BACKGROUND OF LEAKED video discussion, “ARREST THEM”, between President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and Adams Oshiomhole, former National Chairman of All Progressive Congress, APC, during Oshiomhole’s visit to the president in the Villa, could define deeper perspective of public opinion of the episode. Public comments on the leaked video have been very strong, but not very wide.
The comment, “ARREST THEM”, made by Oshiomhole in the leaked video, some believe, should not be taken seriously. They said that the video was cloned. As such, the handiwork of mischief makers, to cause confusion and discord ahead of September 19, Edo State governorship election, between incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, of the PDP, and his rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC; as well as to disparage the Chief of Staff.
Larger public opinion, however, held that the voice in the leaked video was audible and clear. Indisputably, Oshiomhole’s voice, in the conversation between him and the president’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari. What else could they be discussing along the walkway in the State House, when the Chief of Staff was escorting Oshiomhole out of Villa, after his meeting with the president, that was not discussed with the president?
Was Oshiomhole re-echoing to the Chief of Staff, what he claimed he discussed with the president; about the security situation in Edo State, ahead of the upcoming governorship election in the State? The Chief of Staff was present during Oshiomhole’s meeting with the president. Was further emphasis necessary for Oshiomhole to pass on his messages, through the Chief of Staff, to the president? So, he had to engage the Chief of Staff, with the same message, he had passed to the president? For what purpose?
These are the concerns of other school of thought on the leaked video. Hence, the suspicion was rife that Oshiomhole could be passing another message to the president’s Chief of Staff in the leaked video.
Briefing journalists at the State House, after his visit, Oshiomhole said he was at the Villa, to plead with President Buhari, to ensure adequate security was in place for the September 19, governorship election in Edo State. And added: “If APC man commits an offense, arrest him, if a PDP man commits an offense, arrest him”, words of Oshiomhole.
Analysts have questioned the capacity on which Adams Oshiomhole met with President Buhari, and offering the president security advise on Edo State. Was he invited by the president? Did he seek audience to meet with the president on the subject, in what capacity? Was Oshiomhole the Chief Security Officer in Edo State? Who was in a better position to brief the president of security situation in a federal state? Private citizens? Or the government’s security apparatus – DSS, Nigeria Police Force, etc?
As it stands, presently, Oshiomhole, officially, is not an executive member of the ruling APC – at the national, state, local government or ward levels. Not a candidate in the governorship election. Not a member of Osagie Ize-Iyamu, APC governorship candidate’s campaign team. Not in the security services in the country. But simply, a card-carrying member of APC, and a private citizen of the Edo State. Oshiomhole, advising President Buhari on the security situation in Edo State, was an irony.
Yet, in Oshiomhole’s usual unguarded activism and outrageous outburst, he claimed to be “supper stakeholder” in Edo State, September 19, governorship election. At different public engagements, Oshiomhole publicly vowed to dethrone incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki from Government House. Such public utterances by Oshiomhole amounts to political thuggery. And encourages political thuggery. More so, after he has been discredited and humiliated as National Chairman of his ruling party, APC. So, who actually is the lead architect for endangering the security situation in Edo State, during the governorship election?
Could President Buhari had given members of other political parties in the country – PDP, SDP, APGA, ZLP, among others, such audacious audience for the same purpose for which he granted Oshiomhole audience? To many, Adams Oshiomhole, fell from grace to grass – from national politics of All Progressive Congress, APC, to local politics in Edo State, due to his tall and inordinate ambition, as well as greed for power.
Adams Oshiomhole, according to political observers, has been the dramatist, drummer and sycophant of the epic crisis in APC, at the national and state levels – costing the party, electoral misfortune. Which prompted his un-ceremonial removal from office as national chairman of the ruling party. Also, he had been at heart of APC crisis in Edo State, which led to Governor Obaseki’s disqualification to re-contest for second term in office as APC candidate. Obaseki defected from APC to PDP, to achieve his objective.
Oshiomhole, now, wants to reclaim his lost glory in APC Edo State, at the national, local government and ward levels. So, he is fanning the embers of violence in Edo State, ahead of the September 19, governorship election. Certainly, not going to be easy for him, according to PDP, Edo State, campaign team for Governor Obaseki’s re-election.
According to analysts, Oshiomhole, should by now, be guest to the nation’s security operatives, and not guest to the office of the president at the Presidential Villa, to discuss Edo State governorship election security situation. He should not have been given the freedom, he is presently enjoying, and flaunting himself around Edo State, as APC political god-father in the State. There is no basis for it. If Oshiomhole continued to parade himself, the way he is going about it in Edo State, presently; APC would have become a rudderless political party.
Osagie Ize-Iyamu, governorship candidates of APC, was allegedly, caught on video, discussing what security analysts considered as “prelude to violence”, before and during the election. Ize-Iyamu, gathered and addressed an audience he code-named “Lions and Tigers”. And briefed them to take charge and move from “local government to local government and from ward to ward”. The “Lions and Tigers” were to do what at the local governments and wards during the election?
Nigeria’s security agencies owe Edo State people, and Nigerians, public explanation of what Osagie Ize-Iyamu, APC governorship candidate in the election, meant by his statement to his political “Lions and Tigers” to move from local government to local government; and from wards to words; during September 19, governorship election, in Edo State. Yet, his new-found god-father, Adams Oshiomhole, made no reference to it, during his discussion with the president; and during his press briefing to State House journalists after his visit to the president.