In popular Nigerian parlance, when a husband considers his wife a nuisance that should be sent packing he simply tells her, “pack your load and go”. A woman who cherishes honour and dignity would not wait to be dragged out. She packs her belongings and leaves. The forces that contracted and conscripted Come-raid Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole to become the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got fed up with him too soon and they are telling him, “Oshiomhole, pack your load and go”. But will Oshiomhole act like the woman with honour and dignity and take his leave by resigning or will he wait to be dragged out by way of removal? The tailor turned activist, later governor and now the chairman of Nigeria’s most fractured political party ever should “pack his load and go” before he is disgraced out of office.
When Oshiomhole was touted as incoming APC chairman, many of us knew that it would soon be apocalypse for the party. True to type, Oshiomhole resumed office smoking and exploding like a made in Iyamho bomb. He chose sabre-rattling at a time when the party needed reconciliation and healing. He mistook Nigeria for Edo State where he capitalised on demagoguery to fool the populace for years. When the party needed consensus he sowed crisis. He supplanted tranquility with intrigues. In the place of harmony, he took to haranguing and the come-raid came full cycle from tailor to tyrant.
He is now raising alarm that there were plots to remove him. Poor Oshiomhole; those who clothed him in borrowed robes would not even allow him to test the efficacy of his boast that APC would take over Delta State in 2019. Delta’s Governor Okowa must be chuckling and smiling. If those who made Oshiomhole party chairman had the least iota of patriotism they ought to know that a lumpen, no matter how he pretends, should not come near the chairmanship of a political party. Political parties drive democracy and by implication the government. Therefore, only men and women with the highest ideals should be encouraged to man party offices. A stable political entity must of necessity derive from a stable political party where the best norms of democracy are observed. A party that foisted an agbero on itself as chairman will be run like a motor park where unruliness is always the order of the day.
Oshiomhole’s cauldron of sins is boiling over. The many crises bedeviling the APC in nearly all the states of the federation bear his imprimatur. He ambled between the options of direct and indirect primaries to select those who would fly the party’s colours in the 2019 elections. He locked horns with the APC governors who eventually had their way and thumbed their noses at him. However, the ruckus generated by his devious handling of the primaries is still haunting many of the states.
Prime examples are Delta, Rivers, Zamfara, among others states where the courts and in some cases the Independent National Electoral Commission have issued red cards. The case of Delta unfolded like an absurdist play only a genius brighter than Beckett could have scripted. One of the APC governorship aspirants in the state, Professor Patrick Utomi, recounted a shocking experience of how he was informed that the primary election had been concluded with result announced when he was still trying to locate the venue of the election! The magic yarn did not end there. Another faction of the party woke up the next day to declare Utomi the winner of the APC governorship ticket! Poor Utomi, instead of running with the ticket to Ubulu-Uku with sirens heralding him as “His Excellency to be”, he quickly dismissed the claim and ran back to Lagos. APC, who na no go kill us with laugh.
Oshiomhole, ever so deficient in tactics, does not know how to choose his battles, when to fight and when to retreat. That is why he has fought battles, with Ngige, Saraki, Dogara and many others, which he lost. Only a few days ago, there were trending reports that Aisha Buhari, the president’s wife, has instructed guards not to ever let Oshiomhole into Aso Rock. Double wahala for dead body! President Buhari has also directed him to go and clear the mess in the APC. It was thus a subdued Oshiomhole that spoke like an intimidated puppy about the state of the APC some days ago.
Back home in Edo State, he is struggling to ensure that Governor Godwin Obaseki remains tied to his apron string. But Oshiomhole is a poor student of history or he would have been abreast with the role of Agho Obaseki, the governor’s grandfather, in the history of Benin. It is becoming clear that Godwin Obaseki will not wait to be given the Ambode treatment as he is bent on demoting Oshiomhole from being Jagaban of Edo State to being Jagaban of Iyamho. Then it will be time for Oshiomhole to play the Nicodemus, come to Governor Okowa in the night, and beg to be admitted into the Peoples Democratic Party.
By Sunny Awhefeada