At the beginning of June 2020, Adams Oshiomhole was one of the most powerful political players in the land. The former governor of Edo State and former President of the Nigerian Labour Congress wielded power with no apologies to anyone. Upon his election as Chairman of the ruling APC, Oshiomhole was reported to have warned a minister of the Federal Republic that if President Buhari would tolerate the minister’s indiscretion, he, Adams Oshiomhole would not take the nonsense. For most people in the APC, the fear of Oshiomhole was the beginning of wisdom.
Uche Nwosu, son-in-law of former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, will not forget Adams Oshiomhole in a hurry. Together, they danced and made merry at Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri when Oshiomhole visited Imo State. Nwosu was the crown prince of the Okorocha dynasty, waiting to take over as Governor of Imo State. When push came to shove, Oshiomhole out flanked him, pulled the carpet under his feet and the rest, as they say, is history.
Adams coordinated the plot that brought Buhari back as President at a time when Atiku Abubakar was seriously flexing his muscles. On every APC campaign stage across Nigeria, Oshiomhole, not the tallest of men, jumped higher than everyone else and spoke louder than everyone else.
In the normal order of things, Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of APC would never have considered Stephen Oshawo, Chairman of the APC Etsako Ward 10 in Edo State as a powerful man. But when it was time to cut Adams Oshiomhole to size, the real powers that be did not go to the Supreme Court, they went to Oshiomhole’s ward and got his ward Chairman to suspend him.
In the normal order of things, if Adams Oshiomhole was looking behind for who would pull the carpet off his feet, he may have worried about the APC Deputy Chairmen or the Vice Chairman. I doubt that it would have occurred to him that it would be Victor Giadom, an Assistant Secretary of his party that would be used to mess him up so badly.
In the normal order of things, Adams Oshiomhole, the sharp player on the political chess board would never have envisioned that the rules enshrined in the APC constitution would be so badly thrown to the dogs and that an APC National Executive Council Meeting would be held with two days notice at the Aso Rock Villa at the instance of the said Assistant Secretary and the very powerful Adams Oshiomhole would be so emasculated in the public glare. Today, there is no normal order of things in Nigeria. Those who gave Oshiomhole the power, have taken it.
As you read this, Oshiomhole’s once political godson, Godwin Obaseki, has just given Adams a deadly blow. In last Saturday’s election, the result of which was celebrated by Nigerians across the board, Obaseki showed Oshiomhole the difference between “I am” and “I was”.
Adams Oshiomhole, the proud man that he is may give the public the impression that what happened last Saturday was one of those things. No sir! It was not one of those things. It was a titanic event from which all of us must learn a lesson.
Officially, last Saturday’s election in Edo State was between Godwin Obaseki and Osagie Ize Iyamu To most Nigerians, the contest in Edo was not between Governor Obaseki and Pastor Ize Iyamu. From one angle, it was between Obaseki and Oshiomhole. From another angle, it was between the people of Nigeria and the ‘cabal’!
Adams Oshiomhole was not made by his recent convoy of SUVs or his mighty house or his fraternization with Aso Rock or his beautiful wife. Oshiomhole made his name in Nigeria because he was seen as a ‘people’s man’, a relentless fighter for the people against the anti-people cabal. Without that, I doubt that he would have been governor or chairman.
See where we are now. Nigerians are in big trouble. As the NLC flexes its muscle over the irrational increase in fuel and electricity price at a time many Nigerians have been humbled by the coronavirus epidemic, where is our guy, Adams Oshiomhole?
Can you imagine what would have happened if Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr was said to have joined the Republican party in the US? Nigerians danced on Sunday because there was this sense that God won for them in Edo State against their traducers.
Does Adams know that things have changed? Has he warned his driver to make sure he does not drive on the wrong side of the road or run a traffic light in Benin City? Things are no longer the same and the great Adams Oshiomhole who used to be the emperor of Benin City may now be arrested for a simple traffic offence in Benin.
What has happened here can happen to any of us whether in the church, the mosque, the market group, a social club, a professional association or even in the family setting. Power is ephemeral and transient. It can disappear in a twinkle of an eye.
In my time, I have met a lot of small men intoxicated by power. They think that the power they wield belongs to them without realizing that the power belongs to the office they occupy, the uniform they wear or the chair they sit on. Many understand power to mean the ability to punish or subjugate others rather than the ability to uplift and put a smile on the faces of as many of God’s children as possible. Must we wait for the ‘cabal’ to be done with us before we understand the vanity of power?
See you next week.