I have nothing against Comrade Adams Oshiomole’s humble beginning. After loosing his job as the General Secretary of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, he took up street to street sewing of torn clothes which he used to sustain himself before the advent of democracy.
Being a tailor, shoe maker or gardener etc has nothing to do with a man’s destiny, rather a humble background in the midst of different adversity should propel and inspire a person to greatness considering the deprivation, lack, social stigma or even persecution such persons must have experienced. For we are all children of destiny irrespective of our career path.
I was a big fan of Comrade Adams Oshiomole between 1999 and 2007 when as a unionist, he reached the apex of the Labour Union as their President. He was a fiery unionist who advocated for salary increment by negotiating a 25% wage increase for public sector workers and challenged obnoxious policies of government fearlessly amongst other achievements.
He was a firm orator who could paint blue to black and black to white with his revolutionalistic rhetorical utterances which was never short of rhyme and rhythm.
Incidentally, Adams Oshiomole’s entry into Partisan Politics in April 2007 was celebrated and greeted with pomp and pegeantry by the people of Edo State.
He challenged and dethroned the highly revered and respected legendary political leader of Edo State, the late Tony Anenih aka “Mr. fix it”. Adams Oshiomole’s impudence paid off as Chief Tony Anenih’s political dynasty came to an end.
He openly condemned God-fatherism and swore by every “god” he believed in that Chief Anenih’s fall shall be the end of God -fatherism in Edo State. This, he never adhered to himself as he fell out with his successor. God-fatherism no doubt became his albatross.
After he ended his tenure as governor on 12th November 2016, Oshiomole found favour with the leadership of the ruling A.P.C at the terminal end of His Excellency, Odigie Oyegun’s reign as Chairman of the party and was coronated on the 23rd of June, 2018 as the substantive Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (A.P.C) following a voice vote by A.P.C delegates at the party’s national convention.
Since Oshiomole’s ascension to power as the National Chairman of the A.P.C, he metamorphosed into a rabid dictator as he lacked the maturity, comportment, wisdom and tact to settle the party’s internal crises. No wonder during his altercation with Senator Chris Ngige he boasted that if the president could take nonsense from Ngige, he Oshiomole would not. Such display of arrogance was a harbinger of later events to come. The loquacious chairman talks before he thinks. A wise man must know what battles to fight and when to drop his sword, he must also learn to choose his enemies as well as friends but the former unionist turned politician could not decipher any of these as his integrity deficit became more glaring by the day.
Adams Oshiomole first took on his predecessor, Odigie Oyegun, an elder statesman who had midwifed A.P.C to her maiden presidential victory in 2015 becoming the first opposition party to defeat an incumbent president in the country. Oshiomole and his faction poured vituperations on Oyegun and branded him as weak and lacking in the bite desirous of a ruling party even when president Buhari, the leader of the party and seven of its governors backed Odigie Oyegun. Odigie Oyegun who is a man of great Scholarship with an enviable pedigree in public service was jettisoned for the exuberant, foul mouthed and rascally Adams Oshiomole.
While Oyegun’s leadership that ousted the P.D.P was commendable, many forget that Oyegun has a history of challenging the status quo since he joined politics as he was very active in prodemocracy movements. He rewrote Nigeria’s political history and showed that incumbency is no longer a guarantee for success in a re-election bid at the federal level.
Adams Oshiomole met his political waterloo when he fell out with his estranged godson and successor, the incumbent Edo State governor, his Excellency, Godwin Obaseki. Oshiomole’s contagious politics of revision has darkened the part to radical actualization of nation building and politics of national reawakening. All the promises, all attempts, all policy thrusts, all the initial manifest hopes are merely ventilated symbolically, through eloquent public preachment. Oshiomole suffered the nemesis of power. His exercise of virtual paramount power led to descent and total defeat, both politically and spiritually.
Governor Obaseki an elite politician with a strong grassroot appeal was too hot for Oshiomole to handle.
On November 12, 2019 Oshiomole was suspended from APC after 18 local government chairmen of the party in his native State of Edo passed a vote of no confidence on him. On the 4th of March, 2020 a high court sitting in Abuja confirmed the suspension of Oshiomole from office of the National Chairman of APC.
Oshiomole’s high handedness has made him a potential asset to the opposition P.D.P as during his reign, the A.P.C lost seven States to the P.D.P due to his incompetence, carelessness and vindictive decision making. The hangover of his union background beclouded his inglorious reign and he ended up balkanizing the APC into factional groups.
The coming days will be highly dramatic in the politics of Edo State. Not anticipating the current crises, Oshiomole had rained uncommon encomiums on Godwin Obaseki as he eulogized his achievements to an unprecedented level. Oshiomole in different public fora and campaigns attributed all he has achieved as a governor to Gov. Godwin Obaseki as he took Ize- Iyamu to the cleaners with insults calling him a cultist and not fit to hold public office. Oshiomole and his Godfather have made statements conceding defeat and seeking for peace but they both are nursing political injuries. We can rest assured that the fight is not over yet. How he will turn all this around will be rated one of the wonders of the world.