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|Oshiomhole’s Enemies Take Aim by Abdulhakeem78(m): 10:36pm On Dec 22, 2019|
Months of snapping at one another’s heels, in a bitter and brutal struggle for the administrative soul of the All Progressives Congress (APC), may soon give way to open, fierce and bloody war for the heart and body of the deeply fractious ruling party. Adams Oshiomhole is today at the heart of that bitter struggle; but it is hardly about him, notwithstanding his matchless knack for courting controversy and discord. Years before him, the former APC chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, emblematised all that was controversial and problematic about the party. Until he was overthrown in a spectacular ‘coup’ during the party’s 2018 national convention, which some National Executive Committee (NEC) members had strived to defer, Mr Odigie-Oyegun barely managed to leave office with any heels. Only the party’s first chairman, who occupied the office in interim capacity, the avuncular former Osun State governor Bisi Akande, escaped the bruising politics that threatens to undo the party.
So far, Mr Oshiomhole has survived two attempts at his chairmanship: one was premature and lacking in fire, and the other half-hearted, a little more determined, but still uncoordinated. His enemies may be dispirited, even scattered; but they are not vanquished. They will go at him hammer and tongs, will not relent, and may have even taken an oath to do him in no matter the cost. The first attempt at his leadership, indeed the foundation of the opposition to his reign, was triggered by his principled but perhaps undiplomatic opposition to the undemocratic suzerainty established by a few governors in their states, some of whom engaged in complex manipulations of both state party structures and party primaries.
Mr Oshiomhole may have successfully checkmated the manoeuvres of the said governors before the last general election, but it has made them his compulsive enemies. They are unlikely to relent. For even before the elections, the president was himself undecided who to support — the governors, some of whom were quite close to him, or the party, in line with party supremacy principles and the justness of the party leadership’s campaigns. Rather than abate, however, the opposition to the chairman has continued to mount, with the aggrieved president’s friends increasing in visibility and power under the presidency, and Mr Oshiomhole correspondingly reducing in influence in many ways. In the past two weeks, evidence of the growth of influence of Mr Oshiomhole’s enemies have been widespread. As they grow in power, they have become more emboldened to take on their chairman, determined to vaporise him.
At the moment, the struggle has been stalemated. Those in his corner, mainly states party chairmen, some governors, some party leaders, and a majority of the rank and file are determined to stick by him. But due probably to the politics of the 2023 general election, Mr Oshiomhole’s opponents have openly declared war, abandoned neutrality, and are bent on sinking or swimming with their cause. It has become almost an oath. The chairman should feel worried that open warfare has broken out rather quickly, more than three years before the next polls, giving enough time for his enemies to restock their armoury, completely win over the vacillating president, create a groundswell of opposition against him, chip away at the defences of and support for the party’s leadership, and possibly drive a wedge between the chairman and the president. It will be a miracle if they do not wear him down completely.
Mr Oshiomhole unfortunately is caught up in the Edo poll web. If he fails to win the state for his party next year, support for him within the party hierarchy, somewhat tenuous at the moment, will wear very thin. Meanwhile, he has boxed himself into a corner with his inability to overlook some of the undemocratic proclivities of his successor to the Edo stool, Godwin Obaseki. Having prompted Osagie Ize-Iyamu, PDP’s candidate in the last governorship poll, to defect to the APC just as Mr Obaseki is gearing up to contest the party’s nomination, Mr Oshiomhole may have nailed his colours to the mast and crossed the Rubicon at the same time. Seeing this, Mr Obaseki has increased the amperage of his opposition to the chairman and indicated that he would be willing to fight to the death. Neither combatant can now back down without losing face. Mr Obaseki is the underdog; if he loses, he will take it gamely. Mr Oshiomhole has more to lose. Should he lose, his demystification may snowball into something more than he can handle.
Indeed, the Edo governor is now comforted by the support of Mr Oshiomhole’s many influential enemies, men close to the presidency and eager to get their pound of flesh from a chairman who they deemed had cost them dearly. But there is no question in all this that the party chairman occupies the moral high ground in his effort to restore discipline and administrative order to the party. If the justness of a cause is enough to give victory, Mr Oshiomhole should run away with victory. But all he can hope for now, given the flightiness of the presidency and the way his enemies are encircling him, is that God will stir up the matter in his favour. That hope, as history attests, and as a battle weary man like him suspects, is often not forlorn. After all, so far, and despite the stalemate, he still has a slim edge over his enemies.
by Alao Abiodun
|Re: Oshiomhole’s Enemies Take Aim by beresponsible(m): 10:49pm On Dec 22, 2019|
Mr Oshiomhole has more to lose. Should he lose, his demystification may snowball into something more than he can handle.
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