Managing Nyesom Wike, Obaseki’s new godfather; By Fredrick Nwabufo

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Alliances can make and mar us. Jehoshaphat, king Judah ( Israel), a who sought the face God. He a decent ruler. But his yoking with kings of base virtue ruined his legacy. In particular, his dalliance with the house of Ahab and Jezebel impaired his bloodline and nearly cost him the glory of Yahweh.


Power is a principal thing but the path on which we tread its courts matters. I think it is hypocritical fighting a system but at the same time enjoying the dysfunctionality that system.


The State governorship election has taken its place in the past gritty and rousing contests. But the lessons from the election remain fecund in our political discourse. One thing stands out. Nigerians detest the ‘’contrivances godfatherism’’. The election is inherently an action against godfatherism and all its appliances. The ‘ no be Lagos’ mantra is a revolutionary shibboleth which conveys the coup de grace an endemic political scourge.


I think Bola Tinubu, national leader of the (APC), set up Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the , by insufferably putting a demand on the people of State on who they must vote. Nothing irritates more than valorous arrogance. Tinubu over-estimated his influence. That he did a few days the election asking the people of State to reject on the grounds that the governor is a dictator in no small measure ricocheted, putting craters to Ize-Iyamu’ ambition.


Also, the first rule of godfatherism is ‘’do not act like a godfather’’. Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the APC, broke this canon by stepping beyond the remit of his mortal powers and attempting to wrestle with the celestials. His ego got the better of him. He wanted to whip an ‘’erring’’ godson to shape but lost himself in the process. He cut off his nose to spite his face.


Oshiomhole’ nemesis is graphed in this dictum by my friend, Sulaiman Aledeh: ‘’Legend has it that there once lived a powerful who so disturbed by a rat in his home. He burnt down his house in an attempt to kill this rat. The rat did not ; it jumped out of the inferno leaving the without a home – he became homeless.’’


But what is next for ? he rebel against his new ‘’godfather()’’ in the PDP who gave him the to fulfil his ambition? And is his the end of godfatherism in Edo as he bravoed? I think not. As I said in a previous article, ‘’our political process is cannibalistic; it is dog eat dog. National interest succumbs to group and individual interest in our brand of politics. It does not reward rebels or people of independent disposition. To chance on political office, you must contort your principles and personal integrity to fit into the agenda of the keepers of the political platforms, notoriously regarded as the ‘godfathers’. The godfathers control these political platforms. They hold the reins of political progression. So, as long as the present political ecosystem subsists, godfatherism remain in Nigeria.’’


Really, I see Obaseki fleeing from one godfather drama to another. The governor will realise soon enough that his new political benefactor, Nyesom is an absolutist, a one of kind godfather. combines brute with arrogance. He does not fancy otherness or contraries. It is his way always.


The governor of Rivers State runs the PDP – by virtue of the resources at his disposal. The conforms to his whim and caprices. It is said in PDP circles, you cannot get anything done in the without ’s blessings. In September 2018, he threatened that there would be consequences if the PDP moved the ’s national convention away from Port Harcourt. The leadership of the quickly fell in line.


When Wike sneezes the PDP catches cold. Clearly, Obaseki understood this as he hurriedly paid obeisance to Wike soon after he defected to the PDP – when the APC rejected him. In the build-up to the Edo election in June, Wike threatened to withdraw support for Obaseki over a publication alleging he was in cahoots with some persons to stop the Edo governor from participating in the party’s primary election – and as it is customary there was grovelling and back-bending to the godfather and ‘’national governor of the PDP’’ .


Wike was named PDP Edo campaign DG principally as a recognition of his pre-eminence in the affairs of the party. He is the PDP. He holds the reins of political progression in the party. He calls the shots. He is the godfather.


But how well can Obaseki navigate through the relationship maze with Wike who is erratic, impulsive, short-tempered and domineering?


Well, I foresee that there be will spheres of conflict between Obaseki and Wike; not necessarily as regards areas of administration in Edo, but on differences in political interest and pursuits.


Obaseki must beware of the new godfather and the godfathers in the PDP. Wike fights dirty.


Nwabufo is a writer and journalist

Twitter @FredrickNwabufo