City Voice Newspaper

Rotimi Bello: Edo people and the totem Godfather


By Rotimi Bello

Albert Einstein describes politics as being more complicated than the science. Politics is all about issues. Expectedly that is what people want to see from the ruling party in Edo (PDP) and their major challenger (APC) opposition party, but the plot of the supposed godfather to hold onto Edo jugular vein reduced the campaign to a rough-and-tumble contest.

The toxic atmosphere in Nigerian politics could discourage good people from running for office. George Washington, the hero of the American revolution, was mocked and bitterly criticized by the opponent to the extent that he was forced to make the quoted statement that ‘’the arrows of malevolence, however barbed and well pointed, never can reach the most vulnerable part of me’’.

He concluded that “leading by conviction gave me a consolation within that no earthly efforts can deprive me of’’.

I am surprised that the Oshiomole and APC gargantuan campaign machineries cannot dissuade Edo people from re-electing Godwin Obaseki. To the Edo people, Obaseki is an ideology, he represents a course and a principle, thus they stick with him. After all, a known devil is better than an unknown angel. His followers were ferocious in defending him despite the campaign of calumny marshalled out against his personality.

Prior to the defection and nomination of Obaseki as the PDP gubernatorial candidate, partisan opponents and commentators have been questioning his legitimacy and motives. The Oshiomole boys launched a barrage of public criticism against him. From all indication, it is glaring that Oshiomole and his cohorts were frustrated about the emergence and acceptability of Obaseki as the flagbearer of PDP.

Thus, to undermine him, much energy was dissipated on chasing shadows by the APC campaign coordinators instead of concentrating on fine-tuning the tone of Ize Iyamu’s campaign strategy of selling him to the Edo people. Oshiomole was busy condemning Obaseki by prostrating to seek for clemency from Edo people for wrongly presenting Obaseki in the first instance.

There is no doubt that the PDP political permutation beat the imagination of political pundits and APC who thought that the Edo election was a fait accompli for them. Hence, they threw courtesy and decency to the wind and put on the garb of political pomposity.

Unfortunately, the-so-called APC godfathers and strategists who went to Edo to bury Obaseki’s ambition of the second incarnation retreated with their tails between their legs – having experienced glaring political shellacking.

On this note, I felicitate with the Edo people for getting rid of the totem godfather.
In most of the articles and columns in the newspaper, many supporters of Oshiomole vented their anger; pour vitriolic and acidic remark on the personality of Obaseki for his refusal to be altar boy to their godfather. They said all sorts of negative unprintable things about him forgetting that time heals wound.

Lest I forget, they queried the authenticity of his certificate knowing full well that you cannot be admitted into any University without evidence of ordinary level certificate. The unfolding event showed that politics is a dirty game.

We have seen that people even tormented his wife, talking of her as being barren in the course of campaigning and saying the couple may not value children since they did not have one. It is apparent that APC campaign organizers aimed to achieve a lot with their negative campaign against the PDP gubernatorial candidate, but the impact this orchestrated campaign might have been created was greatly eroded by the loyalty of Edo voters who ferociously voted to remove the last vestige of godfatherism and vehemently protected their vote.

The arrogance of Oshiomole and APC made Obaseki a credible alternative for Edo voters who are tired of the talkative and overbearing godfather.

Electioneering campaign is an avenue for the incumbent leader to give an account of his stewardship for a possible renewal of mandate from the teeming citizenry. This could not be, because Obaseki himself has little to showcase; but his people decided to sink or swim with him than going for an APC candidate supported by partisan political godfathers that must be appeased and consulted from time-to-time like a spirit animal.

The outcome of events in Edo has shown that people are tired of APC abracadabra. They are tired of unfulfilled promises; they are tired of large scale corruption which is unabated; they are tired of insecurity which culminated in the kidnapping, banditry, ritual killing, and incessant terrorist attacks from Bokoharam which is unabated.

The Edo people are tired of erratic electricity supplies of swinging megawatts which is just 2.5 percent of what South Africa is generating for its nation; they are tired of a leader who is subservient to a greedy godfather; they are tired of decaying infrastructures.

The Edo people are tired of a godfather whose rhetoric does not align with his action; they are tired of a godfather who talks frivolously and believed that he is the alpha and omega of Edo politics; the Edo people are sick and tired of the status quo and for these reasons and many more, they seek for a change, and a change they believe can be achieved through Godwin Obaseki leadership.

Rotimi S. BELLO wrote this piece from Abuja and could be reached via


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