Felix Oni invited me to the launch of Oshiomhole’s fundraiser for the launch of his campaign at the civic center in Lagos, the exact date, I can’t be too sure. His Deputy Governor for the eight years he was governor, Pius Odubu was there, Osarodion Ogie was there, Philip Shuaibu was there. I had no idea who Governor Obaseki was then, but from the information I gathered, he was the main architect of that meeting. Edo Professionals in Lagos for Oshiomhole was the theme of that meeting.
When the PDP held sway in our dear state, it was not logical to support Oshiomhole or his cause, we were part of the people who were committed to his ideals and principles.
Felix Oni wrote a cheque of N100,000 or N50,000, I can’t be sure of the exact amount and he, Felix Oni, made sure I was financially committed to the cause of my kinsman. Read my lips, a Benin man sold my kinsman to me.
Most of the people shouting Oshiomhole this and that today were not committed to him and a lot of them were in the PDP and even most traditional rulers in Edo North, apart from the Otaru of Auchi, were afraid of being associated with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. We were committed to his person and his ideals for our dear state.
It is on record that a particular traditional ruler in Edo North called Comrade Oshiomhole a trouble maker, while another prominent traditional ruler avoided his visit. Another prominent traditional ruler alluded that people of Comrade Oshiomhole’s stature are trouble makers. These are well known facts.
For Governor Oshiomhole’s re-election, the same event held at the restaurant at the naval dockyard in Victoria Island and all the ACN governors were present along with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Governor Fashola then was the ACN Governors’ class captain. Like it is generally alluded, success they say begets many relations and this second event was well attended. We the initial believers too attended because we were happy with the trajectory of our dear state under the stewardship of the Comrade Governor.
Every throne has its servants and in the first meeting there was no throne and as such, no servants of the throne but in the second meeting, success is a magnet for all and sundry, even the non-believers in the person and the ideals of Oshiomhole were well represented. Governor Obaseki was a believer, he believed in Oshiomhole when there was no THRONE.
The Bini’s were committed to the warrior from the Kukuruku hills and they gave their all to his governorship project. I am within my rights to pen this piece because negating history means we stand the risk of making the mistakes of the past. Mind you, General Charles Airhiavbere, as the governorship candidate of the opposition party in the second election is a Benin man, his father was a titled man in Benin even at that, the Benin political and traditional institution backed our son, Comrade Oshiomhole, against their own son. Let’s be mindful of history so we do not make the mistakes of the past.
While we pander and flounder, the forces that held and strangulated our state for 9 years and 7 months are strategizing. We have built a workable house, it is our prerogative whether we want to reinforce it or totally destroy it.
There are issues in my dear state quite alright but finding a workable solution is what will augur well for all of us. Both factions to this imbroglio have laudable points but must we cut off the nose to spite the face? No. We must sit down very quickly to find solutions to the issues that confront us.
To Comrade Oshiomhole, please do not bring down the house you built, be the peace maker, otherwise, we face an uncertain future. Power is transient, the cooperation of all is what we need now to cross this precarious bridge. What will hold and speak for you as a leader is the ability to navigate this treacherous times. Your laudable legacy stands the risk of being pinned on just this one unfortunate scenario.
Dear Governor Obaseki, it is on record that Comrade Oshiomhole campaigned vigorously for you, he smoothened the pathway for you, he sold you to the electorates even at the risk of great disaffection amongst his most loyal followers. Anyone telling you to fight and fight is stoking disunity amongst our ranks and this unfortunate scenario, if not well managed, can lead to catastrophic conclusions and the state you love dearly will fall into the hands of reactionary forces. Listen to your conscience and call your benefactor, make peace and let’s move our dear state forward.
While we fidget, take sides and in most cases pander to pecuniary interest, our dear state burns. The forces of evil are holding nocturnal meetings on how they will regain control over our common wealth. We must avoid the mistakes of assuming that we can do it all alone and that the other parties do not matter, we need each other. The forces we are against, are moving with stealth and they are determined that this beautiful house of development and dividend of democratic governance is brought down.
We must be vigilant.
Long live Edo State.
Bawa Muhammed writes from Lagos. He is the CEO of Bawa Equipment Sales Nigeria Limited.
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Opinion contained in this article is strictly the writer’s and not ALEDEH’s.