An Open Letter to Edo People!
By Ogbeide Ifaluyi-isibor
Can we agree that we got it wrong in 2016?
Someone posed that question to me and for a second, I was hors de combat with arms akimbo.
What do you think about that question too?
Adams Oshiomole is a likeable individual, he has mastered the skill of warming up on people and endearing himself to folks through the superfluity of his craftiness that he perfected in the Labour unions.
The man is cunningly smart and we must give him his due.
Let’s Congratulate him too on his election victory, I told friends that Adams can remain on that seat for the next 100 years and his kinsmen will likely have no qualms.
There’s a battle for the soul of Edo State just now and we can see the gimmicks and scheming at play.
That’s not my worry though, my worry is that, alot of us can see clearly that Adams Oshiomole is jumping down from his baobab tree where he has been relegated to and wants a rebound into the Godfatherism cloak he loves to wear.
I ask again, Did we get it wrong in 2016?
In 2016, he sought for our shinning stars in Edo State, he sort them into groups just to seek to make Merchandise of them, Adams promised everyone of his unalloyed support to succeed him , he told all the aspirants the same things, took money from them, lied to them, made mockery of them and watched them fall over themselves in his deceit.
These were highly distinguished gentlemen who had excelled by no small measure in their fields of endeavour.
We clearly saw him axe his loyal Deputy Governor Hon. Pius Odubu because he knew he couldn’t control Odubu, he axed General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), he axed our celebrated Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, he axed these illustrious sons because he knew he couldn’t control them if they became Governor.
He wanted his stooge, so he could become the godfather he always wanted to be. The same godfatherism he pretended to hate.
Then with powers from above, He axed Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who actually won the 2016 Gubernatorial election.
He knew if the Edo people took ownership of their Government, he would gradually be swept into oblivion.
Then Godwin Obaseki came on the scene and Adams would always want to usurp authority over the sitting Governor, he wanted State decisions taken in his own house, he wanted to determine who got what contract and when, he wanted to be worshipped by all and sundry.
He wanted to be the god of Edo politics.
History reminds us that as Governor himself, he did all he could to dim the sparkling lights of all those who came before him, he will use extreme derogatories at the Esama of Benin, he’ll use very harsh invectives at Lucky Igbinedion and call him unprintable names everywhere he went to, he’ll make mockery of Chief Anthony Anenih, he’ll blast Prof (Sen) Oserhiemen Osunbor, he wouldn’t spare senior Edo sons even if they did nothing or said nothing.
The goal was to verbally destroy them and kneel on their necks….the list of disparaging words he’ll use at eminent Edo men is not in short supply.
Oshio was a loose canon and for a moment, he enjoyed the support of a few but that was shortlived.
As Ex-governor, his desire was to make Godwin Obaseki superlatively subservient to him, he’ll shade the Deputy Governor Hon Philip Shuaibu, downgrade him and want to relegate him to the dustbin simply because Philip Shuaibu wanted to have his own mind and subject his actions to the guidance of his conscience, Philip simply wanted Oshiomole to leave Godwin alone to serve his people and not serve him; the godfather.
After Philip refused a kangaroo impeachment of Godwin, he turned into the devil and Oshiomole swore to destroy him.
Prominent Etsako sons will plead with, but the assuming godfatherism was too enmeshed in his guile to reason otherwise.
Oshiomole’s modus operandi is to completely obliterate anyone who had a star and could shine, any luminous and celebrated Edo son was the target of Adams Oshiomole in and out of office.
Like a child deprived of love in his growing years, Oshiomole wanted the light on only him and would annihilate any obstacle on his path. A path that only leads to self destruction.
How he humiliated the then APC Chairman Chief Odigie Oyegun is not lost in our memory, how he humiliated the Onojie of Uromi is fresh in our hearts, how he bastardized royalty across the State permeates our senses through the vicissitudes of time.
We have kept our memories alive. Any Distinguished Edo son was his enemy except you buried your head in his coccyx, the man wanted to be ontop of everything and everyone and when Godwin Obaseki will revolt obstinately against his oppression and disdain for others having the yeast to rise, Adams Oshiomole will result of all sorts of blackmail against Godwin and the people watched keenly.
But Godwin and indeed the generality of Edo People will have none of it.
Godwin and the people will then reduce Oshiomole to the matchbox of local politics by getting him out as National Chairman in an uncelebrated manner and Adams will respond by trying to instigate societies derelicts he had “made” to disturb the peace of the people and the sanity of the Government and the story that followed can be told by all.
Educated and accomplished men were dragged to hades by Adams but the mental hobos, the never do wells were empowered with the machinery of the State to become street lords and given kingly robes, terrorizing the people and making life hell for them.
These goons became the untouchables, they decided who the police could arrest and what kind of weapons they decided to brandish as they collected revenue for the State. Noble men were reduced to rubbles and hooligans were made to feed fat on the state.
They had become the ‘Alpha Beta’ in Edo State and whatever they returned to the State as revenue was received without question.
Didn’t these strange men close down streets to celebrate that they’ve become billionaires in Edo State.
Billionaires on the sweat of helpless women in our markets, striving artisans, small businesses trying to eke a living all across the State.
I mean, these guys were living the life, they did the dirty job for Adams and were made to ride on golden horses as a reward.
But give it to the Comrade as he was fondly called, he performed in his region of the State, he built infrastructure and he built men and so, it was not lost on them to stand up in his defense even in his weakness.
They still do this this day.
However you fell/felt about Adams, he was/is a hero at home for cogent reasons.
While he was Governor, he became the don; the godfather and the ruler of everything in Edo State and for many years, the people were blinded by his sweet antics and he could do no wrong in their eyes until they saw who he truly was.
I felt displeased when my big brothers; very notable and astounding Edo sons fell for him again in 2020 even after Godwin Obaseki had jumped ship, Comrade Adams would promise everyone in the APC his support and swindle everyone again like he did in 2016.
My dear brother will emerge APC candidate under controversial circumstances but the people withheld their grace and granted it to Godwin Obaseki again to complete his 8 year tenure. The song on the streets was “torgba!”
Nobody ever beat Oshiomole to his game of foxiness but somehow, Godwin did.
Godwin didn’t only beat him to the game but the Edo people gave their absolute imprimatur to Godwin and Adams has not forgiven the people for standing up to him and chasing him into his own shadows.
It is battle time again in 2023, he is rolling up his sleeves to get into the battle arena not for you or I, it has never been about us.
Our friend is seeking a majestic rebound into the godfather stable he has always wanted to have in Edo State.
While I think we should not get injured in their war, I think we must protect the ultimate authority of the people vested on Godwin Obaseki just now as Governor.
We must contain, sustain and retain the tenets of democracy where the people decide who will lead them.
Godwin has impressed some and has not impressed some but we will have the people decide and not Adams Oshiomole.
We as a people have demystified godfatherism in Edo State, we have weakened the ability for twisted men to impose leaders on us, we have derobbed the political popes that want to anoint Governors or Senators or Congressmen for us.
We have chased them to the baobab trees to rest with their kindred spirits, like the proverbial “abiku” who keeps coming and going these several seasons.
We have exorcised the ghosts of division that they bring upon us when elections come and our tower of babel as a multi ethnic state has become our power of babel.
We the people will protect our sons and daughters from being enslaved ànew by Adams Oshiomole, we will rise up in Edo South, Edo Central and Edo North and resist the diabolical machinations of those who want to oppress us continually.
Power must remain with the people by all means.
Clem Agba has a right to be Governor just as Mike Onolemenmen has equal right, just as Ogbeide Ifaluyi-isibor has just as much right to be Governor, every Edo son or daughter enjoys equal rights to aspire for whatever office they please and no single person will decide for the people.
Our “abiku” is coming again, the grounds are wet with mourning, the pouring of libations have fingers pointed at him, “abiku” is calling for the second and the repeated time.
The lions and tigers are gearing up to abiku’s call again but in the coccyx of the baobab tree they will remain. Edo people will resist them.
There will be no more godfatherism in Edo State. Agberos will not become lords again.
We will not allow Adams Oshiomole a rebound into the Godfather he wants to be.
You may fault my use of words, you may fault my choice of words, you may even fault my bias but you cannot fault the truth I have written in this piece.