Edo 2020: The Misconception, Miscalculation and Mirage!
Politics in Nigeria can be likened to a cult-like cartel of ‘privileged’ elites. It is like a house in the neighbourhood with very high walls making it difficult for other residents in the area to categorically say what is happening inside the compound. This, creates an awkward curiosity in the people who are always eager to find out what is going on in that compound with very high walls. To show their curiosity, you will see how they quickly want to take a glance of the compound each time the gates are flung open for a car to go out or come into the compound.
This clearly depicts the psychology of the masses with respect to politicians and the political class. Every opportunity to have a clue of what is going on in the political circle is always lapped-on by the masses. The result of this is the growing tendency for misconceptions, miscalculations, and in extreme cases, outright mirage by the ignorant masses.
As we gear towards another Governorship election in Edo state, all the outstanding contenders are in the same political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). The battle for some time now has consistently been around these personalities and I hope to address how they fare in the public eye in the three Ms’ mentioned in the title of this article.
As it stands, the incumbent Governor, Mr Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, the former minister for state and retiree from the oil and gas sector, Engr (Dr) Christopher Ogiemwonyi, and one of the longest-serving political appointee in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, among others, are the major aspirants seeking to occupy Osadebey avenue, come November 2020.
The misconception about these aspirants varies from person to person.
Mr Godwin Obaseki on his part is seen as an ingrate in some quarters. As a matter of fact, some categorically nicknamed him ‘Nogbomwanyese’ which literally means someone who pays good with evil. This image of him is being fueled by the political class, but again, political opinion around the world is shaped by politicians. The governor’s aides are trying hard to change the misconception, but the proponents of such opinion are not cutting him any slack either. The truth about the allegation is left for posterity to ascertain. Also of grave concern to the masses is the alleged use of strangers in the running of the day to day affairs of the state. This has in no little measure heightened the belief that the governor is an ‘ingrate’. The governor and his image handlers have not done enough to make the people believe that the best hands for the job were sought after, irrespective of their state of origin, or initial state of residence. There is also the belief that the Governor is petty and vindictive in his leadership of the state and his political party. This opinion has swayed many from the trust and goodwill they once accorded him.
The misconception on the part of Engr Chris Ogiemwonyi, is his quiet demeanour. He is seen as a weakling with no balls. This is worsened by the continuous patronage being enjoyed by thugs, gangsters and uncouth utterances enjoy in our politics. The masses see the gentlemanliness of this politician as weakness. In one of socialwatchdog.ng street survey, someone bluntly asked, which of the confraternity in the state does he have at his beck and call? Which of the state thug leaders, park touts are loyal to him? While I am not in support of violent elections, Engr Chris needs to work on the critical mass of voters that supports his style of politics for him to increase his chances. His ‘gentleman’ image is not helping his political brand. He is also reported to be tight-fisted. A political observer in a ‘beer parlour’ discussion once described him as a ‘one-man bureaucracy.’ This is to say for him to release funds, it will be easier for the National Assembly to approve a contract for you than for him to vet your request and grant approval. With the role money play in our politics, one begins to wonder if anyone can survive as a politician without being an unrepentantly ruthless giver.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is the man in the eye of the storm. He has suffered the highest misconception from the masses, perhaps due to his privileges as he had held several political offices in the state. First, he is seen as being desperate and over-ambitious.
Secondly, he is rumoured to be very corrupt and greedy. Thirdly, he is believed to be the brain behind the failed leadership the state suffered under his former boss, Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion. It is said that: his propensity for embezzlement made him the cheerleader in the eight inglorious years when he and his boss where the alpha and omega of the state.
And lastly, his sustained allegiance to the house of the Igbinedions has not gone well with many Edolites who sees the Igbinedions as the cause of the many woes plaguing the state.
The handlers of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu public image are all out and doing their best in laundering the image of their principal, but the time looks too short to be able to sway voters. Again, what do they say in politics? A day is quite a long time! So many things can still happen.
With due respect to other aspirants seeking the number one office in the state, you will be considered in our subsequent update, where we shall be discussing the Miscalculation and Mirage in the next bulletin.
On behalf of Social Watchdog Nigeria, I wish you a happy and entertaining political year!
We keep watching from the sidelines!
NB: These are not the opinions of the writer, but that of various sections of the masses. And as rightly put, it can be a ‘Misconception’ or mere rumour.
Social Watch, observes from Benin City.
WeThePeople #PoliticalPundit #Democracy #FreedomOfExpression
Politics #Obaseki #POI #EngrChris #APC
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.