I have always maintained that those who speak the truth to power and are honest about their intentions are often lonely and unpopular, not because their honest position does not suffice, but because immorality and dishonesty dominates politics. By 3pm on Saturday, 30th April, 2022, Governor Obaseki came into Benin from Abuja and reportedly quartered inside Government House those who ought to be in the field to conduct the ad-hoc delegates election. The Electoral Act is very clear. In conducting an Adhoc delegates election or any election for that matter, the Electoral Body, INEC, must be present in all locations of the said election at the appointed time. In the Edo scenario, INEC, DSS, and the Nigeria Police sent in representatives to witness what was being conducted.
Results have been compiled and returned duly authenticated by those who are statutorily required by law to so do. Instead of. participating in the exercise, and despite wise counsel from Governor Obaseki’s close allies, he ignored all entreaties and we heard that a doctored list of 3 delegates per ward is being prepared to be sent to Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, the National Chairman, whom we learned had promised to cede the delegates to Governor Obaseki without any election exercise. I spoke to my Ward Chairman this morning and he told me that the exercise was hitch-free, but he didn’t see Governor Obaseki’s foot soldiers. The three adhoc delegates from. my ward has emerged and is fully authenticated. Now, to create a pre-emptive scenario, one Rita Abieuwa has been sent to suggest what the Obaseki camp is. likely to do; go to court to challenge the authentic exercise.
The point must be made that, the Edo scenario has two possibilities if the National Chairman does not exercise caution in this whole process. If the list of the outcome is canceled. the pecuniary reason, Edo State might end up not having Adhoc delegates. They will only be left with statutory delegates which are beyond the grip of Governor Obaseki. Head or tail, the Governor loses. Rather than blame Dan Orbih, such a hard-working party chieftain for the woes of Obaseki, the Governor should re-examine himself and the content of his character, his attitudinal orientation, his relationship with those who refuse to kowtow to his nebulous politics of conquistadorial emanations or draconian mutation. For being unable to get his rhythms right, governance is suffering in the state. I returned from Benin last week and saw the decay of the intra-city roads, especially the road that passes through Golf Course, where the Governor plays golf now and then. Fact is, the Governor is too removed from the consciousness of those who supported his entry into the PDP and worked assiduously to ensure his re-election. He fights everybody he sees insight, like a bull in a China shop. Respect is earned, not procured by a pot. porridge or whimsical force.
The point must be made that Emma Ogidi did not step down because of Dan Orbih. His tenure has already expired and waiting for the conduct of zonal congresses. So, the idea of saying he stepped down for the sake of Governor Obaseki does not hold water. I have often stated that there is something untowardly wrong with the style of Governor Obaseki. There is something morally wrong with his modus operandi in contending with emerging issues in the politics of the state. On the one hand, he talks about fighting godfathers, on the other hand, he wants to be the godfather himself. Such contradiction removes so much from his persona. In the interest of the party in the state, the proper thing must be done in line with the party’s constitution and the electoral Act. Any attempt for Dr. Ayu to work in cahoots with illegality will be tantamount to a nullity. To be forewarned is to be fore-armed.
A WORD is usually enough for the wise and discerning.
Prince Kassim Afegbua.