Oshiomhole: Becoming villain he preached against

Oshiomhole: Becoming villain he preached against


The breakdown in relationship between a godfather and godson in Nigeria is a matter of “when” and not “if.” Indeed, the Nigerian political space is filled with tales of political rivalry between former allies. However, this particular one unfolding between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his godfather, Adams Oshiomhole is of considerable interest.

This is simply because Oshiomhole’s name is associated with the word comrade. Therefore, referring to him as a godfather signifies a huge dose of contradiction.


But as it stands, and with the video by Gov. Obaseki admitting that he has been a stooge for three years, it appears the word – comrade – has been replaced in Oshiomhole’s description with the term – godfather.


Perhaps, “Don Adams Oshiomhole” would be in order. Surprisingly, the same Oshiomhole in 2016 declared his intention to rid Edo state of all godfathers.




“Edo people are now proud. They can now determine who rules them and no one godfather can choose a leader for them.


“When you look at the propaganda, you will think we have fallen for the lion but they failed,” he declared.



But it appears he removed the godfathers only for him to replace them, this time round, with himself as the last godfather.

Obaseki and Oshiomhole: Who blinks first?
Obaseki and Oshiomhole: Who blinks first?
This is not in anyway pronouncing Oshiomhole guilty of being a godfather. But as a comrade and someone who claimed to have fought against godfathers, his name should not be in the mix with keeping a state governor as a lackey.


Of course, there is nothing wrong in supporting a candidate as successor. However, keeping them as a stooge or asking for personal gains in return is both ethically and morally wrong.


Oshiomhole vs Obaseki: Likely outcome of the fight


Based on trends, the fight between governors and their godfathers always end up with the former winning. In most cases, this often signifies the end of the political career of the godfather.




It may be tempting to point out the recent humiliation of Akinwumi Ambode by the powers-that-be in Lagos State, or the removal of Rasheed Ladoja by the late Lamidi Adedibu. But the number of godfathers retired by their godsons are more.

Godfather Syndrome
Akpabio and Udom Emmanuel

To illustrate, former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio not only lost the state machinery to Udom Emmanuel. He lost his re-election bid into the Senate, a defeat that was attributed to his erstwhile godson, leaving him to wait for another four years.



The case of Rabiu Kwankwaso in Kano is another instance of the uppity godson turning against his benefactor.

Godfathers in trouble
Ganduje vs Kwankwaso
Despite the popularity of his former boss, Umar Ganduje bared his fangs. The governor, who was embroiled in the Guandollar scandal survived the 2019 election scare, inflicting defeat on the Kwankwasiyya.
Recall also the case of Peter Obi and Willie Obiano of Anambra state. Their relationship did not survive the honeymoon stage.
Indeed, the list of godsons turning coat and upstaging their godfathers is seemingly endless.
The odds favour incumbent governors for a simple reason. The opacity in electioneering financing and patronage politics give governors unlimited advantage. Consequently, they either hijack the structure or build a new one from scratch.
Oshiomhole undoubtedly has a leverage. He is the Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and can sure move some muscles at the centre. However Obaseki, unlike Ambode who chose not to engage, has already declared his readiness to fight.
Furthermore, the 2019 election already cast question marks on some of Oshiomhole’s decisions.

Two wrongs make no right 

His intervention in Bauchi, Adamawa and Imo caused the party to taste defeats in those erstwhile strongholds. Moreso, Oshiomhole’s interventions in Imo and Ogun was based on the principle that Rochas Okorocha and Ibikunle Amosun respectively were attempting to impose candidates on their states.
The other most likely option for Obaseki would be to decamp to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The main opposition party will welcome the prospect of finally removing any trait of the APC in the South-South and  the South-East.
In a recent video which made the rounds, Obaseki alluded to his strategic importance to the party as the only governor in the aforementioned regions. Also, the PDP is equally strong in Edo state.
Irrespective of the claim by Obaseki that Oshiomhole is attempting to muzzle him, his resort to illegality in the composition of the State House of Assembly is condemnable.
The House of Representatives’ Committee that investigated the crisis rocking the state indicted the Governor for not properly constituting the Assembly. Therefore, it has asked him to issue a fresh proclamation within seven days from last Wednesday.
Who blinks first between godfather and godson in Edo?

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