Tinubu’s Last-minute Video, Wike’s Sagacity and Other Reasons Obaseki Won Ize-Iyamu

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Tinubu’s Last-minute Video, Wike’s Sagacity and Other Reasons Obaseki Won Ize-Iyamu
Chinedu Ibeakanma
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When Governor Godwin Obaseki decamped from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on June 19, 2020, many political analysts cheered him for resisting the attempt by his former party to frustrate his political ambition. It was a tough call for him having gone through the hassles of the then prearranged screening exercise that saw him lose to his opponent in the just concluded election, Osagie Ize Iyamu.

Governor Obaseki had raised an alarm prior to the screening that there were attempts by the hierarchy of the APC to disqualify him from the primaries to favor a candidate handpicked by the then national chairman of the APC. Although there were efforts to resolve the crisis between Governor Obaseki and Comrade Adams Oshiomole, both men decided against sheathing their swords even with the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari.

It was after the disqualification from the primaries that Obaseki decided to take the bull by the horn, a decision most of his allies did not accept because of their affiliation with the party’s national chairman. Obaseki was relentless in his drive and proceeded to meet key party stalwarts of the PDP in South-South.

First, he consulted with his colleague and friend, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state and moved on to meet the Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike. It was at this point that he was seen from a different light by most political watchers who have observed the dynamics of Nigerian politics and the outcome of breaking away from perceived godfathers.

There were political permutations and counter permutations which seemed like the Governor’s chances were bleak. His cabinet was inundated by resignation letters. For every week came a resignation letters and at some point, his close aides seemed to be sabotaging his efforts. It seemed like he was getting drowned in the ocean of his political career. In the coming days, we will find out if this was purely a strategy to infiltrate the enemy’s camp or just one of the political suicides most political bandwagoners.

Governor Obaseki’s resilience overlooked some of the media condemnations that trailed his political ambition with many recounting how many political bigwigs Oshiomole had conquered in the past. Oshiomole is renowned to have fought off the dominance of Edo politics by Anthony anenih, and the Esama of Benin, Gabriel Igbinedion.

Whilst all these played out, he maintained focus and followed the plans he hatched with allies in his new party. As his boat swung, the waves were nudging it to its destination.

On different campaign tours, he met a handful of people but he remained steadfast. The vision was clear, the motive was clearer. However, one thing was the driving force and that was the love of the people. As much as the APC with the use of all the machineries within their disposal condemned Obaseki, he resorted to issue-based campaigns rather than to malign his opponents.

It will be ennui, hackneyed and jejune to fail to acknowledge the number of times Governor Obaseki’s fate was sealed like the former Governor of Lagos state, Akinwumi Ambode who faced the same troubles with the APC prior to the party gubernatorial primaries.

In the buildup to the election, the lines started falling in pleasant places for Obaseki. Those who set out to condemn him ended up making him the people’s choice. It was like a flicking candle asking a burning bush to produce more heat. They set out to condemn him but they ended up promoting him and with the empathy that followed his political predicament, victory was only a matter of time.

 

Tinubu’s Video

One of the wrong steps taken afar by the APC was releasing a video of the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu asking the people of Edo state to vote out their Governor whom most had developed a strong liking for. To most people, he is a technocrat fighting off the web of godfatherism in the state.

That video by Tinubu triggered anger across the state with many accusing him of meddling with the affairs of the state. Immediately the video went viral, “Edo No Be Lagos” started trending on social media with many vowing to walk their talk by monitoring their votes.

They accused Tinubu of destroying the political career of Akinwumi Ambode and plotting to do so in Edo state. The video appeared to have done more harm than good to the course of the APC in the gubernatorial elections.

 

Wike’s Sagacity

The role of the Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike in standing behind his colleague and the party’s candidate cannot be overlooked in writing Obaseki’s victory story. Despite Police intimidation and siege on his hotel earlier on the election day, he still marinated his way through the scheme to ensure that his party recorded victory.

The presence of the Governor who is renowned for his zero tolerance for intimidation served as motivation for PDP foot soldiers to deliver on their assignment to ensure a smooth transition into a second tenure for Governor Obaseki.

 

APC Division

Although many APC members did not decamp with Governor Obaseki, they worked for his reelection from their camp. Notable among APC members who supported the Governor’s second term ambition is Ojezua, the former chairman of Edo APC.

It was learnt that the decision to give Ize-Iyamu the party’s ticket did not sit well with some of the party’s leaders at the state level hence their decision to work for the Governor’s reelection.

This post was written by Chinedu Ibeakanma.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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