The fiery younger brother of late Anthony Enahoro, Mr. Peter Enahoro has slammed Mr. Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, former governor of Edo State, accusing him of working hard to become a godfather of Edo politics. The shoes he claimed are bigger than Oshiomhole’s size.
Enahoro, popularly called, ‘Peter Pan’ also accused the diminutive ex labour leader of attempting to wear shoes that are bigger than him.
He made the glaring remarks while speaking on President Mohammadu Buhari’s skewed pardon of his elder brother, the former Federal Minister of Information and an accomplished journalist – Chief Anthony Enahoro.
Peter Pan spoke with Vanguard newspaper.
The veteran Nigerian journalist and one time Editor of New African Magazine, and author of ‘How to Be a Nigerian’, recalled the several battles Tony fought, including the forfeiture of his property.
He singled out Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, two terms governor of Lagos State, for the progressive assistance he rendered to their struggle.
“After Tony passed on, my late brother, Christian, was brought in by Tony’s children to help out. He was appalled by what he saw in what I described as the Obasanjo Papers.
“Christian suggested the two of us as elders of Tony’s birth family should petition President Jonathan, urging him to order the return of Tony’s properties to his children.
“President Jonathan referred the petition to a standing committee, Civil Service style.
“The committee wrote to us in language only Civil Servants meaning to frustrate are capable of. We went no further.
“My belief is that our petition was laid to rest dead under a heap of bureaucratic claptrap.
“Copies had around the same time gone to the Governors of Lagos and Edo States soliciting their support.
“Governor Fashola of Lagos was incredibly supportive…
“Adams was Governor of our home State. We expected the ‘little guy’ to act big and take a lead in defence of Tony. He did not even acknowledge receipt of our covering letter.”
The doyen of African journalism retorted that: “it is an irony that by a turn of fate, his name (Oshiomhole) is linked with a backroad to the running controversy over a pardon that should never have been associated with Tony.
“Oshiomhole is in a bitter feud with incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki.
“Oshiomhole has delusions that he can fill the boots of godfather of Edo State politics currently too big for him.”
He summed up that Oshiomhole’s project of becoming Edo political godfather is better off in his dream.
“One of Obaseki’s strategies in order to crush his ‘underformed’ rival is to secure the support of Esan land.
“There Oshiomhole disadvantaged himself when he chose to build a third university in Edo State, additional to Federal-owned University of Benin, UNIBEN in Benin City, and State-owned Ambrose Ali University in Ali’s Ekpoma hometown, in Esan heartland.
“Oshiomhole’s project is located directly opposite his house off the North-bound highway exit of Auchi Town.
“It is a massive instant growth in an area that includes Iyanmho, Oshiomhol’s birth place; a hamlet so reclusive when three or four are gathered they make a crowd.
“The tertiary institution means that all the main Edo State clans each now has a university they can acclaim their own. But it has been costly for Ambrose Ali University which saw its resources thinned down as funds went to the founding of Iyanmho.
Peter Enahoro also took his time to disclose the political tactics of an Obaseki who Oshiomhole and his scanty supporters hitherto believed was a political rookie.
“Two years ago, at a public cełebration in memory of Ambrose Ali in Ekpoma, Obaseki made two pledges to a cheering crowd: that he would pump the town’s university with new funding; and that he would fight to his toe nail for State Pardon for Ambrose Ali.”
The former governor of old Bendel State was unjustly sentenced to 100 years imprisonment in 1984, by Gen. Mohammadu Buhari after he seized power from the democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. Ali was accused of misappropriating N983,000.
Part of Ali’s defence was that the money was a gift from an Ibadan contractor who executed a road project, which he refused but instead, directed to be donated to the party – Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN.
The military tribunal convicted Ali because he failed to refund the sum to the coffers of Bendel State.
It is no longer news that Oshiomhole’s dream of assuming the godfather role in Edo politics has negatively impacted the development of state in the last ten months.
Perhaps, the revelations of his uncaring attitude to Late Chief Anthony Enahoro and Prof. Ambrose Folorunsho Ali is a confirmation of the widely held view that the reinstated All Progressives Congress, APC National Chairman is a fairweather friend, who will leave you stranded on life’s shore.