If you know the man called Dele Farotimi, then chances are that you have stumbled on his relatively recent book, ‘Do not Die in their War‘. In Femi Onileagbon’s review of the book, he says, “The author tells his truth…and tells the oppressed that it is up to them to throw off the oppressor. He calls on all, especially those old enough to remember June 12 to remember and revive the rare spirit that bound Nigerians together to vote for one man irrespective of tribe, tongue or religion. The citizens must know the truth and abandon the arrogance of foolish knowledge if really the truth shall set them free…” (see SaharaReporters.com).
I remember clearly how the man Godwin Obaseki came to power. Many of us who were observers on election day argued that voters didn’t get the one they voted for. There were accusations and counter accusations that the man Oshiomole locked down Edo State and handed it over, on a platter of gold to Godwin Obaseki. Some even said it was day light robbery.
On its official website, in the aftermath of the Gubernatorial elections, INEC declared that “The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, in the Wednesday, 28, September, 2016 governorship election held in Edo state, has been declared winner by the Returning Officer, Professor Kayode Soremekun, having polled a total of 319,483 votes to defeat 18 other candidates” (cf. Inecnigeria.org).
In that election, Godwin Obaseki was followed by the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Ize-Iyamu Osagie Andrew, who polled a total of 253,173 votes.
Declaring the result, Professor Soremekun, said that: “Godwin Obaseki, HAVING FULFILLED THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW, and got the highest votes is the winner and is returned elected”.
Four years later, precisely yesterday, June 12, 2020, the APC suddenly came to its senses and declared that Godwin Obaseki was no longer qualified for a re-run. It was sad enough that they chose such an important day to make further caricature of our democracy. But what’s even sadder was that many of us acted all surprised; like we didn’t see it coming. It was merely the case of he-who-pays-the-piper-dictates-the-tune.
The chairman of the seven-man screening committee “Prof. Jonathan Ayuba, while presenting the report explained that Obaseki was disqualified because the committee could not vouch for the authenticity of the Higher School Certificate he claimed but could not produce…”(cf. Punchng.com). Seriously?
Do not Die in their War
I’m not usually swayed by politics at any level. I belong in the group of the masses who provide all basic amenities for themselves. The government isn’t responsible for the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the health care we get, the education we have, or even the power we consume.
Justifiably therefore, I shouldn’t worry unnecessarily about who becomes President, or Governor? Nonetheless, I realize that any sane democratic government ought to provide for its citizens. This is why, despite all odds, I cannot but be concerned. This is why we cannot continue to let politics and politicians fool us in this country.
Again, Oshiomole has proven to us that APC and PDP are two sides of the same coin. Again, these political oppressors have won, and we, the people are still the losers. Those who wanted to kill themselves in 2016 can rest easy now. The Ize Iyamu they wanted by all means has come home to roost.
It’s the same old story.
Many years ago, someone said that “Rome is the Mob”. The same is true of us. Whether PDP or APC; whether Obaseki or Iyamu, Edo State is ours. We must move beyond political parties to people and their ideologies. It’s time to jump off this recycled boat.
Until we decide to stop dying in their wars, we cannot make head way. Until we unite and REMOVE the political oppressors, we cannot get better, and until we revive the rare spirit that binds us together to vote for one man irrespective of tribe, tongue or religion, the charade will continue.
As another election looms in September, we must remember that “The citizens must know the truth and abandon the arrogance of foolish knowledge if really the truth shall set them free“. APC and PDP have nothing to offer Edo State. It’s time to look elsewhere.