TIMES HAVE CHANGED FOR GODWIN OBASEKI, Governor of Edo State, south-south Nigeria. He dinned, wined and sang Adams Oshiomhole’s beatitude when he was governor of Edo State. Oshiomhole adopted him political godson, and initiated plans to install him next governor of the state. Against odds from the opposition, Obaseki rode on Oshiomhole’s goodwill in the State, got the ticket, won the election, and became governor of Edo State. Oshiomhole became his godfather.
Obaseki forgot history, that teaches the past. That none who served under Oshiomhole as governor of Edo State – commissioners, special advisers or assistants, among others, ever spoke pleasant words about the man they described as “one-man riot squad leader”. Oshiomhole, takes no advice, listens to no one, knows more than everyone else, knows and discusses every subject under the sun, more than those who taught him.
In modern science and practice of leadership, Oshiomhole, with his characteristics, has no place in leadership corridor. Leadership is long way past Oshiomhole’s style. “The demands of today’s workplace call for stronger and more inspiring leadership, in order to motivate employees and to achieve the quality results for which successful organisations constantly strive.
“Who personifies today’s leader? Being in charge doesn’t necessarily have the same connotations of ‘absolute power’ that it used to have. In fact, today’s leaders find themselves benefiting from a more collaborative approach to management. By checking their egos at the door, so to speak, leaders will find that they can tap into endless sources of potential from the people they lead”, Authors, Warren G. Bennis and Robert Townsend.
Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, is being fingered as fuelling the, almost, monumental crisis in Edo State House of Assembly. Obaseki told journalists at different media briefings, that his godfather and mentor, Oshiomhole’s overbearing influence and interference with governance in Edo State were becoming unbearable to him, and he was “fighting back”.
Oshiomhole responded that he was never a godfather to anyone. That he fought godfatherism to stand still in the State, and could not take up the role of a godfather, which he dethroned. He said his position on what is happening in Edo State, was for the governor to stick to doing the right things. That inaugurating Edo State House of Assembly with only nine members present was, constitutionally and unacceptable.
John Odigie-Oyegun, Oshiomhole’s successor in office as APC national chairman, said Oshiomhole was responsible for the crisis in the State, and was distracting Governor Obaseki from administering Edo State. “I appeal to him (Oshiomhole) to stop disgracing the governing party APC and Edo State. He should give the governor a breeding space to concentrate on doing the job of serving the people of Edo.
“I wonder how he could easily forget that I never interfered or bothered about how he ran the government as the then governor of Edo all the while I occupied the position of the party’s national chairman. I am yet to come to terms with why it has become difficult for Oshiomhole to realise that Gov. Obaseki is the only APC governor in the entire South-South”, Oyegun said, in a signed statement by his Public Affairs Adviser, Ray Morphy.
To the ruling party, All Progressive Congress, APC, Governors Forum, Oyegun said, they should not be bystanders, watching their party chairman, Adam Oshiomhole, subject fellow governor to hardship in performing his duties. He said Oshiomhole’s actions in Edo State crisis, could lead to political misfortune for the party.
“I want to also appeal to the Progressives Governors not to stand aside and watch their fellow governor hampered by a party chairman whose actions may lead to the political misfortune of the party in the state. The recent outburst by Gov Obaseki and the report by the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, indicting the current National Chairman of the APC, have confirmed my earlier claim that Oshiomhole is responsible for the crisis in Edo.
Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, told President Buhari, during his visit to the president, at the presidential villa, Abuja, along with members of Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers, to quickly intervene in the dispute between Governor Godwin Obaseki and Adams Oshiomhole.
Oba Ewuare said: “Mr President, we as traditional rulers in Edo State, are concerned about the crisis between Oshiomhole, APC National Chairman and Governor Obaseki of Edo State, and Edo State House of Assembly. If this crisis is not resolved now with immediate effect, it may jeopardise the progress of the state. On behalf of the good people of Edo State, we kindly appeal to Mr President to use your good offices to intervene and stop this crisis.”
Oba Ewuare, re-echoed his call for peaceful resolution of the crisis when Senate ad-hoc committee investigating the assembly crisis paid him courtesy visit in his palace. As if resigning to fate, he said he has left the crisis in Edo State in the hands of “God and the ancestors for resolution”. That the palace had intervened in the crisis in its own way.
“We leave it in the hands of God and the ancestors for now. We pray God and our ancestors to help us. We have intervened; the House of Representative was here last week and you are here now to help us resolve the issue. I pray that God and the ancestors should give you the wisdom to resolve the crisis and bring peace and unity,” the revered monarch said.
Nigerian Senate Committee, led by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, was in Benin, Edo State, on first-hand facts finding assignment on the crisis in Edo State House Of Assembly. Governor Godwin Obaseki, in his meeting with the Senate committee, said he had fulfilled his constitutional requirement by issuing proclamation letter for the inauguration of the assembly.
Obaseki said: “The constitution is clear on issues at the assembly. I have issued a proclamation letter and I have fulfilled my constitutional responsibility. I believe in the separation of powers. There were issues and we expected that those in higher authority should have stepped in to ensure that they are resolved but now the matter is in court.
“It is a very sad situation as we never anticipated this will happen. We are happy your committee is here on a fact-finding mission. If this has been done by the leadership of my party, we will not have gotten where we are today,” he added.
Adopting the report of Senate ad-hoc facts finding committee on Edo State, the Senate said the process leading to June 17, 2019, inauguration of Edo State House of Assembly by Governor Obaseki, was improperly done and a breach global parliamentary practice.
In a resolution, the Senate mandated the Governor Obaseki to re-issue a proclamation for the State House of Assembly to inaugurated, and properly inform all the 24 members of the assembly through adverts in print and electronic media.
“In the event that a new proclamation is not issued as stated above within a period of one week, the National Assembly is at liberty to invoke Section 11(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” the Senate declared.
Legal experts have faulted Senate move to take over Edo State House of Assembly within a week. The lawmakers, said, have no right to interfere in the matter unless there is complete breakdown of law and order necessitating the president to declare an emergency in the state.
Edo State government described the Senate resolution as unconstitutional and flagrant disregard of the principle of separation of powers. Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie said: “This illegality will not stand. I advise all-powerful persons not to be allowed to set our state ablaze merely to satisfy their thirst for power and control.
“It is unfortunate that the distinguished Senate would act in flagrant breach of various court orders and purport to come to factual and legal conclusions concerning a matter in which the parties are already before the courts and therefore subjudice.
“We are also concerned that the members of the Senate appear to have very scant regard for the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in our constitution which is manifested by their taking over the functions of the judiciary in dispute resolution and giving directives to a state governor who is certainly not subject to the supervision of the National Assembly”, government statement said.
Adams Oshiomhole, dismissed his involvement in the decaying crisis in Edo State House of Assembly. He said he fought godfatherism in Edo State, and “launched one-man, one-vote campaign” against electoral malpractices. He said Edo people know him and he knowns them. “I do not need a shortcut to sustain my position in the system”. And nobody in Nigeria is not open to accusations, he said.
With evidences pointing to Oshiomhole as the architects of the present crisis in Edo State, he may need dozens of denials and rebuttals that he was being wrongly accused.