By Anthony Ojekere
After years in limbo following a disastrous stint as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, former Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is attempting a comeback to public light by making frantic attempts to snatch the headlines with his comments on the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling APC.
Just few days prior, he took a dig at Governor Godwin Obaseki on the whereabouts of a certain N16bn, being the total sum of money reimbursed the Edo State Government by the Federal Government for Federal Roads constructed while Oshiomhole served as governor.
It is important to see these flickers of life from a dead career in public service for what they truly are: a failed godfather’s attempt at reinvention.
Our last public memory of Oshiomhole is his disgraceful outing as the chief campaigner for the APC in the 2020 Edo governorship election, where he was roundly defeated, as his political empire collapsed under the weight of his ego and evil machinations.
It must be stressed that Oshiomhole does not have the moral rectitude to pollute the public space with his putrid comments on vexatious issues such as the same-faith candidature of the APC.
While he is free to hold views on the matter, we will not allow him to be the one to tell us how to think about the matter because he has not earned that right. More so, conclusions have been made on his politics and character at the polls and in the court of public opinion. He remains a disgraced politician, whose opinion holds no water as we navigate the treacherous times fostered on us by the government he helped bring to power.
Oshiomhole wants to tell us to focus on competence and not religious concerns, but we will like to tell him that he is grappling at straws. In him we find nothing to base such an appeal. He was never competent as a National Chairman of the APC, where he caused the party irreparable damages with his shambolic handling of party affairs. When he served as governor, he ran one of the opaquest governments in the state, promoting extravagance, little regard for law and order and a penchant for wastage.
He has lost face in Edo State and also among members of the APC. This is why as he digs at people and issues of national importance; we are offended by his effrontery to pretend that he speaks for us.
Oshiomhole forgets that we have records of his time in office as governor, and his phony theatrics all that time were exposed thereafter, with allegations against him including contract inflation, maladministration and profiteering from contracts doled out to his cronies. He would eventually leave about N300bn debt in tow.
The former governor, in defense of the Muslim-Muslim ticket argued that if government had built enough factories as it did churches, the country would have been better off. But all the while he served as governor, Oshiomhole, who early in life worked in textile factories, couldn’t build any factory nor did he revive any.
Before 2008, Edo State had Bendel Breweries, Okpella Cement Factory, Edoline Transport Company, Edoline Courier Services, Edo Fertilizer Chemical Company, amongst others. Oshiomhole either left the factories to die or refused to complete the ongoing ones.
The claims that he constructed several roads for which the Federal Government has reimbursed the state is also untrue. Actually, many of the roads he claimed to have repaired were never fixed.
His duplicitous nature makes him an unhealthy candidate to speak for us and we take exception to his attempt at relaunching himself into our space. He should retreat to his shell and do us the favour of minding his business while we forge ahead with the task of rescuing our dear country from the throes of collapse on account of his misadventure into public service.
Anthony Ojekere writes from Benin City, Edo State.