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Politics of Friday, 6 January 2023


2023: Oshiomhole rides on Tinubu’s back, tackles Obaseki

Adams Oshiomhole with the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu at the presidential campaign rally Adams Oshiomhole with the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu at the presidential campaign rally

A former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has hit out on his predecessor, Governor Godwin Obaseki, saying he has not fulfilled his campaign promises to the people of the state.

Mr Oshiomhole said on Thursday at the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign rally in Benin City that he warned residents of the state not to vote for Mr Obaseki in 2020.

“You know, the last time I told you to be careful about the governorship election,” Mr Oshiomhole, a former national chairman of the APC, told a crowd of party supporters at the rally.

“Did I not say so? Did I not say so? Where are we? Where are we? Where is the industrial park? Where is the port? Where is the new housing estate? Where is the rice farm? Where is the mechanic village?”

Mr Oshiomhole, 70, displayed great energy on the stage, jumping, singing, and praising the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Mr Tinubu was at the rally alongside other chieftains of the party.

Mr Obaseki, an estranged protégée of Mr Oshiomhole, was first elected governor in 2016 through Mr Oshiomhole’s help. Both fell apart and engaged in a protracted political battle that almost crippled governance in the state.

The fight cost Mr Obaseki the APC ticket for his second-term ambition, prompting him to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party where he won the party governorship ticket with the help of the likes of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and eventually won reelection.

Mr Oshiomhole was consumed by the fight too as he was later pushed out of office as the APC chairman.

Mr Obaseki’s reelection and Mr Oshiomhole’s removal from office were a great loss to Mr Tinubu who was struggling then to strengthen his political influence in other states outside Lagos where he is a former governor.

Mr Tinubu’s presidential ambition offers Mr Oshiomhole an opportunity to revive his political base and also rail against Governor Obaseki.

The former chairman of the APC is one of the three senatorial candidates of the party in the state.

Obaseki reactsGovernor Obaseki on Thursday said Mr Oshiomhole was “attempting to sell lies in a last-ditch effort to revive his dead political career”.

“The people are no longer swayed by empty rhetoric and concocted lies, which has over time been the bane of the poisonous politics that deprive the people of good governance while the political class fed fat from our collective patrimony.

“Oshiomhole’s political career has ended and no matter how high he jumps on a stage or how low he goes to impassion the scanty crowd, the people see through his facade and recognise his ill-intentioned antics and lies. The former governor’s political career was effectively truncated at the polls in the 2020 governorship election in Edo State, which was a referendum on his style of politics,” the governor said through his media aide, Crusoe Osagie.