ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE, a character, described variously in bad light, is back on the trenches, making headlines. Many see him as wanderer in corridor of power, mastermind of intrigues and rustic blackmail. It matters very much, how Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of Nigeria’s ruling All Progress Congress, APC, feels, when Wednesday, the management of Nigeria’s premier University of Ibadan, confirmed that Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Nigeria’s south-south Edo State, graduated in1979, with Second Class Honours, Lower Division in Classics.
Tuesday, in Abuja, Adam Oshiomhole, in crude display of power, while inauguration members of APC Screening and Appeal Committees, for candidates contesting Edo 2020 governorship primary, expressed doubt over the authenticity of Obasseki’s certificate, he obtained from the University of Ibadan. Oshiomhole’s outright smear of Obaseki’s certificate, has turned futility. UI confirmed the certificate.
Oshiomhole had said: “Someone should approach the UI and end this matter once and for all. If the certificate Obaseki parades is that of the UI, find out how did he pass senate screening of those days? I’m aware that in those days when this man never dreamt of becoming a governor, every student, no matter your status or your family name, must pass the screening.
“It is done every third term at the UNN (University of Nigeria Nsukka), then we ran terminal not semester programme. The final screening was in the third year, before you go in for your final year. How comes the UI allowed him then? Did he do a remedial? Which was not unlikely. These are questions. Many came in especially in education and linguistics, did remedial for one year and if the result was good, gained direct entry and graduated three years after”, Oshiomhole said.
UI press statement by the Registrar, Olubnmi Faluyi, said: “Mr Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, the Governor of Edo State graduated from the University of Ibadan where he studied Classics. Obaseki gained admission to the University in 1976 and graduated in 1979 with a Second-Class Honours, Lower Division. Records of his Admission and Graduation are intact in the archives of the University.”
Governor Obaseki was singled out and personalised by Oshiomhole’s directives to the screening panel. He requested the panel to visit University of Ibadan to authenticate Obaseki’s certificate. Oshiomhole directive to the screening panel, did not imply that the panel should visit the universities where other candidates graduated for the authentication of their certificates. Why single out Obaseki, a man, he [Oshiomhole] has been at loggerhead with for over one year.
Obaseki’s Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Crusoe Osagie, earlier, reacted to the allegation of the genuineness of Obaseki’s certificate.
“We have said before, these allegations are baseless and come to think of it, which university did (Adams) Oshiomhole attend to know what the admission process is like? The responsibility of setting guidelines for admission into a university rests on the Senate of the institution. The lecturers who taught the governors are still alive and the institution is still there”, he said.
Tony Momoh, a former Information Minister, and APC Chieftain, in an interview with The Guardian, published December 2019, predicted that Edo APC crisis may consume Oshiomhole and Obaseki.
When he was asked what he would advise the warning parties in Edo APC, given their hard-line posturing of late, Tony Momoh said: “Part of measures in settling a problem is to allow the child that is approaching fire to touch the fire to know that it burns, if you try to hold him back and he continues to approach the fire. Then he will never go near fire again. Let me tell you; wars all over the world were fought not because there was no attempt for peace. Those who wanted to fight thought they would win.
“So, you allow the pugilists to pummel themselves and since they are like two elephants, one must win or two of them will be stalemated. At the end, the one who wins may get the laurel or two of them will fight so much that the laurel will be missing. So, the consequence of disagreement and fighting is that we may lose Edo State. But the good news is that PDP is not organised enough to win anything in Edo State”
Political analysts observed that necessity behooves on the national leadership of APC to curb Oshiomhole’s further excesses. As in the case of some States which the ruling APC lost its governorship elections to its rival party, the PDP, Oshiomhole may be leading the party to another disastrous outing in the upcoming governorship election in Edo State.