The governor of Edo state, Mr. Adams Oshiohole is a showman; as a career unionist before joining partisan politics, propaganda is his trademark. His style is to appeal to sentiments, by emotionally bullying people to view him as the persecuted. His type never really serve the people, they are only exploiting the naivety of their people by making them believe they are servant-leaders.
Oshiomhole appears to the world as a welfarist, and a non conformist; he enjoyed using his oratory gifts to portray an image of a defender of the poor and oppressed. His active years in Nigerian Labour Congress, was characterised by strikes for wage increases and against obnoxious government policies. Yet, the facts are there for all to see, that in all of these, not once did Comrade Oshiomhole suffered any personal discomfort. Probably while he rigmarole the gullible Nigerian workers in day time by creating the impressions that he will stand with them even to the point of death; he sycophantically and clandestinely visit their oppressors as night and beg for his public utterances against them.
This article is actually about the people of Edo state and the forthcoming gubernatorial election. It’s about looking beyond the propaganda, and facing the reality of Adams Oshiomhole’s antecedence and leadership qualities. Did Adams Oshiomhole performance in more than three years on the saddle as governor of Edo state, deserving of a second term? Did he accomplished any feat that could be consider novel in the annals of governance in Nigeria? We must recall that his admirers call him a peoples’ comrade; so he should be closer to the grassroots more than any of his contemporaries governors in the federation. But is that the case?
Governor Oshiomhole’s ascendance to the seat of power in Edo state through judicial interpretation, after he hamstring the court through propaganda on an alleged massive rigging in Edo state during the 2007 gubernatorial election. He lawlessly hijacked the INEC secretariat in Benin long before the results were collated at the various voting polls in that said election. In his usual antics, he called the press and rolling out tales of massive rigging against his party. At the end he sold his tales to us all and got judgment in his favour.
No one bothered to challenge him in court over his lawless assaults on a government institute like INEC in 2007; now he is back to his familiar trench, by invading INEC office and stopping the continuous registration exercise taking place in the state. He is alleging clandestine registration of members of an opposition party, and again INEC national leadership has fallen for his trick. Unfortunately the rights of young Edo residents who are now eighteen years and those who missed the previous registration exercise is being infringe upon. By the suspension of the exercise , they are denied the right to vote in who becomes their governor in the July election.
I am not passing aspersions on the man – Adams Oshiomhole; I only wants us all to look beyond the mundane. The true story of Governor Oshiomhole is better understood from his labour pedigree. Little is told about the union that catapult him to national prominence. He is from the textile and garment union; one of the many unions that make up the Nigerian Labour Congress. Oshiomhole has a humbled beginning, starting life as a factory worker in Arewa Textile Limited, Kaduna.
But today, while the rest of the nation call him the peoples’ comrade; he is regarded as a traitor in Kaduna and Kano. Textile workers who have suffered job loses without benefits in the last nine years see Oshiomhole as the single individual who caused their present travails. They claimed money they were made to pay monthly by Oshiomhole as the then Secretary General of their union, as fall back in their old age or job loss, have not been accounted for. On the streets in Kaduna are evidences of these forlorn and distraught ex-textile workers roaming aimlessly in the town. Many others have since registered their presence in graveyards all over the town. I was born in that town, so I know better.
Oshiomhole surely performed better than former Governor Lucky Igbinedion. But everything he has done so far is what is expected from a government. Constructing roads and refurbishing schools is not creativity in governance. The people of Edo state deserves much more. Joblessness and insecurity situation in the state is alarming; the work force in the state is overworked and yet under paid, considering their frequent strikes and notice of strike actions. In the last three years, Oshiomhole has not proved he understood the plights of the poor in Edo state.
Comrade Oshiomhole is a close ally of those who held the country in the jugular. He is Ibrahim Babangida, Obasanjo, Tom Ikimi and Atiku’s close pal. Presently Ibb’s errand boy, Afegbua is his campaign Director for the forthcoming election. Any thought of him as a genuine comrade of the people is nauseating.
People quickly forget that there was a governor in old Bendel state, Professor Ambrose Folorunsho Alli; who in spite of the laudable achievements in his first term in office could not get a second term because he was from a minority tribe. Probably, afraid of a similar fate, Adams Oshiomhle is resorting to cheap political propaganda.
Oshiomhole supported petroleum subsidy removal. He was the only governor inhuman enough to publicly defend it. Is that the picture of a genuine activist? Recently, precious lives were lost in the state; three journalists and the private secretary to Oshiomhole lost their lives. Rather than rationality, sentiments are flying about their deaths. Those who have witnessed movements of governors’ convoy, will agree with me that the press crew are always among the last set of cars. So if anyone is targeting a governor, hitting vehicles that are behind will certain not be logical. Equally, late Oyerinde is not from Edo state; neither is he a political rally point in the state, so why should his death be seen as the handiwork of the oppositions in the state? Beside ACN, Oshiomhole’s party that called PDP the nest of Killers, have not explained why one their Governors – Aregbesola, granted amnesty to a convicted murderer in his state. Now which party is legalising murders?
You can not give a man freedom; because every man is born free. You can only forcefully take away his freedom. And that’s what Adams Oshiomhole is doing in Edo state, by applying sentiments to coerce the people of Edo state from using their God’s given human reasoning in electing their governor come July. No one should be fooled if Oshiomhole is defeated in July election and he starts crying foul. We should stop fooling ourselves, the present situations in Edo state could be a lot better, with a more focus and creative administrative acumen; which Oshiomhole obviously lacks.