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EDO ELECTION; BETWEEN THE POWER-THAT-BE AND THE GRACE-THAT-SPEAKS—By YSO
Resorting to the popular Spiritual affirmation of “Not by Power, nor by might but by the Spirit, says the Lord” would probably be the proper niche to describe the folded events that surrounded the just Concluded Election in Edo State.
Beyond ordinary Election, is the accentuation that the ‘Amen’ to every man’s intent, irregardless of the effort put together comes from God. Like the case of Edo, Divine’s Will always has its way to prove, and unceremoniously Confound all human machineries put together, and brought it to open contrition.
Against the unwarranted forces put together by the ‘Power-that-be’ and enormous predictions of total collapse of Edo Political Structure, lost of lives and properties by some unanointed and uncelebrated Prophets of doom, Divine’s Will upheld and protected the Political Will of Edo people.
In what is considered as the two-way horse battle between governor Obaseki and his supposed Political godfather was borne out of self driven quest for the test of Popularity, Influence and strength. Oshio-baba's Political record got a crack that would take a long years to get mended. Perhaps in another four years. His fate as a political figure is best captured in this few words "Legend has it that there once lived a powerful man who was so disturbed by a rat in his home. He burnt down his house in an attempt to kill this rat. The rat did not die; it jumped out of the inferno leaving the man without a home – he became homeless.’’ His hubris and lack of Political Will contributed to his downfall. After all said and done, the election came and gone. But the lessons drawn from it would ever remain fecund in the Political discourse of the Country. Most Importantly, as it relates with the over-estimated Political influence of some of the political gladiators. Their Cheap Political popularity have worn them a garment of Pride and arrogance so much that they think the Will of the people be subverted in their favour. What an insufferable ignorance! They think they can manipulate the people's thought at will. Who Would has thought that the one time "Political lion" would as a result of his unwitting calculation prowled in vain against who he thought was his "Political Lizard". It was indeed an execrable fall from Grace that can tell one a lesson. A shift from "Current affairs" to "Past affairs". From the "Osho-baba" to "Osho-Pikin" that would probably have to be enrolled in the School of Politricks, co-founded and co-facilitated by Wike, Seyi Makinde and the like. In like manner, Mr Eze-Iyamu should learn to accept defeat and put a call through to congratulate the governor in the Spirit of brotherhood and for posterity's sake. In Contrrawise, his government would have been totally Influence of the 'Power-that-be. It would have been from one charter of demand to the other. And for Obaseki, Political exile would have been an inescapable buck after expiration of his tenure. The godfather would have definitely become the roaring Lion in the sacred groove of Edo which no man can tamed. But who will, like a child taken to reconcile with his parents, take Oshiomole, a perfect emblem of Pride to appease the will of the people for his inelegant diversionary tactic purported at cornering the State's funds into his private purse? A man like gold once pure has become a worthless Political slag wanted not in the 'City" and also rejected at "home".
Critical to this development is the statement made by Mr. Bola Tinubu a few days before the election. The statement was the straw in the wind. It caused an uproar and birthed the popular mantra “EdoNobeLagos” and put craters on Eze-Iyamu’s ambitions.
No doubt, godfatherism is an household name in Nigerian’s Politics. It is a modern form of corruption where in an influential Political figure handpick, often less influential, possessed to attain a leadership position in other to influence to exert authority and control over. In this system, the feuds are seen as Lord’s while the predecessors or opportunists (as the case maybe) as Serfs. Just like everybody would agree, the vote in Edo is a vote against godfatherism. A vote as the feuds. More than that, a vote that announced the discontinuation of Political Godfathers in the Edo. Unlike Lagos, Edo has ensured that the age-longed practice of godfatherism doesn’t extend it’s sovereignty to the Edo Politics.
The Virtue of Loyalty
Another undoubtable lesson one can learn from the whole Edo Election is the virtue of Loyalty. Nothing more profitable thing for a leader than to enjoy the loyalty and trust of his followers. This will strengthen the cord of unity and make both the followers and the leader have a sense of Purpose. Philip Shuaibu stood solidly behind his boss through out the political struggle in the State. In fact, he was at the forefront of the battle for Political emancipation for the people of Edo State. This and many more made him win the love and trust of his boss. This man said he and Obaseki has suffered oppression their struggle for democracy. He was asked by a Press man few weeks prior to the election if what he would do if he eventually lose the Election and he replied that he would rather accept defeat than to betray his boss. What a Loyalty! Little wonder why Obaseki had to plead with the Leadership of PDP to see reasons with him why Shuaibu should be his Deputy. Ordinarily, the situation would have not been like that.
The Huge Difference.
Undoubtedly, the Visa ban of both the United States and the United Kingdom few days to the Election is the one of the major blockbusters that contributed to the free and fair election in the State. It was Indeed a timely intervention to save democracy in Nigeria from becoming a thing of the past. More so, the efforts of both the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Security Agencies made a huge difference that would forever be a point of reference in the Political history of the Country.
The Game of Interest.
One lesson to learn is that everybody Including politicians should learns that politics is quite a game. A power play between two people or groups of people with different Interests. In this game, as the famous black US Congressman, William Clay, once said, there are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests. Of course, this sounds weird but that is truth. Every politician is a product of Interest, maybe Individual’s Interest, then Party’s Interest. Unfortunately, People’s Interest takes the bottom line. Maybe that’s why the people has always been at the receiving end. Later in Life, Obaseki’s and Oshiomole’s Interest may align, which means they would both seat and sip from the same glass of wine and laugh at their Past. But before then, I admonished Obaseki to live to the expectation of the hope reposed on him through good governance that wouldn’t make Edo People to regret their Collective Political will.