Although Adams Oshiomhole might have survived his planned removal from office as the national chairman of APC, there’s no debating the fact that he also suffered humiliating bruises. Chuks Okocha writes
The only and better way to describe the survival of Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after attempts to sack him is to conclude he currently savours a pyrrhic victory. It’s a Pyrrhic victory in the sense that it inflicted so much devastating pains on the victor that it is tantamount to a defeat.
Anyone, who enjoys a pyrrhic victory, has also embraced such compromises that negate any true sense of achievement that could damage a long-term progress. Importantly, this is not yet a respite for him, because the battle ahead is still real.
For instance, the survival is by every definition a humiliation of the arrogant trade unionist turned-politician. Oshiomhole was indeed humiliated. He was forced to swallow his vomits by lifting the suspension placed on the deputy national chairman, Lawan Shuiabu and Inuwa Abdulkadir, the vice chairman of the party, Northeast.
The victory came with a huge price. But even at that, some will say that it is not yet uhuru for the Edo State born-politician. The greatest battle is still ahead. It would be eventually called victory for him, if he survives the challenges ahead in Edo and Ondo States, during the governorship primaries.
The forces against him have not sheathed their swords yet. Oshiomhole too has not helped himself in the quagmire he finds himself. What will he do to the ambition of Pastor Ize Iyamu, who defected to APC?
What is the future of the ongoing reconciliations? It appears the future of the APC is endangered and can only be cultured in the interest of the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, when given a second term ticket.
How possible would that be? Will Ize Iyamu and his supporters give up without a fight? This battle for APC governorship ticket will determine whether the national chairman has actually survived or not.
Though the governors of the party were not in unison to remove Oshiomhole, certainly they will not support him to stop Obasieki from contesting for a second term. This is, because the broom they support now could be used to sweep some out during their own days of trial with a political godfather.
The governors are still there. They operate like a cult. Will they allow one of their own to be humiliated out of office in Edo State? What would be the terms of reconciliations?
One of the conditions given to Oshiomhole is to reconcile with Obaseki. But what is not clear is how that would be done. Some of his associates, like Ize Iyamu have crossed the line of no return. It was gathered that the embattled national chairman might be inclined to reconciliation but what would happen to his hardline supporters? What becomes of their political future? This will be a very hard nut for Oshiomhole to crack and it will form part of his deciding points, going forward.
The big question in the mouths of his supporters is, will Oshiomhole sacrifice them for his political interest or would he go down with them? What will happen to them if he chose the former?
Here comes the real situation on the ground in Edo State. Efforts to resolve the crisis in the APC must ensure a total reconciliation of the two factions in the state. The faction loyal to Oshiomhole has already opened a new secretariat.
The secretariat, which is less than two kilometres from the old secretariat of the party was opened with fanfare and attended by party leaders and members, including two governorship aspirants and a former deputy governor of the state, Hon Pius Odubu and Saturday Uwalekhue.
But the faction loyal to Obaseki and led by Mr. Anselm Ojezua, has dismissed the event, saying it remains the legally recognised leadership of the party and its secretariat is the only recognised one in Edo.
The other question, therefore, is who is the state chairman of APC in Edo State? Is it still Anselm Ojezua? Is the embattled National Chairman still suspended in his ward? When will his ward in Iyamho lift the suspension on him.
Although there is nothing that cannot happen in politics, the party has a reconciliation initiative in place under Chief Bisi Akande as chairman. Can he ensure effective reconciliation of the factions in the state? The party is really in bad shape in Edo State.
To make matters worse, last Wednesday, barely 48 hours after Oshiomhole survived, Shuaibu had again set himself on a collision course with him after asserting that Obaseki should be given an automatic return ticket of the party.
Hitting the nail on the head, Shuaibu said there was no need escalating tension in Edo State with the bid to deny Obaseki the ticket. That’s exactly one of the major causes of the crisis in the state.
“It is not a time bomb. We all heard President Buhari during the last NEC meeting announced that any governor, who has performed deserves a second term.
“There is no time bomb, because why should you prefer any other person than the sitting governor? It is like that all over the world even in America that started this democracy. Donald Trump has no opposition and nobody is contesting against him.
“It does not make sense to bring another person to contest against the governor. Governor Obaseki is the strongest candidate of the APC we have in Edo State.”
But this is the time bomb. Will Oshiomhole sacrifice Iyamu and members of his Edo Progressives Movement? What will happen to them now that the race to the Osadebe House is gradually gathering momentum? Will Oshiomhole and his comrades go back to the nights of long knife?
As Williams Shakespeare says in his epic novel, Julius Caesar, beware the ides of March. It is here now and has not gone. For Oshiomhole, the ides of March has come, but has not left station, which means danger is not yet averted.