By John Mayaki
Barely a day after Godwin Obaseki, the flailing governor of Edo state, launched his coup against his benefactor and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the move backfired, falling like a pack of cards before his very eyes, with his only success, if at all it can be described as such, being the public unveiling of his fellow traitors and sniveling backstabbers.
Together, with Obaseki playing the lead role, they had obtained a controversial court ruling in Abuja, asking the National Chairman to suspend his duties as the official leader of the party with the underlying motive of using his absence, even if momentary, to seize control of the party, undo some of the positive reforms instituted by Oshiomhole and influence selfish calls that never would have gotten the approval of the process-oriented Chairman who is keen on strengthening the party, not individuals, and delivering success to the collective, not an entitled few.
The coup, as they had envisioned it, was to serve the twin purpose of forcefully ejecting the National Chairman, while also casting him as a forlorn figure lacking support through the planting and promotion of false stories. But both missions did not only fail, they triggered a cascade of unplanned events that led to the unintended achievement of the opposite.
The court ruling didn’t last a day before it was dismissed and their desperation, demonstrated in the planted fake stories, was met with stiff resistance at home, across the country, and in the diaspora where ordinary and influential Nigerians, alarmed by Obaseki’s treachery and the gathering of these power-hungry hawks, declared support for Oshiomhole.
Obaseki, the man at the heart of these sacrilegious deeds, has already played his final card and going by the glaring failure of it, he has also contributed the final nail to his own coffin. Back home in Edo state, his celebration met an untimely death when the news of a fresh court ruling and a swift gathering of aspirants on the platform of the APC, as well as other political leaders in the state, were conveyed to him.
At the meeting, these leaders, though nurturing different ambitions that may even seem at odds, found a point of unity in support for Oshiomhole and a condemnation of Obaseki’s actions. To them, it was unconscionable that a man would divert funds from the state and channel same, not for the first time, into a plot designed to actualize the downfall of fellow statesman and the principal actor in his emergence as governor in the first place.
For this, and countless others, Obaseki’s matter is settled and his fate sealed. His collaborators, notably a Minister from Rivers state and a northern governor, sharing Obaseki’s amnesia and lack of gratitude, may also be ruing their line of action.
They had held hands, extending the network to the South West where they found willing partners in two states parading two governors; one with an outsized 2023 ambition and the other, like Obaseki, afraid of the long shadow his first term as governor has cast and seeking to bulldoze his way to another ticket.
These rablerousers for long had been emboldening one Salihu who never misses a moment to throw insults at the National Chairman, readily serving as an instrument of confusion while they, his sponsors, hid behind a finger for plausible deniability. But now, with this latest failed coup, much to their regret, their cover is blown and time, the true revealer of all, has separated true progressives from power-hungry renegades, thus making the job of the National Chairman easier.
Political power in a functional democracy is gotten through persuasion of the majority, not blackmail or force. But these people, who are always the first to complain about the dysfunctional state of Nigeria’s politics especially in the dark days of the PDP where impunity reigned supreme, are intent on turning logic on its head, murdering due process, and desirous of control not through elections in the day but by coups in the dead of the night.
Their problem is not with Oshiomhole per se, as he is after all a man doing what he was elected by members across the 36 states of the country to do. Their problem is with themselves, their ravenous appetite for power and inability to play by the rules or function in a group where timely concessions of defeat and retirement of personal ambitions for that of the collective, without standing aloof or engaging in sabotage, is required.
Obaseki has sounded the alarm for traitors and his likeminds have all queued up to sign up. Sadly for them, the roll call has now been made public and we all know their faces. Whatever befalls them next, as the President once again reiterates his support for Oshiomhole in his good fight, will be understood as their own doing. They have sown wind and will reap whirlwind.