Oshiomole and Obaseki: The Apprentice Graduates

Nigeria’s governors, dazed from 8 years of addiction to easy cash don’t recover when they leave office.  Some seek rehabilitation at the Nigerian Senate or try to install lackeys as successors in order to govern by remote. Going to the Senate would require some education so some seek the latter option. 
Nigerians say that Bola Tinubu, governor of Lagos from 1999-2007,  is still the really ruler of the state.  His success has inspired more governors.  
Adams Oshiomole, former governor of Edo State and current chairman of Nigeria’s APC isn’t able to go to the Senate but that hasn’t stopped him from influencing who gets what and who doesn’t.  But it looks like Mr Oshiomole might have overreached himself. It goes thusly: Bola Tinubu abbreviated the career of Akinwunmi Ambode because the then governor was not playing by the rules or a lack of rules.  Mr Tinubu has been able to install another lackey and this seems to have given Oshiomole a brainwave: Stop Godwin Obaseki, current governor, and install another lackey. 
Nigerians even have a name for it :”The Ambode Treatment “. For Mr Oshiomole,the trick looks like it will flounder. 
Factor a) Advance Notice. 
Godwin Obaseki knew a long time that Mr Oshiomole might seek to stop him especially after he became chairman of APC. And so, the governor began to gird his loins and geared up for an onslaught he was sure to come. In Nigeria, deputy governors are essentially useless but when they have the backing of a godfather, they draw some drops of water.  Philip Shuaibu, deputy governor of the state was pulled out of the house of representatives to be Mr Obaseki’s running mate. Designed by Mr Oshiomole.  Power is very intoxicating ,more so when you mix it with cash.  Mr Obaseki, a very educated man,as reports say, knows this.  He gave his deputy a lot of leeway, elevated him in short ,made him powerful. The trouble with that is that Mr Shuaibu is from Mr Oshiomole’s district and as he has tasted power,  loyalty is at stake. 
Factor B) The Samuel Ortom formula. 
Last year, Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, moved over to the PDP and Oshiomole told him his career was over. On March 11 this year ,Mr Ortom was re-elected and has been able to tell the APC to take a work. Images and reports abound about Mr Obaseki’s meetings and liaisons with the PDP. The theory is that if things get too messy for the governor, like Mr Ortom,  he moves over to the PDP.  Oshiomole has reasons to fear this.
Obaseki is from Edo South and the central is not exactly happy with Mr Oshiomole. A simple maths will show that Oshiomole’s candidate can’t win. He lost in 2015 and 2019 to the PDP. In fact, Mr Oshiomole has only won an election once: during his second term. Emboldened by these scenarios, Mr Obaseki convocated the local house of assembly last week in Benin with only 8 members. About 14 were locked out. And Mr Oshiomole is climbing walls over this.  What’s more, his brother was beaten up by ” armed thugs”. 
Sunday, embattled, Mr Oshiomole gave an interview in which he said that his enemies should ” show proof of Godfatherism” . The man seen to contradict himself.  If  he wasn’t interested in remote government of the state, some wondered, why would he bother about how the state assembly elects its leaders? 
Reports in the social media, Sunday, say that the National University Commission, NUC, has revoked the licence of a university in Mr Oshiomole’s village.  The school is shrouded in mystery: Built with state funds, and on paper owned by the government, the school operates like a private university with abysmally prohibitive fees for a state college.  Some say Mr Obaseki has everything to do with the NUC’s decision. 
Lastly, as the war between a former master and a free man rages, as Obaseki asserts himself, a trick that Oshiomole introduced to Edo Politics is set to backfire on the former governor. By this,  I mean that the governor would want to know those who are for him and those who are not while the battle is still on. Not after. And that means that a lot of posh jobs are at stake.  People are afraid of the unknown and they want to keep their jobs. Therefore, Mr Oshiomole might just find himself standing alone.Add to that, is that the chairman faces battles on all fronts.  The home front might just consume him. 
By the way,  a rat won’t tell a cat to go to Hell unless there is a lion in its back. Mr Obaseki wouldn’t have inaugurated the state house assembly without Oshiomole’s endorsement if he was not sure that he no longer needs the former governor. 

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