambrose Alli University, if Obaseki had finally dethroned the Onojie of Uromi, if Obaseki has not brought the Speakership position to Esanland or patronize the Esan people who Oshiomole had strategized to rot away, if Obaseki had not shown that the Binis and the Esans are brothers and indeed, Edo people are one and that there is no need to continuosly inherit historical rivalry the present generations know little or nothing about, Oshiomole wouldn’t have fought Obaseki, no matter what anybody had told him, and EPM wouldn’t have blossomed.
In trying to get at a good man, Obaseki, for coming to the aid of an oppressed race, Oshiomole forgot (if he had ever heard) that “those who do know the limits to which an innocent enemy is persecuted would always be driven to pay a huge price”.
Today, Obaseki is still the governor of Edo State; let’s for now leave second term out and Oshiomole is a former National Chairman, sorry, a suspended National Chairman (as his boys would want us to call him) of the All Progressive Congress (APC). Obaseki is today the new bride of all and I won’t be surprise if all the political parties come out to endorse him as their sole candidate for the Edo 2020 election. Oshiomole is for now not even a member of any political party and I doubt if any other political party would willingly accept him. He could head for Correctional Center (as they now call the place) “if”, sorry “when” Obaseki succeeds in his second term bid (which by my estimation is 90% sure because you can only rig an election when the wining margin is narrow), except the spirit of forgiveness comes to envelope the governor. That would mean that he would not even have a peaceful retirement like that of Odigie Oyegun who he believes he had overthrown.
This Oshiomole’s attitude or expectation that until our subordinates inherit our innocent enemies, they are not loyal is in all of us. And if we do not learn lessons from his present travails, we shall all “likewise perish” in our hatred of a good man.
Francis Igberaese writes from Benin.