Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Cocktail of Endorsements, By Cecil O. Esekhaigbe

Whatapp News



Gov. Godwin Obaseki
Gov. Godwin Obaseki

An avalanche of political endorsements of Governor Godwin Obaseki has continued to rent the air. Though a normal phenomenon in a season of elections preparation, the tone and nature of endorsements however raise questions. Not that our dear Governor does not deserve it, as he has relatively done well with scientific approach to governance and sectoral development strategy. His efforts no doubt are a consolidation of the achievements of his predecessor and political mentor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. It is instructive to note that the Governor was deeply rooted in the previous administration, as a key player in the economic team and thus, share the consequences of actions and inactions of the last administration.

While I agree that Governor Obaseki has done well and deserves credit, one must not also lose sight of the uncommon and rare recognition of talent by Adams Oshiomhole who in spite of all odds and drumbeats of war, identified and brought up Governor Obaseki to succeed him. Oshiomhole was resolute, at the expense of losing close friends and political associates, to ensure that his choice of Obaseki who he believed in his capacity held sway. I was privy to some clandestine visits by some of the political gladiators endorsing the Governor today, cautioning Oshiomhole about supporting Obaseki, citing unsubstantiated stories of an ancestral betrayal. He told one of the celebrated chiefs that he was not supporting Godwin for what he would benefit, but his belief in his capacity to build on his solid foundation.

To every discerning mind, the silent war and crack in the relationship between the Governor and his political mentor need no over emphasis, the expression by the Governor that no such thing exists, notwithstanding. There is a thick cloud in the air, revolving around the continuation and substitution of Obaseki as the Governor of the state. Whatever may have forged this crucible of war, common sense and conscience should come to play in a bid to clear the fog. So the Governor should be weary of the antics of politicians who are competing for space in the effort to endorse and declare support for his second term. A cursory look at this caliber of people shows political value deficiencies and lack of altruistic motives.

From a personal assessment, the Governor got elected into his first term without any unnecessary fight, and ordinarily, his second term if he is interested, should not be different. My point here is that the Governor should be conscious of Dr. Lloyd Shapley’s Popular Games Theory, and do the needful by immediately reaching out to his predecessor, to sort out whatever grievances they may have against each other. Evidence abound in Edo State and elsewhere, where attempts to replace an existing formidable political structure, with a new self-styled own structure caused a collateral irreparable political damage. He should be conscious and resist the temptation of being misguided by the assumed support of many political soldiers without weapons. It is obvious that the political class in Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) are yet to realize the need for genuine rapprochement between the Governor and his predecessor. Every well-meaning APC stalwart should support the state party chairman towards this rapprochement, as they must be conscious of the fact that Edo State is not a one-party state. This is not the time to play the ostrich and subterfuge is not a virtue.

I enjoin Governor Obaseki to bridge any gap with Adams Oshiomhole and other political leaders before crossing the start-line for the imminent political battle. This does not connote mortgaging his political authority and freedom of action as Governor of our dear state. Such unnecessary political battles remind me of the scotched-earth tactics which naturally leads to Armageddon. I am not convinced the Governor has enough ammunition from these drum-beats of war and proliferation of endorsements. The imminent battle is a needless one as it fails the requirements of jus in bello and jus ad bellum (a just war and a justification for war). I also request Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to reminiscent on the hitherto trust and confidence he had on Obaseki and be receptive to a meaningful dialogue. Governor Obaseki is capable of taking Edo State to the Next Level as he has started well and he should end well.

My father once told me that those who encourage a child to over-eat in the night, may not accompany the child to the toilet in the mid-night.

God bless Edo State! God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

•Maj.-Gen. Esekhaigbe (rtd), PhD, is the Okanlete of EsanlandReplyReply AllForwardEdit as new

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