By Davidson Momoh
The very sad news this morning coming from Edo state is that the State Governor Mr Godwin Obaseki is failing in his duty as Chief Security Officer, to protect the lives and properties of Edo citizens.Just like the episode last year when criminals attempted to attack the APC National chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomhole at his Benin residence, the state governor has again chosen to play the ostrich, burying his head in the sand like all is well.Last year too, he watched as thugs made bonfires on the Airport road and disrupted traffic for hours in solidarity with the Governor’s apprehension over the return of foremost politician Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his supporters to his party, the APC.While the Governor succeeded in creating fear in the citizenry and prevented the use of the Garrick schools premises for the event, he went on to get a failed Police approval against the event. Now he is really on a wild goose chase!The recent assassination attempt on a former Attorney-general and Commissioner for Justice in Edo state, Mr Henry Idahagbon and the bomb blasts at the Benin residences respectively of Chief Francis Inegbeneki and National President of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN , Mr Osakpamwan Eriyo also come to mind.While the Governor did not raise any alarm, the Police say they are investigating these developments though all the personalities listed are chieftains of the APC, the party which the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki ostensibly claims he belongs. Ironically addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja after a meeting of APC Governors’ Sub-committee on governance with the National Assembly leadership of which Obaseki is a Co-Chairman, the Governor represented by his Deputy, Philip Shuaibu, said part of reasons he was in Abuja was to submit a petition over the breach of law banning political rally in the state by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.He said: “I am in Abuja to meet with the IG. I have a petition to the IG and to the Director of DSS to the effect that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole be arrested by the Police and be arrested by the DSS for the breakdown of law and order that he has consistently perpetrated in Edo state.“We banned rallies, the IG in a letter also suspended rallies. He disobeyed the orders of the state government, he disobeyed the orders of the IG and feels that he is above the law. For us, we have officially come now to drop our petition with the IG to the effect that Oshiomhole is not above the law. He should be arrested for violating the state government’s order.According to Shuaibu, “He (Oshiomhole) was a governor before and he knows that nobody violated his orders as governor, because it is not about him, it is about the state. When everybody disobeys laws, then the country becomes a Banana Republic, God forbid. And that is why we are saying that the IG and the DG of DSS should arrest him and interrogate him for breaching the peace and disobeying government orders and security orders for rallies.“So, for us, when the suspended national chairman of the party continually disobeys the law, when opposition party chairmen do same, he becomes a reference point, so that is why I am here on behalf of the state government to submit a petition to the IG to the effect that the suspended chairman, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, be arrested and prosecuted for breaching the peace of Edo state’.The invitation to the Police and the DSS is quite laughable because there is no excuse to occasion or back up their request. I beg God to shower His love once more on us and give us the grace to understand that, first and foremost, we must do that which is expected by right-thinking members of Edo society. The governor started well. But what is going on? The National chairman joined him to move the state forward. But suddenly, his primitive politics, self interest and desperate and undeserved second term is driving him nuts!.It would not have been necessary to respond to this childish move of the Governor displayed by his deputy, but doing so is called for, if only for the records. First the law in Nigeria allows for Freedom of association. Political parties are associations where citizens meet, interact and network in the public interest. The Nigerian Constitution guarantees this in the relevant sections.Secondly people don’t go about petitioning the Police to come and arrest citizens. Not even governors. So this display of ignorance by the Governor is understandable though quite laughable. How can a serious minded Governor go to a forum of APC Governors of which he is the vice-chairman and call on the Police to arrest the National chairman of the party he claims membership of?The Governor even labelled his National chairman ,’suspended’, whereas a competent court of jurisdiction has nullified such a label which arose from the sordid arrangement orchestrated by the Governor himself in his desperation. It is a pity that because the National chairman had refused to toe the line of the desperate Governor by imposing him on EDO APC as the sole candidate for the Edo 2020 polls, he has condescended to this level.No doubt the Governor feels he has become very powerful, and perhaps more powerful than the Constitution. So because he believes that the National chairman is against his desperation, he has made him a target. Yet the National chairman has no business with the Police. He has not committed any crime. If he has the Police knows it’s duties as an institution created to solve crimes, to do. It does not need to be told. The National chairman comes to Edo state regularly. He is from Edo. Though the Governor says he ought to get clearance from him before making such visits, for a man who has been Governor of the same state, who never asked his predecessors in office to do same, the request makes no sense. This is more so viewed against the Constitution’s freedom of movement clause.So APC National chairman was at Auchi in Edo North to receive PDP and other party members who were either returning home to APC or joining the party a few weeks ago. He was not at Irrua where a similar episode took place. Who else would have received these people? Certainly not a Governor whose only interest is scarring people away from joining his party or coming home to the APC. I really feel sad that we have got to this stage in Edo politics with a governor who started well but is now hellbent on sinking himself. His politics of me-first, and Edo interest second coupled is what is threatening lives and tearing the state apart. Not Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.