Reunited at Auchi Cathedral: Comments signal end to rift between Obaseki and Oshiomhole
There are indications that the rift between the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, maybe settled soon following the recent comments made by the duo at a recent event.
Despite reconciliatory move made by key stakeholders in the last few years, the two of them have always been at each other’s throat and have refused to sheathe their swords.
The duo, who were long-time friends, fell out during the first tenure of governor Obaseki–apparently after nine out of the 24 members-elect reportedly loyal to governor Obaseki were inaugurated by the Clerk of the 7th Edo State House of Assembly, Audu Omogbai. While those loyal to his predecessor were not inaugurated.
Ever since, they have been embroiled in power tussle which purpotedly led to the disqualification of governor Obaseki from contesting the primary governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress under the leadership of Adams Oshiomhole.
Sequel to his disqualification, Oshiomhole who was still at the helm of affairs of the party was suspended and barred by the Court of Appeal from serving as the national chairman of the APC.
Determined to complete his eight-year tenure, Obaseki resigned from the APC, defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), clinched the governorship ticket of the party, and was declared winner of the September 19 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after defeating his opponents.
Several years after the love lost between them, there seems to be a sign of reconciliation based on the recent assertions made by the pair at the centenary birthday thanksgiving of Monsignor Thomas Oleghe and 18th Canonical Erection Anniversary of the Diocese of Auchi held at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Auchi, Etsako-West Local Government Area of the State.
During the event which held at the weekend, Obaseki was visibly seen exchanging greetings with an elbow-bump in compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures, with his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole.
Obaseki said that he has no personal grudges against his predecessor and immediate past national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, noting that they are both sons of Edo with interest of the state at heart.
The governor, however, pointed out that he only dislikes Oshiomhole’s style of politics.
“I don’t have anything personal against Oshiomhole. I may not like his politics, but he has not done anything personal against me. We all are interacting with the interest of the country and the development of our community at heart,” Obaseki said.
As part of efforts to strengthen the healthcare system in the State, the governor also pledged to support the Catholic school of Nursing and Midwifery, Uzairue in Etsako-West Local Government Area.
On his part, Adams Oshiomhole, who was a guest at the event, acknowledged his successor, describing him as “his brother and friend.”
Oshiomhole further said “once the governor speaks, the matter ends. The governor knows that pensioners here might not be able to do much that is why he said every other thing required to complete the hostel of the Catholic school of Nursing and Midwifery, Uzairue, his government will do”.
Some observers say the recent meeting between the two
may initiate reconciliation.
Commenting, Samson Osagie, a former Minority Whip in the House of Representatives and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said “Obaseki and Oshiomhole have always referred to themselves as brothers, and I really don’t think there are personal issues since the two of them have said so.
“I really do not think that there are personal issues even amongst the political actors in Edo State. The cause for disagreements can always be approach to issues of public affairs and politics.
“Even as between Obaseki and the rest of us, I don’t think there is anything personal because there have been no reason to have any personal arguments over personal issues”.
Another commentator, Tony Abolo said “It is also looking like there could be an attempt to reconcile. In any case, in politics there is just permanent interest. So, let’s look at it as permanent interest.
“There are rumours that some persons want to defect from the PDP to the APC. It also looks like part of the game to return”.