The undying rift between His Excellency Godwin Obaseki and Comrade Adam Oshiomole, both major decision-makers of the All Progressive Congress(APC) unravelled itself yet again when the governor declared his intention in dealing with his predecessor and former ally, Comrade Oshiomole.
While the former, Obaseki is the governor of Edo State, Adam Oshiomole is the National Chairman of the APC. Governor Obaseki stated in a meeting with the local government chairmen in the state that Oshiomole is vehemently violating the proscription of political rallies in the state and as such he would make Oshiomhole understand that he (Obaseki) is the governor of the state.
The governor who regretted why the party in the state elevated him to such position vowed to deal with him the way, according to him “we know how best to”.
Comrade Oshiomole is believed to had been the supporting force behind the emergence of Gowin Obaseki as governor. However, the governor has described him in rude terms since the former’s declaration that he would likely not be considered as the party’s flag-bearer in the coming election in the state this year.
The Obaseki – Oshiomole saga in a few words
Adams Oshiomole is considered as one of the founding stone of the All Progressive Congress in Edo State. He ended the rule of the People’s Democratic Party in the state far back in 2008, howbeit in a sophisticated way.
Flagging the then Action Congress, former labour leader, Oshiomole was declared the winner of the April 2008 gubernatorial election in the state by the Appeal court seated in Benin after a lengthy legal tussle with PDP’s Tony Anenih.
Through his development strides and oratorical prowess, he was able to attract acolytes to himself, thereby making his re-election pursuit in 2012 an easy ride.
He convincingly won the 2012 polls securing victories in all the18 Local Government Areas of the state – a feat even the PDP couldn’t produce when in power. During his two-term reign as governor, Oshiomole entertained his loyalists at the government house, further endearing him to many. Preceding the 2015 general election in the country, the Action Congress with some other political parties in the country merged with to form the All Progressive Congress, the first state under the party in the south-south region of the country.
A year ensuing the general election in 2015 which his party won, Oshiomhole after fulfilling the constitutionally-recognised two-term as governor anointed his successor in the person of Godwin Obaseki, who was then the chairman of the state Economic and Strategic Unit.
Backed by a political Colossus, Obaseki was able to slide through the primary unscathed. The PDP candidate in the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, however, brought his experience as a former stalwart of the ACN fiercely to bare and gave an Oshiomole’s bankrolled Obaseki a run for the money.
In the grim election that followed, Obaseki emerged governor, Oshiomhole’s political son, Philip Shaibu became his Deputy while Osarodion Ogie was made the Secretary to the State Government.
The drooping relationship between Obaseki and Oshiomole was rumoured but was however confirmed following their disagreement on the choice of candidates for the party in the recently conducted 2019 polls.
Obaseki was said to have aligned with his deputy and Secretary of State, alienating Oshiomhole in the decision of the party’s flagbearer in the election.
It was circulated then that as someone who fought the PDP fathers in the state, Oshiomhole knew those who could win elections in different sections of the state but Obaseki went ahead to chose his preferred candidates for the polls.
In the election, Obaseki lost his ward, Local Government and his South senatorial district to the PDP while Oshiomhole won his Edo North district for the APC in the Presidential and National Assembly seats.
Following the appalling performance of the APC at the polls, the relationship between the two leaders in Edo state went from bad to worst. Aside the National Chairman’s declaration that it would require a miracle for Obaseki to return for a second term, his overt welcoming of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to the party speaks grave consequences for the governor, some have argued.