Edo2020: The Misconception, Miscalculation, and Mirage- 2
In the previous article, I addressed the common rumour in the streets about the major contenders for the topmost office in the state. To be fair to the aspirants, it was christened ‘misconception’, as there is a probability that the masses are misinformed. The maturity with which the media handlers of these aspirants responded to the article is worthy of note, and I can only hope the sanity remains the same going forward.
Be that as it may, we have to keep the promise to give the reports from the street under the subheading; ‘miscalculation’.
This is politics and not mathematics, why are we talking about calculations? Aside from engineering, I suppose the field that uses the tools of permutation and combination the most, is political science. Politicians can make a concrete decision based on a mere probability that something might happen that would turn the odds in their favour. This is why the electorates are also very eager to assess and appraise political calculations, and gamble on the politicians whose interest directly affect them. Quickly, I will be zeroing in on the actions and inactions of the three main contenders with reasons the masses feel they miscalculated.
Starting with Engr Chris Ogiemwonyi, his taciturn and reserved nature seem to be his most prominent sin. In the build-up to the fracas within the All Progressive Congress in Edo state, when a coalition of aggrieved party chieftains came together under the umbrella of Edo People’s Movement (EPM), other contenders within the party took the opportunity to speak up, and as loudly as possible. Their voices were heard and they drew the line from the very beginning declaring the state governor an enemy! Perhaps due to his nature or because he is an elder, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi was not heard, neither was his position known to the public. This made him to be seen as ‘playing safe’, or just mere spineless. To the masses, it was a wrong calculation.
His second assumed miscalculation is his ‘political absence’ in the media despite the hullabaloo in the state. He is not seen in the press like his counterparts, and his foot soldiers online and on the ground seem to be non-existent. This has portrayed him as someone waiting for an endorsement from the powers that be, which the masses are not in support of, as the war against godfatherism is what they hope to defend.
How he can change this perception going forward is left to his image lauders.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on the other hand, is accused of having made the worst miscalculation following his decamping, sorry, returning to the APC at the ninth or eleventh hour? POI, as he is fondly called has been the face of the opposition in the state. With the death of the long-serving People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Chief Tony Anenih, the party which has become rudderless was being managed by POI with his political clout and mastery of the ‘street sense’ in people management. This has endeared him to everyone angry with the APC, and he has enjoyed such followership. But with his defection, the people now see him as a betrayal and self-serving politician.
Some also believe his decamping or ‘homecoming’, as he prefers to see it, was also not well thought out as he took side immediately with the former Governor of the state and the party National Chairman, Com. Adams Oshiomhole, instead of staying on the fence to broker peace between the warring parties. This has made him to be at the centre of attacks from the aggrieved PDP members, and also those loyal to governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration.
A few minorities canvassing in support of the ‘anti-godfatherism’ are also fingering him to have secured a deal with the national leader of the party, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu. And they are doing all they can to ensure the political businessman does not include Edo state in his political empire through POI.
The incumbent governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki on his part has been accused of making several miscalculations.
First was his decision to renege on the alleged agreement he had with person or group of persons who made him the governor.
Second, he is accused to have miscalculated in making his kitchen cabinet members, who are mainly strangers, to be seen instead of being felt. One would have expected that as an individual who prides himself a strategist, he would know better and keep his trusted allies behind the scene while they help him drive the state; rather he made it public thereby attracting tantrums from politicians who see them as usurpers, reaping where they have not sown.
It is also seen as a wrong calculation in the way and manner he handled his fracas with Tony Kabaka, when he issued a threat he was incapable of carrying out. After that, he overblew the decamping, sorry, homecoming, of POI, by going to the extreme in frustrating the event. The masses believe being street smart would have helped him swivel the situation to his favour by attending the event and mobilising his followers too. An oratory politician would have attended, being the Governor of the state and welcome him to the party, and use the opportunity to sell himself as an accommodating governor and a peace lover, who is not desperate to hold on to power. Even when he is lying, the masses will commend his courage and boldness to be there and stand unintimidated by anyone or group. It would have earned him a larger followership and acceptance instead of overheating the polity by threatening proprietors and landowners; the very people he had sworn to protect were now under security threats by the man assigned to protect them.
The Governor was also adjudged to have miscalculated in allowing the chairman of the defunct Akugbe ventures, Tony Kabaka to have continued when he was sworn in as Governor; as it has become a tradition of survival for incumbent governors to either disband NURTW and the ‘Agbero’ state leader or ensure they owe their allegiance to him. Political history is filled with reports of how governors who failed to secure the loyalty and the control of those two entities have ended up losing their second term, or their political relevance in the state after they leave office. Oyo, Lagos, Ekiti, Plateau, Benue, Kwara, and Rivers amongst others, are case studies.
But then, successful people define what is right or wrong. Afterall, the end justifies the means, they say.
Should any of these three emerge as the next Governor of the state, I am sure their actions would not be seen as miscalculations anymore!
Until then, the jury is still out!
I am still by the sidelines, observing and compiling opinions.
Watches from Benin City.
WeThePeople #FreedomOfExpression #GGObaseki #POI #APC #PDP #EngrChris #SocialObserver #PoliticalPundit
IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.