Tinubu Spoilt The Game
Few days before the commencement of the Edo Governorship election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had gone on live TV to denounce Godwin Obaseki and also urged Edo people not to vote him again as governor for a second term.
The poise, utterances, and claims of Tinubu was that of a political godfather making decree for his minions to follow, but Obaseki’s victory has just proven a previous vain slogan as fact: Edo is not Lagos as people say (Edo No Be Lagos), Tinubu has no power there!
Godwin Obaseki of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) defeated Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressive Congress(APC) polling 307,955 of total votes as against Ize-Iyamu’s 223,619 votes.
Obaseki was endorsed by Edo people against the titanic coalition behind Ize-Iyamu, the federal might of the APC and the godfatherism flair of Adam Oshiomhole and Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Tinubu attained his political might after a staunch face-off then with the strongest man in Yoruba politics, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who was the President of Nigeria between 1999 to 2007.
Obasanjo had introduced the politics of “do or die” in the southwest region where he came from to make the region a PDP stronghold, Obasanjo was a PDP member. Lagos, where Tinubu was the governor, was the only state that survived PDP in 2003. That was the beginning of Tinubu’s political might.
Congratulations to Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Philip Shuaibu
But it was his subsequent clash with Obasanjo between 2003 and 2007 that made him Tinubu a political heavyweight. When Obasanjo was President, if he set his eyes on you it is over for you, those who survived him became stronger and powerful politicians to reckon with, Atiku and Tinubu for example.
By the time he left government in 2007, Tinubu was able to extend his power over most of South West, as his former aides in Lagos returned to their home states to become governors. That was the beginning of his political godfatherism. But Lagos remained his exclusive domain where things happen as he wills it.
The Asiwaju’s reputation heightened the more when he led the coalition that birth the APC and the subsequent defeat of the almighty PDP at the poll in 2015. Tinubu was transformed from a regional godfather to a national one, and that makes him feel more invisible after been accustom to victories.
Hence, his sense of influence over Edo state. It was such self-hype that made him days prior to the elections to go on air and denounced Obaseki and telling the people of Edo state to reject him at the polls. Not because Obaseki was incompetent, he never refer to that in his speech, but because the governor wasn’t loyal, in the words of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Obaseki refused to wet their beaks!
It was because of Tinibu’s interest in Edo election, his egoistic sense of influence in Edo state and his speech that Edo people decided to remind him that Edo state isn’t Lagos, his personal fiefdom where he things go as he wishes.
The elections suddenly turn into an affair to demonstrate to Tinubu that he might be a powerful politician but Edo state is not his sphere of influence. It was not only about Obaseki defeating Oshiomhole (Ize-Iyamu is just a poster child!) but about Edo state saying No to Tinubu. Obaseki’s victory is Edo reply to Tinubu.
Congratulations Godwin Obaseki for your reelection, this victory is ego-boosting you must be careful. It is such victories that made the likes of Oshiomhole and Tinubu, be humble else you will be at risk of becoming like them.
You are smart to know that godfatherism is not a tradition in Edo state politics, it has been a site where decided godfathers have met their ends, see Adigie Oyegun, Oshiomhole, and Tinibu. Indeed, Edo state is not Lagos.