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|June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by joyairemiya: 6:43am On Jun 14|
Temidayo Akinsuyi, Lagos
June 12 is Nigeria’s Democracy Day. As one of the most memorable days in Nigeria’s political history, the day was set aside by the Federal Government to celebrate Nigeria’s return to democratic rule. Even though the official handover date by the military to a civilian democratic government was on May 29, 1999, President Muhammadu Buhari decided to move the date to June 12 in order to highlight the importance of the presidential election held on June 12 1993, which formed the basis for Nigeria’s democratic governance today.
Though the election, which was won by Bashorun MKO Abiola, then candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was described as the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history, it was to be annulled by the military junta and that singular action plunged Nigeria into chaos.
According to an analyst “The essence of June 12, therefore, is to remind Nigerians of the pitfalls of the past, the mistakes of the present and the need to uphold the tenets of democracy”.
However, it appeared the lessons of June 12 was lost on Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Last year, while Nigerians were celebrating Democracy day on June 12, 2020, Oshiomhole, riding roughshod in his capacity as APC’s number one officer, masterminded the disqualification of a sitting governor in Edo, Godwin Obaseki from participating in the APC’s governorship primaries. That action led to Oshiomhole’s political downfall, which he is yet to recover from till today.
Owing to the disagreement between him and his erstwhile associate Godwin Obaseki, Oshiomhole, a former two-time governor of Edo state was determined that Obaseki whom he handed over to in 2016 will not be reelected as governor of the state. To carry out his plans, he persuaded Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state during the 2016 governorship election to decamp to the APC. His belief was that Ize-Iyamu, a grassroots mobiliser will use his popularity coupled with the fact that the APC was the ruling party in Edo to win the election.
With Ize-Iyamu now in APC, Nigerians were looking forward to a keenly contested governorship primaries in Edo since the incumbent governor, Obaseki is also seeking reelection on APC platform. However, Oshiomhole has other plans. First, he ordered that the Edo APC primary will be by direct method, which allows all party members in the state the right to select their candidate. The Edo APC, led by its erstwhile chairman, Anselm Ojezua and Governor Obaseki kicked against this method, saying it wants the indirect method. They cited the need to be cautious due to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic but Oshiomhole insisted on direct primaries. He however approved indirect primaries for the Ondo governorship election, which comes up three weeks after the Edo governorship election.
The then national chairman said “We have since published our time table because, under the law, we are required to give INEC at least 21 days’ notice to monitor our primaries and to state the mode of our primaries and of course NEC has approved direct primaries for Edo. That of Ondo has not been discussed because that will come much later, because Edo will come about three weeks before Ondo.”
Determined to stop Obaseki at all cost, Oshiomhole, who was running a one-man show in the then APC National Working Committee (NWC) set up a seven-member screening committee headed by Professor Ayuba Jonathan-to screen aspirants seeking to contest under the party’s platform.
Shortly after appearing before the panel for his screening, Obaseki while addressing journalists expressed fears that he may not get justice since Oshiomhole was the “judge” in the case.
He said; “The last time I came here, I asked that Oshiomhole recuse himself from the process in the interest of peace and justice. But as a party man, I have had to go through the screening like everybody else.
“Since he is the judge and the jury in this matter, I will just wait for the outcome of the screening. I have given them all the information they need; the controversial certificate from the University of Ibadan has been tendered. Like I said, as a party man I had to go through the screening process but I do not believe that I will get justice because Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is an interested party in the Edo process.
“One of the questions asked was why did I issue a gazette that will prevent the party from performing direct elections in Edo. That did I not see it as an anti-party activity? I just felt that if we put politics above the lives of the people of Edo State, we may be missing the point”.
At the end of the exercise, the panel disqualified Governor Obaseki from contesting in the party’s primaries. Also disqualified were Matthew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen and Chris Ogiemwonyi. Those cleared to participate in the primaries held on June 22 were Osaro Obazee, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Dr Pius Odubu.
Announcing the outcome of its screening on June 12, the panel said the decision by both Obaseki and Iduoriyekemwen to drag the APC and the national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to court in defiance to the provision of the APC constitution as the basis for the decision.
The panel particularly picked holes with the National Youth Service Certificate (NYSC) and the testimonial of the Institute of Continuing Education Benin city submitted by Governor Obaseki.
While ratifying the decision of the panel, Oshiomhole claimed that fragrant display of executive rascality was among the iniquities committed by Obaseki, which led to his disqualification from participating in the party’s primary.
Oshiomhole, while itemizing the grounds of his disqualification from participating in the primaries, quipped that apart from the credibility doubt on the certificates he presented, he displayed executive rascality through his actions against the legislative arm.
According to him; “We have reviewed the two reports and note with satisfaction that all members of the committees were unanimous in their decisions. We had deliberately appointed men and women that are, in our judgement, not only knowledgeable in academic world but also in law, what our party, APC, stands for and our ideals”.
“But, let me also reemphasize one other thing that it is not about certificate alone but also things beyond our control. The committee reminded us that they have a petition which drew its attention to the fact that in Edo State, contrary to the provisions of our constitution, the governor had managed the state disenabling the legislative wing of the state House of Assembly by inaugurating the house with nine members out of a House of 24 members.
“It is unacceptable in a democracy that the executive manipulated and completely disenabled the legislative arm. Let me amplify what the committees noted that even the President had intervened on this matter when he asked me to advice the IGP to ensure that illegal House is compelled to inaugurate every member in accordance with the provisions of the law and traditions of parliament”.
“But the governor obtained a court order to stop the police and DSS from carrying out this instruction, which I dully communicated to the IGP and the DSS. The Senate president also intervened on this matter and he confessed to the fact that he inaugurated the House without circulating the proclamation letter to all the members elect. Yet went ahead to inaugurate nine person, leaving out 15 persons”.
“The efforts made by the senate president to have a peaceful solution, including assuring the governor to anoint whoever he wants as Speaker, he remained adamant. He went ahead to obtain a court order restraining the senate president, another one restraining the entire senate and yet another restraining the House of Representatives.
“The NWC subsequently set up a reconciliation committee of governors chaired by Governor Umar Ganduje, but he equally obtained a court order to retrain them from embarking on the mission.
“He has also asked the Speaker to declare the seats of the 14 APC House members elect vacant and invited INEC to conduct fresh elections. These, in the views of the committee and on reflection by the NWC, we accept intoto that this is the height of abuse of power. Our democracy is founded on a tripod of executive, judiciary and the legislature.
“When a governor decides to muscle the legislature then democracy is dead because it is inconceivable that in a democracy, particular in a party that prides itself as a progressive party that Edo state is run by the executive without the benefit of a properly constituted parliament. In addition to other iniquities and contradictions that bother on forged documents and other inconsistencies, the NWC accepts the recommendations that Godwin Obaseki will be ineligible to participate in the forthcoming party primaries in Edo state,” he claimed.
Dissatisfied, Obaseki found solace in the then major opposition party in the state, PDP. Against all odds, he secured the party’s governorship ticket and squared up against Ize-Iyamu who was the APC flagbearer.
Secretly backed by some APC governors who were piqued with the manner one of them was treated shabbily, he went on to win the election held on October 10 and has since commenced his second term journey.
Shortly after securing victory in the Supreme Court, Oshiomhole, who was removed as APC national chairman even before the governorship election, congratulated Obaseki and urged him to be magnanimous in victory.
He said “Congratulations on your victory at the Supreme Court which has effectively laid to rest all matters arising from the last election. As I had repeatedly reminded you during our several meetings, our relationship has through the years developed beyond being friends to being brothers of different parents.
“Whatever happened is unfortunate and I believe God has a reason for everything. I have put all behind me and moved on. As I have consistently advised, please be magnanimous in victory. You are the governor of all Edo people regardless of political leanings”.
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by nairavsdollars(f): 6:47am On Jun 14|
So unfortunate how Obaseki is now treating PDP that saved his dying career
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by Niyeal(m): 6:51am On Jun 14|
Both of them
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by kurupt1: 6:52am On Jun 14|
I loved the way Oshiomhole was humbled.Stupid short he goat of a man that was playing "motorpark strong man" politics around top seasoned politicians
He is lucky Edo governor is a benevolent man because I know Oshiomhole would be persistently harassing Obaseki if Obaseki had lost
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by bolaayenimo: 7:01am On Jun 14|
How can you disqualify a sitting governor from primaries? Biggest political blunder by Oshomole
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by joyairemiya: 7:04am On Jun 14|
hwo both of them?
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by erhabor11(m): 7:11am On Jun 14|
Thank God, Oshiomole singlehandedly gift pdp Edo state with his demigod style of politics
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by joyandfaith: 7:13am On Jun 14|
nairavsdollars:Did he not pay them to get ticket?
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by joyairemiya: 7:18am On Jun 14|
and so what? is that why he should scatter the party so he can return to APC?
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by nairavsdollars(f): 7:35am On Jun 14|
They have themselves to blame
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by bolaayenimo: 8:54am On Jun 14|
i hope obaseki won't defect
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by nairavsdollars(f): 11:45am On Jun 14|
|Re: June 12 2020: Day Oshiomhole Almost Murdered Democracy In Edo by slivertongue: 12:25pm On Jun 14|
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