Obaseki: The Banal Project of Power
By Elempe Dele
Two simultaneous events rang a creative play in my head yesterday when it was announced that Governor Wike clinged the Vice Presidential slot and the Legacy PDP got their forms filled while those with Governor Obaseki got rejected. My mind traveled back to the video playing in my head where Obaseki stole the show with a thunderous ovation from spectators the day he organized the purported suspension of Chief Dan Orbih, Hon Ogbiede-Ihama and other Legacy PDP members from the party.
To me, it is the picture of show of force, the demonstration of overt power, precisely the exercise of power and control over the willing and unwilling even when the act and others of his actions represented power at its primordial state. That day, it was a public show to instruct the public just who is the master, an act which is familiar to many who knows him very well.( Don’t mine that Orbih went to call to the suspension bluff)
Governor Godwin Obaseki’s power seemingly coming to an end in Edo State holds many lessons for us expecially with the radical core revolutionary actions led by Chief Dan Orbih and his staunch supporters. Chief Dan Orbih, and the Legacy members is a dialy reminder never to take any political situation for granted. Never underestimate the focused energy of a political opponent who are resolute never to be defeated. Never think it is easy to paralyze the creative drive of a resolute people.
Yes, Obaseki was a dilemma in PDP in 2020, no doubt. The hard earned democratic credential of the party was tested. It is difficult for some of us to take just a passing interest in the challenge the party went through because we were in the thick and thin of it, forget the story that were peddled afterwards. Some have since called for the annulment of that history in the bid to cure history itself. Well, he was chosen as choice is the bedrock of all democratic processes.
Then after the 2020 election, the governor’s political attitude changed as predicted by some; the will to dominate, to control – that strange impulse to expell came to the fore, that certain temperament that he could realize his goals by domination, that impulse to cease raw power from the Party…
Come to think of it, the relishing of power is not basically an attribute of exceptional individuals, power is accessible to even unremarkable individuals. If you want to see the face of power in its most worrisome state, you don’t need to go too far, you don’t need any stage mechanics, the face of the governor is omnipresent whenever it comes to issues of Chief Dan Orbih that he hates with deep murderous loathing for not allowing him to be the leader of the unwilling. The governor is a power relishing personality, even back in his APC days.
What then is this power we are talking about? Lethal metamorphosis of ambition that may or may not actually translate to positive activities like building of necessary infrastructures for the people? Anybody can seek to the exercise of power. The more ambitious, the more successful one is in the unconscionable use of power. It has been proven that power, as long as you are sufficiently brutal, ruthless, manipulative, power is within the reach of anyone, even the deficient.
Power is actually not the the result of dedication nor the byproduct of innovation. To relegate adversely the ambitions of others is not much of a burden for anyone who has powers.
Governor Obaseki needs to drop any ego left in his empty political pouch, and call for genuine political bridge-building with members of the party who gave him that necessary umbrella. There seem not to be much bargaining chips left, not even any hurt to avenge, all is gone, like an apocalypse.
Today, I am sure the political powers of Obaseki are coming gradually to an end regardless of how much differently one deduce from the recent political developments both at the state level and national. If the banality of craving to choose who becomes an elected official in Edo State from House of Assembly to Senate never materializes for the governor but snatched by Chief Dan Orbih, where then is his powers? If one of his arch enemies, Governor Wike, becomes the vice presidential candidate to Atiku, a position he so much eyed, and if his government is no longer sustained today in Edo State by popular acceptance but by agents of propaganda and perhaps terror, what is left?