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Oshiomhole & the politics of activism


-David Oguzierem
At the return of democracy in 1999, former president Obasanjo invaded with the usual swag of military rulers.

He was elected into office, but he ruled the nation as a dictator.
Obasanjo detested the oversight functions of the national assembly.

No wonder, we had five Senate Presidents under him.
Obasanjo also attempted to ignore labour leaders. He took major national decisions without the input of the NLC.
At that crossroad, Adams Oshiomhole appeared on the scene.

In the year 2000, Obasanjo increased fuel price without consulting stakeholders and NLC. Oshiomhole and his men declared a nation wide strike.
The labour leaders shut down Nigeria at the instance of Oshiomhole. Nigerians fell in love with this small but mighty man.

Oshiomhole was nicknamed the David that defeated the Goliath.
Obasanjo was forced to negotiate with labour. Oshiomhole and his gang were torns on the flesh of Obasanjo.

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was the face of activism and revolution in Nigeria under Obasanjo’s “regime”.
At the end of that era, Oshiomhole joined politics. He decimated the Edo godfather – Chief Tony Aninih.

Oshiomhole seized power through the courts and became Edo State governor.
At the end of his tenure as governor, he emerged the national chairman of APC.

His first test of partisan political dexterity was the 2019 general elections.
Oshiomhole midwived internal party crisis in some states.
2019 subtracted from the political fortune of APC.

Oshiomhole failed woefully. Yes, APC retained the presidency, but it lost several states and constituencies.
From Benue to Zamfara to Imo to Rivers and later Bayelsa, it was crisis galore.

His home state Edo is at the precipe of implosion. Oshiomhole is at daggers drawn with Gov. Obaseki, whom he installed.
Edo State chances is 50 – 50.

Activism and politics are two sides of the coin. 
Activism dished out as a labour leader permits open confrontation with the power centres, but politics abhors it.
It is not uncommon to see a labour leader leading a protest against state governors and ministers.

In party management, it is suicidal to shoot directly at a governor(s) even when they challenge your authority. It is worst to do so without the backing of the President.
Governors have immunity, National Chairman has no immunity.

The fight against Gov. Obaseki is a fight against APC governors. The governors will rally round their colleague.

In party leadership, negotiation, dialogue and democratic pandering serves as the winning weapons.
Being combative, dictatorial and loquacious will open your flanks and attract more enemies than you can imagine.

Oshiomhole’s divide and rule tactics sold him out as a vicious politicians.
Sometimes in war, soldiers retreat or even surrender to escape brutal annihilation.

Will Oshiomhole retreat? Will he surrender to save APC? Will he escape this impending defeat? 
The vultures are gathering. Who knows how and when the carcass will be consumed!

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