By DAN Osa-Ogbegie
I heard about Godwin Obaseki around 2013 as the unseen powerful force behind the Government of Adams Oshiomhole. He was the man that always sat by Oshiomhole during Edo State Exco meetings, according to the person who alerted me about him.
I was told that Obaseki would succeed Oshiomhole as Governor. I did not believe because I didn’t see how that was possible. A man who was not known beyond the circles of Edo State Govermnent and had never voted in Edo State would hardly be considered by the highly sophisticated and proud Edo people; but I was wrong.
The way Adams Oshiomhole went completely berserk in installing Godwin Obaseki as Governor, against more politically grounded and solid aspirants like Pius Odubu, Osarodion Ogie, Chris Ogiemwonyi, ,Kenneth Imasuagbon etc, who were then in APC, and the way he mobilised all forces he could muster to ensure Obaseki won the general election against the man considered as the biggest political machine in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who had spent the greater part of his life, right from his secondary school at Edo college,through the University of Benin,building a massive political network and structure, would best be described as a man under a blinding spell. It is this spell that is the subject of this piece and how Godwin Obaseki has unraveled in my eyes.
I have a certain interest in circus and the various associated shenanigans of the various characters. It mirrors society and everyday activities: in politics, business and other social endeavours. So, as a child growing up in Benin City in the early to mid-80s, I also followed Mr. Moon’s magic circus on NTA Benin and it made me realise very early in life that things are not always the way they seem. Behind the veil, lie the answers. That we must look beyond the grotesque figures shown to us.
So how did the street-wise Adams Oshiomhole allow himself to be so captured by the circus character ? He,like most people in the circus, got enamoured by the shenanigans of the circus. He was guilty of watching the man instead of the ball, like some defenders in football matches, do. It is not just Oshiomhole. I can mention at least three Obasekis, a foremost “investment Banker” now in EFCC wahala, a former Chief of staff to an Edo Governor now a senior member of Obaseki Govermnent, the present Deputy Governor, many elements in Abuja, etc.
My experience with Mr. Moon’s magic circus prepared me early to smell the putrid odour of same from far and it was in the air during the 2016 electioneering activities. I actually felt sorry for those who were hypnotised by the circus King then as I feel for the new entrants now. Stop player watching!!! Watch the game!
Many did not know that Obaseki commissioned some persons to work out a template for his reelection just after the supreme court decision in 2017. All you saw in 2019 and 2020 were products of the recommendations of that 2017 committee of very few persons. All the vituperations of Obaseki, name calling, and finger pointing, “I can not be Governor without being Governor’, “I will deal with oshiomhole”, ‘I will not share Edo money to politicians” etc were from the recommendations by the committee.
Godwin Obaseki latest transition to an activist Governor, who now lectures the federal government on fiscal policies, calling himself an economist and investment Banker, which is apparently not true, is a continuation of his well-ingrained circus character of winning by deception. How does a man transition from eulogising President Buhari, like his father, who he learns from, just over five months ago, to questioning buhari’s competence as a leader? Obaseki earlier accused the federal Govermnent of ordering the Central Bank Governor to print money as Idi Amin did in Uganda. This has been established as a lie. Now he has said the federal government must diversify when himself has not diversified in Edo State and his so-called development strides are only on paper, as nothing is working. All the projects Adams Oshiomhole put in place have been allowed to rot away. His roads are substandard and fail after less than to months. His promised gelegele seaport is still a proposal, almost five years later. We must as I have advised earlier, look beyond the costumes. We must look at his history of turning against his benefactors, to understand why he is doing what he is doing now.
Daniel A. Noah Osa-Ogbegie writes from Etete New G.R.A, Benin City.
20th April, 2021.
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