Why Is Oshiomhole So Obsessed With Fayemi?

by Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

Former Edo State Governor who graduated to become the chairman of the country’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), ex-Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, always manufactures good copy for journalists.

The latest grandstanding release from the stable of Oshiomhole is that former Ekiti State Governor who doubled as the chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi, engineered his ignominious sacking as APC Chairman.

It’s akin to Oshiomhole accusing Fayemi of plotting a coup against him in a democracy, and some other co-plotters were duly named in the personages of former Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun and former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha.

The troika of alleged democratic coup-plotters are of course well-endowed enough to defend themselves with Amosun firing the first shot by dismissing Oshiomhole as the biggest disruptive threat to the affairs of the APC.

Oshiomhole’s charge against Fayemi flies in the face of reason because the former NPF chairman could not have been dictating to the other governors. Oshiomhole’s problem can only be understood in line with the old proverb that simply states: A bad workman always quarrels with his tools. Please this last sentence should not be read to mean that I am condemning Oshiomhole’s regular carpenter’s clothing.

To lend serious context to the matter at hand, Oshiomhole who reigned as the APC chairman from 2018 to 2020 and is currently the senator for Edo North released his bombshell at the launch of a book, APC and Transition Politics by Salihu Lukman, a former national vice-chairman (North-West) of the ruling party at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja on Tuesday, December 19.

From the article of revelation by Oshiomhole, Fayemi and the other governors were talking to him as if they were in a “military barracks” when his only drive was trying to enshrine party supremacy. Oshiomhole lamented that the then President Muhammadu Buhari did not lend a supporting hand until he was removed “illegally”.

The truth Oshiomhole does not want to confront or address is that his crash owes a lot to his abrasive nature in his turbulent relationship with the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and his debilitating war with his former disciple, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State. Bringing Fayemi into the fray is at best a distraction.

Going back in time, Oshiomhole was fighting a war against everybody before his fall – from the ward level to the national level. For instance, the Edo State chapter of the APC made bold to declare then that Oshiomhole could no longer function as the party’s National Chairman because he had been suspended as a member of the party by his people in Ward 10 of Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.

Let’s recall a statement signed by the then chairman of Edo APC, Anselm Ojezua, thusly: “It cannot be overemphasized that having been validly suspended as a member of the party by his ward, all actions and steps that were taken by him as National Chairman is in jeopardy with the likelihood of grave consequences for the party. Rather than heed the advice of his people, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has persisted in his arrogance and impunity. He has continued to make pronouncements and take actions which have further aggravated divisions within the Party thereby moving it towards the precipice.”

While griping all he likes over Fayemi, Oshiomhole should understand that the former Ekiti State governor has since moved on and is unlike sundry sycophantic politicians currently speaking truth to power, no matter the odds.

It is noteworthy that at the same book launch where Oshiomhole was digging into the past, looking for whom to blame for his misfortunes, Fayemi was more interested in dwelling on how to make Nigeria work for a better future. Fayemi frowned at toadyism in the house of power and advised that the ruling APC of which he is a ranking member should have a proper channel for feedback from the street to the presidency instead of allowing the President to rely on the obsequiousness of presidential villa courtiers. For Fayemi, it is incumbent on the party chairman to tell President Tinubu the true state of Nigeria.

According to Fayemi, “The party leader should be the one that tells our President that this is the feedback from the communities and constituencies out there, not what he is hearing in the villa where he is locked out. All of us who hold public offices, we know how it can be.”

It takes courage to say it as it is, as Fayemi has done. Now that Oshiomhole is a senator, which translates to a senior representative of the people, he should be looking forwards by holding the executive to account instead of forever looking backwards, obsessing about Dr Fayemi.

Nigerians have not forgotten how in his heyday of bluster as party chairman Oshiomhole hollered that all corrupt Nigerian politicians should cross over to the APC for all their sins to be forgiven! It is all praise to the gospel on corruption according to Oshiomhole that the current APC chairman is the former Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

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