“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Martin Niemoiler
The above is the poetic form of a post-war confessional prose by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals and certain clergy—including, by his own admission, Niemöller himself—following the Nazis’ rise to power and subsequent incremental purging of their chosen targets, group after group. . It deals with themes of persecution, guilt, repentance, and personal responsibility.
The current situation in Ẹdo State is the same as Nazi Germany. Godwin Obaseki has clearly shown same ruthless streak of the Nazist and my contention is that hẹ should be stopped before it is too late.
Last week, I chronicled Godwin Obaseki ancestral traits of power desperation to show that wẹ are dealing with something pathological . This was to enable Ẹdo people plan for what lie ahead.
Godwin Obaseki was sold to Ẹdo people by the then Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Hẹ was totally unsong and unheralded but against wise counsels, Adams Oshiomhole put him ọn his back and delivered to Government House as Governor . Hẹ hardly became Governor before hẹ started fighting his Party members and ultimately , Adams Oshiomhole , who he shamelessly banned from entering Ẹdo State.
Hẹ pulled all strings and spent hundreds of millions of Naira to remove Oshiomhole as Chairman. A man who could do this to the man who bent sọ low to make him Governor , will stop at nothing.
Before now, hẹ had sponsored one Andrew Adaze Emwanta, to file an action to stop the nomination of Ẹdo former Deputy Governor Pius Odubu as NDDC Chairman, under the pretext that it was not the turn of Ẹdo but Delta to produce the Chairman.
Now ,few days to the 2020 Ẹdo Governorship election , Godwin Obaseki, at the height of power stupor, not understanding the vicissitude of power,like an Emperor, has set his sight ọn Capt. Hosa Okunbo, a notable industrialist, philantropist and Ẹdo hero, to destroy him for not supporting his reelection ambition .
Obaseki has now engaged media hatchetmen and spin Doctors to carry out unprecedented media attacks ọn Idahosa Okunbo in order to destroy his reputation,personality and business. Again, the fellow hẹ used to file the Court action against Pius Odubu is one of the hatchetmen engaged and mobilised for the hatchet job. Same Adaze Emwanta who curiously left his Job as Assistant lecturer at the University of Calabar and used to go around Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who likes to mentor younger Edo professionals and politicians ,but who probably did not see the fellow as a hustler ready to do any dirty job for anyone who can pay. I recall Pastor Ize-Iyamu used to give this individual clothes to wear to accompany us to functions… A Governor that can engage touts, marabouts and loafers to insult prime citizens of his State has apparently lost every sense of legitimacy . Godwin Obaseki has become like King Saul of Biblical Israel, after God rejected him and annointed David Jesse in his stead and the spirit of God consequently left him.
I have often stated in various fora that political contestations are all about negotiations,mediation and concilliation; but for Obaseki, it is his way or nọ way and this shows the poorness of his spirit, probably symptomatic of his rumoured unconventional, queer or eccentric venereal personality.
I have found the way Godwin Obaseki has used State instruments and resources to fight his political benefactors and opponents queer. It can only be compared with the way his grandfather Gaius Obaseki went about his politics between late 1940s and early 1950s.
Godwin Obaseki’s threat to burn Capt. Hosa’s farm and revoke his certificates of occupancy because hẹ is not supporting his second term bid is history repeating itself before our very eyes.
Between 1896 and 1920, Agho Obaseki Ogbeide-Oyo fought hard for power,culminating in a callous betrayal of the Kingdom and Ọba Ovoranmwen Nogbaisi.The bitter struggle for power with Ovoranmwen’s son Aiguobasinmwin ( you dont struggle with the Ọba) ended in pains and defeat for Agho Obaseki and those who supported him.
Agho was seen more as a foreigner as his grandfather came in from Nsukwa in present Delta State, sojourned a bit in Ike, Uhunmwode Local Government ,before his own father, Ogbeide-Oyo moved to Benin City. It must be noted though they initially moved from Benin to Nsukwa because of a conflict between them and a certain Oba of that era.
Then came Gaius Obaseki, who did not also grow up in Benin. He also fought for power even more, burning houses of political opponents, using his links with Ibadan to intimidate all those who stood against him. Hẹ struggled for power,using every unorthodox means. Hẹ had a bitter feud with the Ọba Akenzua,but at the end, hẹ also totally lost out.
Godwin Obaseki had his early years in Benin where hẹ was laid back,nonchallant about life and did poorly in School , earning him the sobriquet NFAite, euphemism for unserious , no good boys in Benin.
Hẹ was farmed out to Ibadan,like his grandfather Gaius Obaseki, where he graduated from the University of Ibadan and settled to live in Lagos.
As soon as hẹ became Governor using Oshiomhole, he quickly showed there was nọ friendly snake. Hẹ started fighting all those he did not like their guts, turning people against established orders and lying to the people to make them feel hẹ was fighting their battles, the same way Agho Obaseki tried to convince some Palace Chiefs and other Benin people in 1914 that it would serve a nobler Benin purpose for him to become the King. Nothing could be farther than this. Godwin Obaseki is repeating the histories of his fathers.
No one should see Godwin Obaseki’s struggle for power now as just mere political contestations for the Governorship of Ẹdo State. There is an underlying, sinister agenda that targets our Edones and what makes us unique. Let him that reads understand. If Godwin Obaseki suceeds in this present political struggle ( God forbid), the next direct target will be the home Leopard ( I spit out!)
The two earlier Obasekis did not suceed in their agenda and did not end well. This one shall not be different, but wẹ cannot pretend that it is not our business. Dante Alighieri has already stated unequivocally in his immortal admonision that “the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
DAN Osa-Ogbegie is a member of the Oloke family of Benin.