Reasons For Oshiomhole’s Grouse About Chief Igbinedion
IN the run-up to the 2015 Presidential/National Assembly elections, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, in his characteristic manner arrogantly and confidently assured General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) that he would easily deliver Edo State to the presidential aspirant of the APC as a trophy to cart away to Daura.
Oshiomhole, before he met his political Waterloo at the March 31st Presidential/National Assembly elections had lived in his cocoon of self delusion and selfish calculations that he had completely muscled and emasculated all political opponents in Edo State. He could not believe what he saw and heard about the result of the Presidential and National Assembly Election in Edo State. He was so rattled and shaken by the results that he embarked on looking for scapegoats.
The earliest victims of the governor’s raging wrath and unmanageable disappointment were members of his cabinet, the commissioners he appointed and made his errand boys; next were the party chairmen at state, local government and ward levels, including all political appointees. Chairpersons of the eighteen (18) local government councils in the state, councilors and members of the Edo State House of Assembly were not spared. They all came under the heavy hammer of the despotic governor.
What will he now tell Buhari after his shameful and unexpected defeat by Goodluck Jonathan in Edo State, in spite of his solid pre-election assurances? What face will he show to Buhari, Tinubu, fellow APC governors and other APC chieftains who all along had constituted the unwilling listeners of his bragging and grandstanding?
Whilst he was yet to recover from the humiliating shock of defeat, he suddenly realised that the political setback he just suffered must have come to him as the nemesis of the ingratitude he has been showing to architects of his ascendancy to the exalted position of Governor of Edo State; chief among whom was His Excellency, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion and his son Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion, former Governor of Edo State for eight (8) years.
Oshiomhole does not believe in divine intervention in the affairs of men. He rather preferred to believe that Chief Igbinedion and his son Lucky had plotted and worked relentlessly in cahoots with other political adversaries to deny his party the APC victory at the polls. Furthermore, Oshiomhole could not accept the painful truth of the political superiority of The House of Igbinedion over him and his co-travellers as evidenced by the victory of the Esama’s daughter Bar. Omosede Igbinedion in the National Assembly election. Oshiomhole, as an emerging dictator who brooks no opposition therefore declared a total and unrelenting war on Chief Igbinedion, his son Lucky and indeed The House of Igbinedion.
The Institutionalisation of Poverty in Edo State.
Oshiomhole has recently used his rubber stamp Edo State House of Assembly to impose the “Land Use Charge” on the hapless and over-burdened people of the state. To deceive the citizens into giving him support and to prevent massive demonstration against the inhuman law, he has been on full scale propaganda telling the people on radio, television and flyers that the law exempts landlords/landladies whose buildings occupy a space of 100ft x 50ft. He is also telling the people in the state capital that areas in the city such as Upper Sakponba, Ebhotubu, Upper Siluko Road, Isihor along Lagos-Benin Expressway and other slums with a high concentration of poor and suffering people will not be covered by the law. In other words, it is an act of wisdom by any prospective landlord/landlady in Edo State to ensure that he/she does not acquire a plot measuring more than 100ft x 50ft for building purposes lest he/she risks paying the punitive Land Use Charge. So we shall all end up in Edo State showcasing to the world a preponderance of small houses on small plots dotting the entire landscape of the state. This in effect is the Institutionalization of Poverty and a calamitous disincentive to hard work, good vision and the pride of success and fulfillment that every normal person craves in life.
In x-raying the incompetence and cluelessness of the Oshiomhole administration, many costly mistakes made by the governor readily come to mind. Take for example the Competency Test for teachers in the state, which he stubbornly wanted to conduct early in 2012 against massive protests and objective advice by stakeholders in the state. Oshiomhole backpedalled on the project on the eve of the gubernatorial election in Edo State in 2012, when he was seeking to be re-elected for a second term. This is one example of the many policy somersaults that have become the hallmark of his administration.
The question we may ask now is, what informed Oshiomhole’s latest tirade on The House of Igbinedion? Recently, the former Governor of Edo State who brought Oshiomhole into Edo politics and who selflessly offered him the political structure and funds to become governor, Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion informed the general public at the venue of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s birthday celebration that he would definitely have a say in who becomes the governor of Edo State on the platform of the PDP in 2016.
It is already public knowledge that Pastor Ize-Iyamu who is a close associate and confidant of Chief Lucky Igbinedion has his eyes on Osadebey Avenue come 2016. This statement by the former governor immediately made the “comrade” governor to have jitters. Oshiomhole therefore resolved that he must stop Lucky in his track and degrade Ize-Iyamu’s campaign machinery by embarking on unprovoked and reckless attacks on Chief Lucky Igbinedion.
He and his cohorts hurriedly lied to the general public that Chief Lucky Igbinedion among several other financial crimes, stole the sum of $31,000,000.00 (thirty one million U.S. dollars) from Edo State treasury during his tenure. When he was asked by impartial observers why it took him seven years to tell the people of this crime and why he chose to mention it only a few months away from the 2016 gubernatorial election, he replied that he could not take any action all this while because the PDP under President Goodluck Jonathan was in control of the Federal Government. He added that he knew it was futile to report a thief to an armed robber. Oshiomhole is a professional blackmailer.
When Oshiomhole realised that his blow was not having devastating effect on The House of Igbinedion and that Lucky had indeed responsibly called his bluff with a full page rebuttal in The Guardian and Vanguard newspapers, he hosted a town hall meeting to which he invited some misguided and hungry chiefs of the Benin Kingdom. He regaled his audience about how Lucky and his father stole a parcel of land measuring 200,000 hectares in Ovia North East Local Government Area. He deliberately extended this insult and lies to the noble person of Esama of Benin Kingdom to provoke a war with this illustrious family and rubbish its hard-earned reputation.
At the same meeting, governor Oshiomhole put his pettiness and disrespect for elders and eminent persons in the state recklessly on display. Among the many asinine statements he made were and I quote:
• “A family stole the people’s money to build their university and to enrich themselves”.
• “They pay rent for their Signature House in Abuja, Bishop Street, London, America and everywhere, but they don’t want to pay for the ones they have in Edo State.”
• “If you turn to the right and ask who owns the land they tell you, Igbinedion, you turn to this side Igbinedion, you turn to the other side Igbinedion, everywhere Igbinedion”.
As he spoke embarrassing himself and his audience, the viewer could just see the cream of envy covering Oshiomhole’s face. Oshiomhole left no one in doubt that he introduced the obnoxious Land Use Charge Law because of only one person in the state and this is Chief Igbinedion. Is it fair and just for a law to be introduced by a government because of only one man?
He who sows the wind they say, must be prepared to reap the whirlwind. Oshiomhole, like the tactless and thoughtless proverbial crocodile has unwittingly exposed his underbelly for the attack of his enemies. The matter has since shifted to the public domain. We are today witnesses to the attacks and accusation which different groups and persons are directing at Oshiomhole for his gross act of indiscretion and disrespect to a visionary businessman, eminent patriot and frontline chief and his innocent son who governed Edo State for a period of eight years to the best of his ability.
In the next few months Oshiomhole and his ragtag followers will realise the incalculable damage they have done to the fortunes of the APC in the 2016 gubernatorial election. His Achilles heel is tucked in his garrulity. Oshiomhole should realise that he alone is the architect of the political misfortunes he has been experiencing recently in Edo State. His garrulity, inhuman economic policies, punitive taxes, arrogance and disrespect for elders have almost completely eroded the goodwill and regard of the people of Edo State for him. It is only a matter of time before President Buhari realises that he has been wining and dining with a dissembler. How sad!
Eguakhide writes from Benin, Edo State.