By Kenny Adewole
Former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole over the weekend claimed that the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi is responsible for high unemployment in Nigeria.
Oshiomhole, the All Progressives Congress, APC senatorial candidate for Edo North, asserted at the flag-off of his campaign in the Auchi area of Edo State on Saturday.
Oshiomhole’s statement blaming Peter Obi for Nigeria’s economic troubles simply because the latter imports the majority of the goods offered at his mall reveals the sad stupidity of those in power in our country.
There is no doubt that experts have blamed the ruling party, APC for the high rate of unemployment in the country.
It is the government that stipulates a nation’s economic plan, not private businessmen.
Peter Obi has rather aided the Nigerian economy by investing in businesses, bringing in commodities in high demand in the country, and employing thousands of Nigerians who would otherwise be unemployed but for Peter Obi’s business chains.
There is no doubt that the political career of Adams Oshiomhole has suffered a huge setback. Some political experts believe his career might have been reduced to rubble by no other person than the former Edo state governor himself.
Going back to history, not so long after the court of appeal affirmed his sack as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, he has been dislodged in Edo where he governed from 2008 to 2016.
The tussle with Godwin Obaseki whom he helped to power is one of his greatest undoings as he has not just lost political relevance in his stronghold but suffered a heavy blow.
After he fell out with Obaseki, the APC executive committee in his ward in Etsako west local government suspended him. The APC chairmen in the 18 local government areas of the state also passed a vote of no confidence on him, accusing him of working against the party’s interest.
I feel sorry for Adams Oshiomhole, who, through years of brutal struggle, sweat and tears, finally reaches the top where fame and fortune await him but loses a lot on account of a basic character flaw.
Unfortunately, complacency, that eternal destroyer of Goliaths, quickly set in when he achieved his greatest triumph after he was elected the Chairman of the APC. In that role, he could influence the destinies of politicians and others all over Nigeria.
He was consulted by the President and other transient holders of great power. Little did he realize that great power is always a two-way sword. It cuts the adversaries as well as the wielder with equal ferocity when deployed without discretion.
Oshiomhole may not realize it, but he is a target in Nigerian politics. He now poses a safety risk to himself and anyone around him, much like a man who strapped on an explosive belt in a crowded area.
There is probably no other political figure who daily multiplies the number of his political adversaries as Oshiomhole. He seems to have forgotten the warning that in the political game: “A man alone hasn’t got a chance.”
After Buhari, the man who should be the APC’s second most significant rallying point has increasingly taken on the image of an uncontrollable destroyer, spreading division everywhere, garnering maledictions from members who should be obedient, and uniting the rank and file against himself.
Oshiomhole most probably will not last until 2023 unless there is a revolutionary change in his approach to leadership.
Most long-lasting leaders avoid being caught telling outright lies. In all of his battles, Oshiomhole employs truths, half-truths, and outright lies. As a result, the majority of his listeners tend to take his statements with a grain of salt.
You just never know whether to accept his statements at face value or not. A person known or perceived to be capable of doing anything to win a contest generally receives no benefit of the doubt when accused of wrongdoing.
Many Edo voters, when unsure of the person to trust, simply voted against Oshiomhole.
One traditional ruler who had felt the sting of ex-Governor Oshiomhole’s tongue when he was the state’s number one citizen said, “When the man walked into my palace with Ize-Iyamu asking for prayers and support. I felt sorry for the candidate because I knew that if Ize-Iyamu should win, the man pretending to be humble will show his true colours again.
“I uttered some non-committal prayers with my mouth; then retired to the inner sanctuary and prayed to God that it will not happen.”
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is an unserious aspirant trying to use Peter Obi’s name to curry his dead campaign in Edo State.
I wonder why Oshiomhole thrives in controversy and derives pleasure in creating political crises. He seems to occupy a strange universe, where his personal feelings are more important to him than peace and unity.
The same Oshiomhole who imported his wife, Lara, from Cape Verde lacks the integrity to question Peter Obi’s company that employed thousands of Nigerians who would have otherwise been without jobs.
On a final note, I will like to educate the ignorance of Oshiomhole that there are several benefits in importing goods, such as high quality, low prices, and benefits related to international trade.
If the APC-led administration has done the right thing for the past 7 years, we shouldn’t be talking about importation. Many businesses today find importing products, parts of products, and resources more affordable than producing them locally because APC has killed production in Nigeria.
Adewole Kenny is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja and can be reached via email@example.com