Edo 2020:The Rainbow Is Forming Over Edo State.

The Rainbow is Forming Over Edo State.

It will rain on Saturday, September 19th, and the brooms will be out to sweep away the one man government of Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki into the rear view mirror of history. In the history of the politics of Edo State, Bendel State and the old Midwestern region, we have always found ways to strike compromises through horse-trading to accomplish great things. Can one man possibly be the repository of the knowledge of everything? Going down memory lane, Chief Humphrey Omo-Osagie had to broker an agreement ceding the premiership of the proposed Midwestern Region to the Delta area to get the region approved whilst ensuring that the Capital of the new region came to Benin City. That is how to deal in politics, with an eye to the greater good. There cannot be a “my way or the Highway dictum.” When you do that, soon enough, you will look behind you and you will find that no one is walking with you. A General without troops is at best, a sitting duck. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki is a sitting duck and is ripe for the picking.

Interestingly, everyone wanted to help him. Everyone wanted him to succeed.
His friend, the richest man in Nigeria wanted him to succeed. When I learned that he told his friend—“go and face your business, this is politics,”—-I was sad. It does not give me great joy to write what I write, but I am compelled to write because I have always wondered and pondered the propensity of power to make monsters out of men. How Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki managed to pick up the highly priced China that was placed in his hands for safe keeping, for preservation and for progress for the good of all and smash them against the wall to shatter to smithereens will be a phenomenon for historians and political commentators like me to interrogate. Our work may involve a psychological evaluation of the subject to inquire how and why a man who holds a knife and a tuber of yam would instead put the knife to his own neck. How does that kind of tragedy happen to humanity?

History is replete with people like Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, people who smile with you when they are underlings and bare their fangs at an opportune time. Any close observer of the politics of Edo State in the last four years essentially put their hands under their chin and watched with great interest as in a live Opera as a man who was literally imposed on the polity by one man, Oshiomhole, a man who himself is a force of humanity, transformed into a Tiger, ready, without compunction, none whatsoever, to eat for dinner, his benefactor and annihilate everyone else associated with him.

I do not like thugs. I hate thuggery. Every enlightened man should despise these things. I have never met the man called Kabaka, a man whom Obaseki described as a thug but I wept at the injustice done to him by Godwin Obaseki the day Obaseki sent bulldozers to pull down a Billion Naira investment that was hiring 200 people.

As the bulldozers took down the building and we all watched in real time, I wondered at how much bitterness and wickedness had been introduced into our politics. Had it become so bad that tolerance was completely lost? Have we become our worst selves when we could easily be our best selves? I have no answer to the questions I ask. None.

As things were about to get out of hand, our highly revered Oba sought to intervene. He became so flustered that he appealed to the President for help. The President tried and failed with two members of his own Party. Obaseki does not have the word ‘compromise’ in the dictionary he carries. Some fiend tore it off to fully have him in their corner, the corner of Fascism. Any disagreement with Obaseki or debate with his ideas became equated with enmity with the State. The State was Obaseki and Obaseki was the State. No. The State is not Godwin Obaseki and Godwin Obaseki is not the State. All his friends went back home, one by one as he insulted them and demeaned them. He often said that everyone coming to him, all the politicians in Edo State were leeches and he told the story of Josef Stalin and his famous chicken.

Only a sadist like Stalin, a man who murdered 53 million of his own people to perpetuate himself in power could have done what he did, stripping a chicken of all its feathers while the chicken was still alive. When he was done stripping the chicken, he threw some corn on the floor and the chicken ran back to him to eat from the floor.

As Godwin tested his theory of Stalin’s chicken on Edo politicians, he was sorely disappointed that not even one of them came back crawling to eat his corn on the floor. An Edo man is a proud man. Your wealth is good. Your power is good only in so far as you respect the Edo man who is your driver or gateman. The moment you overstep your bounds, he will give you your keys and bid you goodbye. You may keep your job sir. Many appointees took a walk. So long.

In recalling that action by Josef Stalin and comparing Edo politicians to Stalin’s chicken, Obaseki revealed his inner man. That to me is a tragedy. There is no reason for any man to want to retell Stalin’s action with any form of glee. There is no reason for anyone to aspire to an action like that and actually take steps to carry it out. The question that will be on the lips of many long after he would have been swept away along with the coming rain on Saturday would be —- Why?

Michael Ovienmhada.
Farmer, Author, Playwright, Poet and Public Affairs Commentator.
I write because I am involved.
Email: omeekey@hotmail.com.

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Edo 2020:The Rainbow Is Forming Over Edo State. Edo 2020:The Rainbow Is Forming Over Edo State. Reviewed by Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah on September 14, 2020 Rating: 5

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