By Solomon Ibharuneafe
Senator Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, who represents Edo North in the National Assembly, is not new to politics of marginalization. In short, his second name is marginalization. During his reign as defector governor in the state between 2007 and 2015, the Esan people of Edo Central Senatorial district with five large local governments was openly marginalized by the Oshiomhole-led government.
For instance, out of 39 strategic positions he churned out, only one was good enough for Esan man (chairman Edo post primary Education Board). Out of 14 special advisers only two for Esan, of the 111 Executive Directors, only 15 for the Esan Race, and of the 205 senior special assistants, only five were allocated to Esan, while out of 35 permanent secretaries in his government only four were given to Esan.
He did not stop there, he abused the tripod zoning system that gives room for the governor to come from Edo North, Deputy from Edo South and Speaker from Edo Central. But instead of the arrangement, Oshiomhole allocated the speakership meant for Esan to his tribe, thus abusing the tripod arrangement of those critical positions.
He starved Ambrose Alli University, AAU, Ekpoma of funds, which led to increase in school fees and later culminated or even led to the increase in yahoo yahoo business (cybercrime). While he was killing AAU, the controversial Iyamho University he built was given a boost. He flooded the university with first class infrastructure, high salary for lecturers’ poached from AAU and other private and public institutions in the state.
Oshiomhole insulted, vilified and derided political leaders in Edo Central. In order to add salt to injury, he allegedly dethroned Anglem Aidejoke, the Onojie of Uromi, who is the traditional ruler of Uromi, the hometown of the then octogenarian politician, the Adolor of Uromi, Tony Anenih. It has never happened in the history of Edo State where an Onojie, who comes to power through the instrumentality of the “gods” and tradition to be dethroned by an elected governor. It was meant to further insult the sensibility of the late chief Tony Anenih who ironically was instrumental to his emergence as governor in the state.
He (Anenih) sacrificed his own brother, Professor Oseiremhen Osunbor on the altar of pride, selfishness, and personal aggrandizement.
However, the 10th Anniversary of the Catholic Diocese of Uromi in April 2016 would have been a day of atonement for the former governor. He ceased the opportunity offered by the occasion to apologize to Anenih for all his wrong doings to him. Oshiomhole used the auspicious occasion to confess and apologize before the bishop, Donatus Ogun, other Bishops, the clergy and the numerous congregation bore witness. The soft spoken Anenin then said Adams, before you became a governor you were my son. As a governor, you are still my son. I have forgiven you, but stop saying all those things you are saying about me. You know they are not true.
But as soon as Oshiomhole jetted out of the church, he opened his mouth again to be castigating the same man he paid glowing tribute to, a few minutes ago. What a sad experience from a prodigal governor.
There is a saying in Esan Land that the cane you used in beating a poor man if not thrown away will be used in whipping the rich man. Right now, Adam Oshiomhole having dealt with the Esan people, and nobody cautioned him, has now visited his own people with the measure he dealt with the Esan people, who were supposed to be his in laws because his late wife was from Ewohimi, Esan South East. In a press release recently, a splinter group of the APC, Alliance network for democracy lambasted Oshiomhole over his plot to hijack Edo ministerial slot.
Elizabeth Suleiman, the national publicity Secretary of the group, accused the former governor of being inconsiderate and insensitive to the political freedom, balancing and determination as encapsulated by the spirit of Emilokan, which President Tinubu invoked to win the election despite all odds. “We believe it is morally bankrupt and ethically unjustifiable for Oshiomhole to influence the states ministerial slot for his personal assistant, having succeeded in turning, virtually all federal appointments to the state into a family affair,” Suleiman said.
It must be noted that Oshimhole is a current serving senator, his son Cyril Oshiomhole, is a special adviser to the managing director of the NDDC on health, while his younger brother said Oshiomhole is a special assistant to the NDDC commissioner representing Edo state in the commission. The Nigerian Ambassador to Mozambique, Iyamah is from Iyamoh, Stanley Dako from Iyamoh is the Head of Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, Austin Braimoh from Iyamoh is of the Police Service Commission, Lukman Mohammed from Iyamoh is a member of the EFCC Board.
The deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu, is from Oshiomhole’s village, Saliu Ahmed from Iyamoh is a member of Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority.
According to Elizabeth Suleiman, all the aforementioned people are from one nuclear family, which does not represent the federal character structure of the federal government of Nigeria. Where is federal character, where is justice, where is equity, where is fairness and above all, where is the spirit of Emilokan. These are the questions agitating the minds of the people in the Edo North where Oshiomhole hails from.
And from Edo Central, Oshiomhole’s body language has started sending quivers to the people, especially the governorship aspirants. Recently the Enjies in Esan Land went to visit their counterparts in Edo North to solicit their support for an Esan governor in 2024 having supported Edo North for 8 years and Edo South for almost 16 years now. The response the Royal Highnesses got from Edo North was that their own son, Philip Shuaibu, the deputy governor was in the race and that they would also visit Esan Land soonest to solicit for their support for their son.
How devilish can that be? Do they know the workings of government if not that they have been briefed by the war-lord, Adams Oshiomhole, who does not care about anybody or group, but himself? He can sell anybody to purchase what he wants. As he was leaving office in 2015, he dammed all consequences at the primaries of the APC and made Godwin Obaseki the anointed candidate of the APC. Some members out of anger left the party.
He cared less because he had a goal to install an anointed governor. Obaseki was never allowed to talk at rallies. It was Oshiomhole all the way. He won the election against the wishes of the Edo people. Oshiomhole branded Pastor Ize- Iyamu in borrowed robes – a never do well. Edo people voted overwhelmingly for Ize-Iyamu, but the result of that election is now history today. In 2019, Obaseki, the anointed candidate of Oshiomhole fell out with his boss, Oshiomhole. Ize-Iyamu left the sheep, PDP, and crossed over to the APC to join hands with the same Oshiomhole, who vilified and derided him. A lot of us were disappointed. Is that how they play politics? Obaseki decamped to PDP and got the PDP ticket to contest as governor. The campaign was easy.
Oshiomhole had earlier demarketed Ize-Iyamu by calling him unprintable names. So it was easy for PDP to just post those statements used by Oshiomhole to run Ize – Iyamu down in favour of Obaseki that was a gain for Obaseki and he won. Even with Oshiomhole kneeling down everywhere he went that he made a mistake for bringing Obaseki to Edo people, his pleas fell on deaf ears. You cannot probate and reprobate at the same time. Obaseki would not have smelt Osadebey Avenue for a second time if not for Oshiomhole’s greed, selfishness, and self-aggrandizement.
Now he used all the resources at his disposal to win the senatorial seat in his constituency because of the unending crisis in the PDP, especially in the state. The crisis gave protest votes for the APC by the PDP themselves, so no PDP member can cry of manipulation. They sold their birthright like Esau in the Bible. The cry of the splinter group of the APC right now must not be swept under the carpet.
Oshiomhole must be cut to size. We have had senators in the past. Their duties include making good laws for the governance of the state and the nation and influencing developmental projects (if you can) to your constituency. Oshiomhole should face his constitutional responsibilities and leave politics for politicians. Edo must move forward.
We are tired of bickering, bitterness, marginalization, which are the golden tools of Oshiomhole. The time to act is now. Oshiomhole must be retired from active politics just as he retired a lot of old politicians in the state. His cup is full. Edo people are saying “No to Marginalization.”
…Solomon Ibharuneafe is a Media/Public Relation Practitioner based In Lagos.