As we start the year 2020 today (January 1), I consider it auspicious to
make few remarks on only one aspect of the politics of Edo State. I have
watched all kinds of people building a rampart around the Governor
(Godwin Obaseki). I believe some are very sincere in expressing their
opinions, rightly or wrongly. But many others have prostituted their
hearts and souls for pittance.
Interestingly, those who did not give Obaseki a chance, those who fought
against us with their might, those who were thousands of kilometers away
from the battlefield and those who did not even vote for Obaseki are the
ones on the corridors of power or on the social media ventilating hot
Suddenly, complex and highly risky political operations have become mere
patriotic acts for which no commensurate reward should be expected. For
the information of the vociferous novices, campaign and election are two
related operations that are comparable to war operations. The strategies
are similar except that one does not include the use of guns and
killings of enemies.
In politics, we have opponents and not enemies. In both political and
military operations, when a little slip occurs, like it did occur on the
side of our then opponents, the consequences could be devastating and
irreversible. We took full advantage of their slip to overtake them at
the last lap! That’s how the result was delivered! Your entirety must
be at alert, think on your feet and respond to situations in split
For the horde of ingratiating manumits and hallelujah choristers, who
celebrate outright ingratitude and legendary insensitivity, we pray for
them to come face to face with such acts that they now glorify in every
facet of their lives! May they commit their intellect and talents and
put their lives on line for a cause and at the point of success, may
they be so neglected, abandoned, dumped and blackmailed!
What was really the contribution of the candidate in the process of
becoming Governor? What public goodwill did he parade? What war-chest
did he bring to the war room? What strategic capacity did he bring to
the table? What public persuasive skills did he exhibit at campaigns?
These are all known to those who were in the arena struggling through
the various huddles at each turn and bend of whole story! And someone
tries to belittle the heroic accomplishments of others? Good conscience
and fairness have long taken flight from these climes and people have
become pitiable victims of mountebankery!
I plead with you all, friends and foes, to strive to be a bit kinder, a
bit more charitable and considerate in our comments and remarks on
matters to which all facts are not available to us. As citizens, our
first responsibility is to hold government accountable for its actions.
In this regard, how many of us have asked the right questions? How many
of us have a copy of the Governor’s manifesto? On what basis can
anyone realistically engage government if you don’t have the very
basic tools for such engagement? And how can anyone expect real growth
and development to occur out of a rigged system? We gloat, hype and
I was invited to defend government policies and vision at the inchoate
stages of this government and I did. I was also invited to do a round of
media campaign for our party candidates before the elections and I did.
I believed it was my government and was ready to do anything and
everything possible to make the government succeed. If this government
is troubled today, it is not because there were enemies fighting to
bring it down. No. It is because the continuity agenda, a major plank of
our campaign was repudiated. That action was highly suggestive and that
is how people began to murmur. And majorly, it is because of lack of
emotional intelligence and inclusiveness resulting from technocratic
The present political tempest should have been long nipped in its bud
without much cost, just by exhibiting social reflexes and interactions,
if my memos and discussions with his close aides during which I
articulated practical ways of avoiding the looming crisis had yielded
fruits. Mind you, the strategies did not include the sharing of money.
It is about closing up relationships and patronage extension to those
qualified. The humongous waste of time and resources of today would have
been avoided by little gestures of goodwill yesterday!
* Mr. Osakue, a strategist and the first DG of Godwin Obaseki Campaign
Organisation 2015/16, writes from Benin.