THE Yoruba people story reminds certainly one of Godwin Obaseki and his court docket jesters. It’s a few swaggering elephant and the choir behind him. They tickle him with their songs of reward, the drum rolls and the dances. His head dizzy, he looks like deity within the confetti of flattery. The elephant swings proper and left ahead in gradual, majestic strides.
“We’re behind you, hold dancing forward,” they reassure him. As he advances, he’s not wanting ahead however at himself, impressed by the finery of his attire and the bouquet of applause.
Immediately, he reaches a precipice and falls over. Earlier than he is aware of it, there is no such thing as a extra choir, no extra drum rolls or applause. All silence. He alone, crestfallen, wounded, comically stomach up.
Edo State Governor Obaseki is in such grand deception. He nonetheless struts in denial. He thinks he’s simply. His flatterers and court docket jesters inflate his delight. The screening committee belongs to Beelzebub. He’ll meet them, like Caesar, within the Battle of Philippi.
His story isn’t new in our politics. When Timipre Sylva was governor of Bayelsa State and eyed the second time period, he was at odds with President Goodluck Jonathan and his cabal. They didn’t need Sylva to have a second time period. In addition they deployed the Nationwide Working Committee in opposition to him, however in a unique method. He might run, however he couldn’t win. They invoked the police, air drive, military and navy. It was a farce of drive, an onslaught to win a nomination. This column wailed and chided. The journalism world, lifeless from the neck up, even stored mute in complicity. The PDP didn’t care about legislation. That they had drive and so they used it. It’s the tyranny of democracy. The system lied in opposition to itself. The elephant fell over the precipice. It was a republican carapace overlaying a stench of lifeless males’s bones.
Within the case of Obaseki, he inflicted his personal woes. Why is he blaming the screening committee for lack of equity? Did the committee ask him to get his title unsuitable on the NYSC certificates and made no effort to right it? Did they ask him to make solely three credit in his college certificates examination? Or did they ask for the inconsistencies in his college of Ibadan diploma? By the best way, I believed he attended Edo Faculty, as a result of I noticed an image a number of years in the past with Nduka Obaigbena – additionally an previous boy of Authorities Faculty Ughelli – and Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. He offered a certificates from Eghosa Anglican Grammar College. Is it additionally his fault, or that of Adams Oshiomhole, that he misplaced his certificates and the court docket registrar couldn’t vouch for any sworn affidavit?
The problems at stake are grave for Obaseki. It’s not about APC. It’s in regards to the Nigerian structure. He’s anticipated to current real certificates or proof to INEC and later, if challenged, to the court docket of legislation. Fortunately, the legislation doesn’t anticipate him to have a college diploma. He’s purported to scale secondary college. He may do this. That may imply he should cope with the problem of his NYSC certificates, and pray that the courts will settle for that Obasek is identical as Obaseki. The avenging angels of technicality are fluttering above.
It’s not a matter of whether or not he served however whether or not he served proper. The legislation has its means of defining justice. It might be justice on the streets. It might not be within the vault of legislation. If Obaseki certainly did properly in highschool, the legislation didn’t see it. If he did properly to enter the college and the legislation didn’t see it, who will see it? It’s not a matter of who’s on Obaseki’s aspect or Adam’s aspect. It’s who the legislation sees. The structure prevails. That’s the definition of the rule of legislation. That’s the reason Douri is governor at the moment and never Lyon in Bayelsa State.
If he decides to use this time by means of one other political celebration, and doesn’t current his certificates for college and better college certificates, et al, Obaseki will unwittingly affirm the conclusions of Adams and the screening committee and make them heroes. That may make Obaseki disingenuous and make mockery of his personal mockery of the method that disqualified him. If he presents the identical papers and affidavit in one other celebration, he’ll undergo the identical questioning that gave him the purple card in APC. The worst is that if he wins in a guber ballot and has to undergo the courts and meets a Napoleonic waterloo.
Whether or not he goes to PDP, or SDP or any celebration, he should cope with the identical points which have led his flatterers to cry foul. The matter is not going to solely grow to be a technical goblin for Obaseki but in addition an ethical one. Is he honest or is he dodgy? The general public will face a candidate who is not going to solely reply the lingering query of an ungrateful beneficiary, however whether or not he advised the legislation the reality or advised the general public a lie.
So I ask, if he knew he had all these chinks in his armour, why did he go to battle? Should you knew you had certificates booby-traps and a giant mole within the eye, why dangle the dagger? He had seen this in the identical celebration, in Bayelsa, but he didn’t settle in silence. Possibly he thought he had a charmed life. He was following the strains in scripture that claims, “Blessed are these whose sins are lined.” His sins had been lined as soon as, and he turned governor. He ripped it open of his personal accord and uncovered a leaky sore. He did it when he ordered Adams to hunt permission to enter his state, when even a farmer doesn’t want it. He banned gatherings, hectored the opposition, sacked celebration members, banded with the opposition and supped with Oyegun. He started with a kangaroo legislature. He wished to be a constitutional emperor. He speaks good English however lacks the polish of his sentences.
He didn’t study from Ambode. “To stumble twice in opposition to a stone is a proverbial shame,” crooned Cicero. He thought he could possibly be king in a democracy. Napoleon’s mom advised her son that kings will all the time stay with us in numerous guises. Obaseki most likely thought he could be Oba Ewuare the Nice within the 21st century.
This essayist painstakingly reported how efforts in the direction of reconciliation befell between stakeholders and Obaseki. This included fellow governors, males of means and legal professionals. Obaseki wouldn’t pay attention. At a sure time, when all of the events gathered for him in Abuja, he had flown out of city. I made this revelation on this column, however relatively than being solemn, Obaseki despatched his errand boy after me on this web page with out addressing the reconciliation efforts I reported. When the hearth got here, he began in search of the assistance of these he pooh-poohed, together with fellow governors.
If he has a means out, this essayist will wait and see. However the man has shot himself within the foot. He’s limping, however he thinks he’s dancing.
Uncle Sam’s birthday
SAM Amuka turns 85, and we must always all elevate our glasses. Let the teetotaler fill theirs with brandy, and let the alcoholic fill theirs with smooth drink. He’s an iroko of stories and the written phrase. Small of measurement however a strolling monument, Amuka’s title rang in my ears after I was slightly boy from the lips of my late father Moses. He known as him Unhappy Sam, and he enthused about his capability to writhe and write. He stored date along with his column.
Right this moment, I nonetheless take a look at him with veneration and much more now that I do know what he has carried out for the media, the written phrase, publishing and democracy. He has a pointy tongue, wry wit and an amiable spirit. His sense of humour is boyish, his smile is supernova and his scolding penetrating. Right this moment he’s patron of the career. All of us respect him that he continues to look youthful than his age. He’s additionally an previous boy of Authorities Faculty Ughelli, and I used to be advised that he was an excellent ball juggler and performed centre ahead as a deadly striker. He carried that arsenal – no gunner supposed – to the topsy-turvy world of journalism. Congratulations, Uncle Sam.