Monday, August 29, 2011

Revisiting ACN Primaries "Why I Am Shadow Boxing"

My attention has been drawn to an article published in Vanguard newspapers, dated Wednesday, August 17, 2011. The article, titled "Osa Director and his shadow boxing", was written by Peter Okhiria and edited by chief press secretary and special adviser, information, to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Tony Iyare. But, according to the by-line, it was written by one Osatohamen Omoregbe, a non-existent person. Why the mask?

Seriously, Iyare and Okhiria should work hard to earn their pay, and the only way to do that is by taking credit for newspaper articles written by them. More so, that would enable historians and people of Edo state to properly situate their role in the second coming of the locusts. If these media aides of Governor Oshiomhole are proud of the actions and inactions of their boss, they should proudly defend him openly rather than wear masks while doing so.

In exposing their less than altruistic intentions, the article was laced with warped logic, political and hypo-critical dilations. The Benin name "Omoregbe" does not carry a double letter 'e'. On the said date this jaundiced article was published, the Edo State government also used tax payers money to carry a full page advert titled "Open Letter to Benin Youth Council", ostensibly written by The League of Young Edo Professionals (LEYEP) and signed by one Osatohamen who was generously awarded a Phd. title.

Was it sheer coincidence that two different Osatohamens wrote these articles on same day? Certainly, this flaw by Oshiomhole's media aides was a crass display of intellectual indolence and lack of creativity. Reading through both articles, any gifted student of stylistics will see the uncanny similarities. The articles were written and edited by the same persons.

To say I am no giant in frame or among my people is begging the question. Matthew Urhoghide, whom I referred to as a political heavy weight in my interview that they quoted from was manipulated out of the race for the Edo south senatorial ticket. So, if being a giant among the people was the yardstick, why did Urhoghide not pick the ACN ticket? It really did not matter whether one was a giant among his people or not: what was important was if anyone was ready to pay the price for Governor Oshiomhole by licking his 'behind'.

Really, was governor Oshiomhole a giant (politically, that is) among his people when he contested in 2007? If he was, why was he normadic in his search for a political party platform? Oshiomhole traversed the major political parties then, searching for a free ticket without participating in any primary election. He moved from PDP, ANPP, formed the Labour Party and finally pitched his tent with the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.

If Oshiomhole was really a giant among his people, why did he not contest the governorship election on the platform of the Labour party he formed? Why go grovel and cut deals with the Igbinedions, Ize Iyamus, Senator Owie and Captain Ehosa? What was he afraid of? Afterall, Dr. Segun Mimiko ran and won on the platform of the Labour party which was hardly in existence in Ondo state at the time. We know the true giant among the people.

For the records, I never contested on the platform of the so called "ACN primary election", either for the senate or House of Representatives. I indicated my interest to contest for the senate seat but was manipulated out of the process by Oshiomhole's shenanigans. His media aides, Iyare and Okhiria, knew a bit of the last minute move to draft me into the race for the House of Representatives, but again, they got their facts wrong: I never ran under Oredo local government. I would have ran under Egor / Ikpoba Okha federal constituency.

Therefore, I never contested against my good friend Razak Bello Osagie as alleged by the writers of that article. My brother and friend of over 30 years, Patrick Obahiagbon, the son of Igodomigodo, who contested against Bello Osagie. But because of governor Oshiomhole's pathological insecurity and morbid fear of intellectuals and independent-minded people, he had to abbreviate the rising star in Obahiagbon. He manipulated Igodomigodo out of the race.

Several others have tales of woe to tell. While committed state governments (like Delta and Rivers states) were sending their nominees for the post of secretary to the state government, SSG, to their state houses of assembly, Governor Oshiomhole moved against his own. His SSG, Pally Iriase, was denied a senate ticket and had to wrestle to get a House of Representatives ticket for himself.

Peter Akpatason of the NUPENG was stopped from aspiring to the senate, too. Comrade Isibor, and two of the governor's commissioners, (Dr. Tunde Lakoju and Abdul Oroh) were victims of the self- opinionated "Super godfather". Dr. Sylvester Odion-Ahkaine, a committed pro-democracy activist and many others were not spared.

While campaigning for the "one man, one vote" mantra, governor Oshiomhole silently worked to constrict the political space. He gave a standing instruction that all incumbent members of the Edo state house of assembly be returned. That was his compensation for their acquiescence to all his chicanery. Only two who had 'serious' issues with their equally powerful godfathers failed to make it back to the house.

The writers claimed I sang the governor's praise, so why attack him now? Well, I commend the commendable and condemn the condemnable. When Oshiomhole showed signs of good governance I commended him, especially after bulldozing all the major roads in Benin City. Then one thought he was serious, but with instances like that of Airport Road in Benin City, a road less than eight kilometres still unfinished three years down the line, for instance, there is cause for alarm.

True, there was no primary election in the Edo State chapter of the ACN, so I couldn't have been kicked out by my people. No body kicked me out. No one, but Oshiomhole, who wants to be the only cock that crows in Edo politics.

THIS ARTICLE was written by Osa Director, Benin City, Edo State


Join The Discussion On Okoawo BlueGate & Co.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...