April 13, 2024

Obaseki wins Midwest Herald ‘Man of The Year’


Gov Obaseki Receiving Award, file

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By Editorial Board

For breaking through the glass ceiling as the first governor in Nigeria to deny and distance himself from his anointed successor, the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki has been voted by a randomly selected audience of Midwest Herald readers, as ‘Man of the Year’ in the public sector category.

Obaseki beat his Rivers State counterpart, Mr. Siminalayi Fubara to second position in the ignoble and bizarre contest.

The choice of Mr. Obaseki’s instructively illustrate that, however good and powerful political leaders may be, they have a limited ‘sell by’ date. Sooner or later they become embarrassments to the people who put them in office or those who keep them there. A leader who fails to understand the timeous nature of political office, provides a painful spectacle.

One of the beautiful feature of democracy is that, its rules for the acquisition and transition of political power help to secure that, it does not however come that far very often.

Stories of power and political leadership are a common theme for historians throughout the history of literature – from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King to Orwell’s Animal Farm, literature is impregnated with a sense that leaders are the object of intense admiration, due to their ability to shape the world surrounding them, and their capacity to lead and to have malleable followers.

A dimension of power assumes that followers matter, considering that leaders are spurred on by their followers.

And having the authority to exercise power in order to influence the course of actions presents itself as a more complete picture of the setting needed for political leadership, but having power and authority does not necessary makes a leader.

Political scholars have argued also, that an individual can have the power and the authority to lead but he still needs something else to be considered a political leader. Obaseki’s failure to find this missing link has disqualified him from the political leaders hall of fame.

Storey (2004) illustrated some roles a politician must play to become a leader; the first being his capacity to make sense of the big picture. The other derives from the ability to make change happen, and this is the challenge of producing Mr. Asue Ighodalo has thrown at him.

Obaseki will be a relevant study on how a politician can have power and authority but yet, fail to become a leader.

After successfully rebuffing his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in 2020, the allure of becoming the political godfather in Edo State became very attractive to him. But his quest and ambition ended in a disastrous aspiration – so much so that, today he is unable to stand with and promote his anointed successor – Asue.

Governor Obaseki votes as ‘Man of The Year’ of Midwest Herald skyrocketed yesterday January 1, 2024, after his media chat with selected broadcast stations in Benin City, Edo State capital, when he responded to the question of whether he had an anointed successor.

His scores of 216 at the end of voting, outclassed that of Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State, who scored 196 for his political naivety to credulously believe that he could uproot Mr. Nyesom Wike’s political tress in 180 days in office as Rivers State governor.

During the interview, viewers unbelievably watched Obaseki as he struggled to flatly deny having a preferred aspirant and even when the interviewer pressed further with a follow-up question of Asue being his aspirant, Obaseki vehemently rejected the proposition spiritedly.

Asue on the other hand, has cleverly and ridiculously refused to market himself with achievements or failures of the governor he is working so hard to succeed.

In some of his outings, Asue has gone out of way to appeal to his listeners not to evaluate his ambition on the basis of his long-term friend and political godfather – Obaseki.

On the issue of succession, Obaseki has consistently lied about his choice and this is responsible for the unbriddled relationship between the governor and his deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu.

At the onset, Obaseki had set November 2023 to tell his close allies, his choice of a successor, but Shaibu’s bullish tactics forced him to make his position known earlier than planned, even before his annual ‘Alaghodaro’ jamboree.

The fact that Obaseki has lied about Asue has not in any way helped him or the former Sterling Bank chairman, turned politician.

The norm in every democracy is for the incumbent to use his or achievements to promote his successor, but all that established protocol has been dismissed by a governor who has recorded first in several notorieties.

See Also: Edo 2024: PDP Reconciliation Team Turns Down Obaseki’s Request for Zoning, Pleads for Leniency

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