Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Former labour leader turned politician, Oshiomhole was president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and it is on record that he led several industrial actions against anti-peoples’ policies by previous governments.
Among his feats in the struggle include 25 per cent wage increase for public sector workers and demonstrations against increases in prices of petroleum products. Perhaps, it was these successes that explained his emergence as Edo State governor in 2008, after a court battle and landslide victory in 2012 for a second term.
But Oshiomhole, who was governor of Edo State between 2008 and 2016 and national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) between 2018 and June this year, perhaps, shot himself on the leg, when he turned around to indulge against his preaching on political godfathers.
The immediate past national chairman of the APC, had after leading his party to victory in the 2016 governorship election in Edo State, declared that he had demystified political godfathers in the state and dismantled their rigging machinery as well.
His words then: “Over the last eight years, we have tried to orientate our people not just the voters but politicians that the season of election rigging, where one or two godfathers write the results is over and we were committed to dismantling the rigging machine.
We have humbled Chief Tom Ikimi even in the local government he claimed to have created. We defeated Chief Raymond Dokpesi in his polling unit, his ward and his local government. In Okada, the political family that has boasted that they will continue to govern this state and even compelled the state to adopt them as the Queen of England whose birthday must be celebrated was rejected.
“In Esan land, the senatorial zone of the PDP godfather (late Tony Anenih), we won two out of the five local governments. We gave him a fight that he managed to escape. He used the factor of his age to play on the emotion of the people. It is a victory for the people of the state.
Edo people are now proud they can now determine who rules them and no one godfather can choose a leader for them.” But true to the character of most politicians, to whom politics is a game of interest, Oshiomhole plotted to retain the seats of the godfathers he dethroned.
But with the defeat of his anointed – Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu – in Saturday’s gubernatorial election, the former labour leader seems to have justified appeals from some quarters ahead of the poll to rather dwell more on national politics and play the role of an elder statesman than take the captainship band of domestic politics.
For the governorship candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, it is another hope dashed in his bid to govern Edo State. The former Secretary to the Edo State Government (SSG) was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2016 governorship election in the state, but was defeated by Godwin Obaseki, who then was the standard bearer of the APC.
Ize-Iyamu was previously a member of the APC before his relationship with Oshiomhole went sour, but reunited with the former governor in December last year. Consequently, the party’s NWC granted him waiver to contest for the governorship poll. He had boasted that he had what it takes to defeat Obaseki, who trounced him in 2016 as he was only able to poll 223,619 votes against the governor’s 307,955 votes.
It was not only a defeat in the poll for the APC candidate, he suffered a shocking and humiliating defeat in his home local government area, Orhionmwon, where he polled 10,458 votes against his PDP counterpart’s 13,445 votes. He also lost in all the local government areas of Edo South Senatorial District, his home district.
Capt. Hosa Okunbo
The Edo State born business mogul, who did not pretend about his involvement in the gubernatorial election – to stop Governor Obaseki – also had his ego bruised given APC’s loss. Okunbo was among those who financed Obaseki’s election in 2016 but they fell apart when the former tried to mediate in the supremacy battle between the governor and his estranged political godfather – Oshiomhole.
Perhaps, what the business mogul saw a slight to his person, explained why he vowed to stop Obaseki at all cost even it means spending his last kobo on Ize-Iyamu.
He said of the governor: “Obaseki lacks the leadership qualities and he also lacks the temperament and patience to govern people. He is deceitful.”
But Okunbo’s deep pocket was unable to garner the votes of Edo people for his anointed. The billionaire businessman suffered defeat in his polling unit and Oredo Local Government Area. In Oredo Ward 2, Unit 3, APC polled 59, while PDP polled 198.
Govs Abdullahi Ganduje and Hope Uzodinma
The governors of Kano and Imo states, respectively, were arrowheads of APC’s bid to regain Edo State after losing it to the PDP with Obaseki’s defection to the PDP. While Ganduje served as chairman of APC campaign council for the Edo governorship election, Uzodinma headed the party’s primary election committee that saw to Ize- Iyamu’s emergence as candidate for the election.