So Adams Oshiomhole won. We are talking of the governorship election held Saturday July 14, 2012. The surprise would have been if he had lost to his main rival Charles Airhiavbere of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. And in our kind of political climate anything is possible. You could then imagine what the reverse side of the wide jubilation in Edo State that came on the heels of the announcement of Oshiomhole's victory would have been. The people of Edo State rewarded "Oshio Baba" for his vision and the great turnaround in the fortunes of the state in just three years of his stewardship.
Under Lucky Igbinedion, Edo was in limbo for eight years. Even his father agreed that his son was a non-performer. All the same in 2003, according to the tale, he appealed to the party hierarchy that his son should be likened to a boy who failed his examination, thus there was nothing wrong if he repeated the class. Of course, the party hierarchy listened. They saw the wisdom in the elder Igbinedion’s saying. After all, Edo State is the primary constituency of the legendary 'Mr. Fix It'. And if he makes things happen elsewhere, who is there to stop him at home. That was the most asinine treatment that could be given to such a crucial issue of managing the affairs of millions of people. Of course, as to be expected of a dullard son who instead of being expelled got a reprieve because of his father's influence, Lucky Igbinedion wasted his second chance. It was PDP's second chance too in Edo. The most remarkable achievement of that second term was that in spite of his massive frame, it was claimed he successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
Thus the electorate in that state floored the party thoroughly in the 2007 governorship election, especially after Comrade Oshiomhole joined the race. But the PDP engaged all means fair and foul to claim victory at the polls.
Unfortunately, the party forgot Oshiomhole's antecedents as a fighter for justice. It took him over a year before he re-claimed his stolen mandate at the appeal court. And in the course of his first term, he did not disappoint the people. Thus his resounding landslide victory on July 14 was a reward for doggedness, purposefulness, vision and excellence in governance. His PDP rival who came a distant second is yet to congratulate him. But kudos to President Goodluck Jonathan and some top officials of the PDP for quickly congratulating Oshiomhole as soon as the results were announced. Many of the congratulatory messages described the victory as a reward for the good job Oshiomhole did in his first term.
On the heels of PDP's resounding defeat in Edo came the 60th National Executive Committee meeting of the party. It was a good avenue for the party that claims to be the largest in Africa to do a re-examination. That was exactly what Bamanga Tukur, the national chairman, did with his speech. This septuagenarian recognised the decay in the PDP. And he pleaded with the members to recognise the need for "political reconciliation, reformation and rebuilding based on equity and justice". Tukur's speech showed that he recognised that members of the party are their greatest enemies. President Jonathan thinks otherwise, however. In his very disappointing speech, he claimed that without PDP, democracy would collapse. According to him, it is the tolerance of the ruling party that is keeping democracy afloat. Millions will disagree with him. It is a shame that the party has been in power for 13 years, yet the country, in spite of its wealth, is sinking deeper into penury. We thank him though that the President is not over-intimidating and over-imposing. For, like he rightly noted in his speech, "using the weight of the federal government" in an undemocratic manner will lead to citizens' revolt, weaken the political system, create confusion and instability. Pray, what would warrant the ruling party to use the federal might with such abandon. Is it because of the very effete criticisms coming from the opposition? If the ruling party must do any battle, it is with the renegades of the party. And they reside in large number in the House of Representatives.
A few days after the NEC meeting, in which Speaker Aminu Tambuwal was a key participant, the House passed a resolution that if by the time they resume from their recess in September, the federal budget has not been implemented 100 per cent, Jonathan should kiss Aso Rock goodbye. Does the House have to wash their party's dirty linens in the public all the time? One thought if a House controlled by the PDP is aggrieved, and the President is the irritant, a NEC meeting would have been a fine opportunity to table the matter. A House where the ruling party is in overwhelming majority is wielding the impeachment weapon over a President who is of the same party as if it is a child's play. And when the Speaker was confronted, his retort was "my hands are tied". By that answer, Tambuwal is simply telling Nigerians that he has lost control of the House. And someone else is in the driver's seat. Imagine what would have happened if the President was in another party. This threat is not new. In President Olusegun Obasanjo's eight-year tenure, Nigerians lost count of how many times the National Assembly threatened to impeach him. It is some relief that the Senate says the House is on its own in the latest impeachment palaver. Jonathan should sleep easy though. September is several weeks away. During the hiatus, he should pay a very private visit to the former President to learn a few tricks as to how he survived so many impeachment scares. However, the President must ignore any trick that involves Ghana Must Go bags. After what Femi Otedola did to Farouk Lawan, lawmakers won't touch such bags with a kilometre pole. The video man can hide anywhere these days to play his pranks.
Still on the President's NEC speech. We are now aware that his government has re-prioritised his Transformational Agenda. His only concern now is tackling the Boko Haram menace. Now we know why the power supply situation is not getting better. And the effusive talk about creating thousands of jobs is just mere gas. President Jonathan as commander-in-chief is too busy on the Boko Haram front to bother about such distractions.