It’s been a long game, one requiring plenty of wits and political sagacity. Persons who have better knowledge of the situation opined that it started just before the 2019 general elections and two main players were at the centre of it- Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of Edo State who at the time was the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC). The next actor was Ifeanyi Okowa, incumbent governor of Delta state.
Oshiomhole who held the reins of power in Abuja at the time as APC Chairman had sworn he would use “Federal might” to ensure Okowa did not return for a second term and according to knowledgeable sources, had to temporarily relocate to Asaba during the 2019 gubernatorial elections in a show of force. He was determined to upend Okowa’s governorship after just four years at the helm of affairs in the oil-rich state.
Oshiomhole is one man who has a tendency to overreach himself. While plotting Okowa’s ouster, he forgot a few fundamental realities. Number one, he is not a registered voter in Delta, secondly, Delta has its own political dynamics which the former Edo governor never understood and thirdly, the leading political actors in Delta do not enjoy being dictated to by external forces.
It was therefore not surprising that the former labour leader’s ambition was torpedoed before it had a chance to take off as Okowa not only won Oshiomhole’s candidate- he made sure the former APC national chairman left the state in disgrace.
As the Edo guber election neared, Okowa saw an opportunity for a return game and as his nemesis did in 2019, the Delta governor relocated to Benin- like several other leaders of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the south – south region to work for the victory of Godwin Obaseki whom Oshiomhole also wanted to bring his governorship run to an abrupt end. The man nicknamed Oshiobaba, sure has a way of imagining himself to be some kind of demigod who forgot his days of little beginnings- the days he posed as “comrade” who has no interests in the pleasures of capitalism. Well, that’s a matter for another day.
Well, we have now seen how it ended. Okowa again had the last laugh. Obaseki and the PDP won and from the look of things, sent the overbearing former labour leader to permanent political retirement.
Will Oshiomhole surrender and admit that he overreached himself? Maybe yes, maybe no. As was said at the beginning, the game is a long one, not a sprint. The point however must be made: no man can play God as our friend has tried to do repeatedly.