Bola Tinubu’s paid broadcast on Edo Governorship election, of September 19, 2020, calling on Edo people to “reject Godwin Obaseki” at the poll, has been seen, variously, as a “political timber” tumbling. Edo people tell Tinubu, “Edo No Be Lagos”.
BOLA AHMED TINUBU, JAGABAN, as he is also known, is a political gladiator, in Nigeria’s southwestern States of Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Oyo. He is referred to as national leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC. He is revered and eulogised by political faithful. Tinubu assumes dominance of the party, than anyone else. Not even President Buhari, who by virtue of his position, as president and leader of the party, adorned the kind of lordship and accolade given to Tinubu by party members.
In the politics of Nigerian southwest, Tinubu sees himself as a political godfather, a “man of timber and calibre”. Certainly, not in the realm of memorable Nigerian elder statesman and politician, Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe, popularly known in Nigeria’s political space as “Man of Timber Calibre”. Tinubu, over the years, had held Lagos State’s politics and electorates hostage, in self-styled national leader of “progressive governments”. While Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo States, are his political playground of godfatherism in the region.
Gradually and unsuspectingly, however, Tinubu is been resisted in the politics of some southwest States, even within the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC. Dogged Seyi Makinde, incumbent Governor of Oyo State, on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019 general election, set the blaze. Makinde successfully dislodged the APC from Oyo State, and extricated the State from the clutches of “political vampires”, according to the political analysts.
On the side-line of taming Tinubu’s “political occupation” in the southwest States, according to observers, is incumbent Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi’s subtle moves. He is alleged to be spanner in the works against Tinubu’s tall presidential ambition in 2023. In Ondo State, if the upcoming governorship election on October 10, turns out “free, fair and credible”, Ondo State will be on the cue to elude Tinubu’s “political occupation”.
Tinubu’s current snooping into Edo State, September 19, governorship election, to extend his “political occupation” to the State, will be – huge, huge adventure, according to political observers — hence his increased desperation of the outcome of the election. A task he may not accomplish under “free, fair and credible election. In a recent paid television broadcast on the coming Edo State governorship election, Tibubu urged Edo people to “reject Godwin Obaseki” at the poll. Reactions to that broadcast against Tinubu, have been uncommon and unprecedented.
A PHRASE EMANATED, from mass response of Edo people, to Tinubu’s various comments on Edo politics, in the wake of the 2020 Edo governorship election. It is that “Edo No Be Lagos”. The phrase first surfaced when Adams Oshiomhole, former National Chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, dramatically and undemocratically, led screening panel to disqualify Governor Godwin Obaseki, of Edo State, from re-contesting September 19, governorship election in the State, on the platform of APC.
Godwin Obaseki, reacting to his disqualification to re-contest the governorship election on the platform of APC, on which he was serving as governor, switched political camp. He defected, along with his teaming supporters to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to further his political ambition. To APC stalwarts, including Bola Tinubu, Obaseki should have chickened out. Surrender his political ambition to the craftiness of political godfathers of Adams Oshiomhole and Bola Tinubu.
Edo people seem to he telling Tinubu, by the phrase “Edo No Be Lagos”, that the democratic transition they need on September 19, governorship election in the State, is not Tinibu’s brand of transition, which he hoisted on Lagosians, where he holds sway, dictating the political fortunes and future of Lagos politics. Edo people, seem to say also, that there can be no “political emperor and dynasty” associated with Tinubu in Lagos State, in Edo State.
If Tinubu, politically, cows Lagosians, and consistently whip them to shape, to toe his undemocratic dictates, as well as, by various political infractions – like the Bullion Van episode, Edo people, will take none of it. To Edo people, Tinubu was merely exercising his political freedom of expression. Edo people regard Tinubu’s paid broadcast, calling on Edo electorates to “reject Governor Obaseki” at the poll on September 19 governorship as an exercise in the waste bin.
CRUSOE OSAGIE, Special Adviser, Media and Communication Strategy, to Governor Godwin Obaseki, in response to Tinubu’s paid broadcast said: “Tinubu knows clearly that come September 19, when godfatherism would have been dismantled in Edo State, the people of Lagos may just have found the recipe and formula for removing the chokehold placed on their collective destinies for decades by Tinubu, hence the inciting television broadcast”.
Osagie said Tinubu’s call, in the paid broadcast for Edo people to “reject Obaseki” at the poll, was part of his “plot to expand his political dominance to Edo State”. And added: “He should take note that Edo people do not yield their will, liberty and power of choice to oppressive figures because they are perceived to have economic and political means”.
“We call on all Edo people, friends of Nigeria and all lovers of democracy to disregard all the comments by Tinubu, as the allegations about the Edo State House of Assembly and other claims in the broadcast are completely false.
According to him, the outcome of Saturday’s election would reinforce the reigning saying in Edo’s public sphere, “Edo No be Lagos,” Osagie further stated.
KOLA OLOGBONDIYAN, National Publicity Secretary, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the party’s reaction said Bola Tinubu’s paid broadcast was attempts to arrogate to himself supreme powers, lord it over Edo people and dictate their choice of leaders.
That Tibunu’s claim to be the leader of democrats in Nigeria was “pathetic and derisory”. The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was not democratic due to his penchant for imposing candidates at all levels in Lagos and the South West. And Tinubu’s attitude smacked of hypocrisy.
Ologbondiyan words: “That an individual who claims to be a democrat will choose to insult the people of Edo State over their preference for Governor Godwin Obaseki for another term, due to his democratic qualities and performance in office, is unthinkable and unacceptable.
TRANSITION Edo people need, first and foremost, is heralding peaceful and conducive political climate ideal for serious political activities leading to September 19, governorship elections in Edo State. Certainly, not extension of Oshiomhole’s godfatherism, by Tinubu’s acclaimed political “emperorship and dynasty”, with which he held Lagos State political climate hostage.
Edo people are politically vast, conscious with integrity – will not succumb to Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Bullion Van politics and his compromised followership. Induced Edo people, they not compromise. They will not yield to selling their political right to pick a governor that is suited to govern them and attend to their needs. The transition Edo people need is that which earn a place of respect and a place in history.