By Nosa Omorodion
I had deliberately withdrawn from engagement on Facebook in the past couple of days to give ample room for our political opponents, who think they have posted a big win in the Edo 2020 Governorship Election with Godwin Obaseki, to gloat and relish their accomplishment. They have not disappointed in expressing their predictable penchant for sadism.
I have watched with amusement their desperate appeal for congratulatory messages from those they believe are vanquished.
I think this uncanny crave for congratulatory messages subsists on a need to assuage their fear that Obaseki’s nebulous triumph could be negotiated to avoid a torpedo in the court of law.
What could have illustrated this desire for validation better than the orchestrated media report whereby Ize-Iyamu’s pre election comment that Obaseki should return to the APC was presented as a post election message of concession?
It is worthy of note that as I write this piece the candidate of the APC and my principal, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has neither issued a statement to concede defeat or to congratulate Governor Godwin Obaseki who was declared winner of the September 19 polls. This is despite the celebrated capitulation of the leadership of the APC in Abuja. Presently, I have no idea of what Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu thinks about the concluded election and the attitude he wants to adopt about challenging its outcome. I am however not unaware of the fact that the disqualification of Godwin Obaseki for the office of Governor is a matter pending before the court on several grounds.
Without prejudice to what Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu will say about the election or the qualification of Godwin Obaseki, I want to say that I NOSA OMORODION will not congratulate Obaseki or his followers and supporters until the matter in court is resolved in his favour. I will not fault Ize-Iyamu’s decision to congratulate Obaseki but I have a right to my decision as stated here.
My decision is hinged on the belief that Obaseki does not qualify or has not proven that he is qualified to be the Governor of Edo State in view of the unresolved puzzle surrounding how he was able to gain admission to read Classics in the prestigious University of Ibadan, with three credits excluding English Language and Literature in his O/Level certificate examination.
The questionable higher level certificate he wants us to believe was used for securing the admission has not been properly presented or verified. It is instructive to note that HSC or A/Level was not an examination for those who failed to pass the Ordinary Level WAEC. It was an exam which passing gave one an advantage for admission and jumping the first year of the graduate programme.
The big question is, how could Obaseki have sat for an A/level or HSC without passing the Ordinary Level which benchmark is a mandatory credit pass in English Language? The antidote to failing English Language was, and still is, repeating the O/Level. Does Obaseki have another O/Level result he submitted to the University of Ibadan? I believe this would be made known when officials of the University of Ibadan are officially invited to testify before the court.
Meanwhile, it is important to make the following clarification for the sake of those who may not know what Classics is as a course in the university. Classics is simply Literature. Literature in Nigeria is founded on the English Language, which is our Lingua Franca. Therefore, it is puzzling that a person that did not pass English Language or Literature was offered admission to read a course that is all about Literature in English Language.
In spite of my misgivings though, let it be known that I have not passed a verdict on the academic qualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki at the point of his gaining admission into the University. However, I of the opinion that what he has presented contradicts his claim to a proper admission into the University of Ibadan in 1976. That implies that he was perhaps not qualified to be admitted. Until proven otherwise, I strongly suspect that Obaseki did something illegal, fraudulent and dubious to obtain his admission. If that be the case, he would be guilty of breaching the Electoral Act, which unequivocally prescribes his DISQUALIFICATION. The courts should spare no process to unravel the truth.
When the matter of Obaseki’s academic integrity is conclusively disposed of in court, I will know whether a congratulatory message from me would be in order.
In the meantime, I want to say that my vision of the Governor of Edo State is that of a man or woman of transparent integrity. For such a person I would not hesitate to congratulate.