Correcting Godwin Obaseki Error with Osagie Ize-Iyamu: Why Edo Should Vote APC for Governorship (1)

By Sebastine Ebhuomhan
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The long focus of theologians and historians on the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Pharisees has never baffled Christians. It seeks to capture a broader understanding of why Jesus disliked the Pharisees: a Jewish sect The Bible’s New Testament mentioned 100 times.

At first, Pharisees seem like a people that should be Christ’s best friends. Reasons are not far-fetched.

The word Pharisee means “separatist.” By their name, Pharisees were assumed to be the most pious people of their time. They followed Old Testament law to the letters. And they preached abhorrence for immorality.

But Pharisees were mere legalists. Beside annoyingly focusing on minute details of the law, they adorned, embellished, watered and polluted the law with traditions. For example, a person could ride a donkey on a Sabbath without breaking the law. But the same person would be guilty of laying a burden on the animal if he used a switch to speed up the animal.

In another example, a Pharisee could give alms to a beggar on the Sabbath only if the beggar stuck his palm inside the home of the Pharisee from outside.

Matthew Chapter 23 records Jesus’ eloquent verdict on Pharisees.

Jesus literarily flogged the Pharisees for pride, pettiness, clannishness and hypocrisy. Boldly contrasting his own teaching with Pharisees’ and two other groups he also confronted (the Sadducees and the Scribes), Jesus said their veiled lifestyle tend to divert public attention from their unworthy attitude towards God and other people.

Warning his followers about expectations after his death, Jesus said hypocrisies from Pharisees and other ungodly sects wouldn’t just fade away. Rather, they would increase until Judgment Day.

Read Also: Correcting Godwin Obaseki Error with Osagie Ize-Iyamu: Why Edo Should Vote APC for Governorship (2)

Although Jesus singled out Pharisees for extreme legalism, his teachings weren’t merely challenging ancient sects but the tendencies, contradictions, hypocrisies and evils of humans of today. The errors Jesus underlined are evident today of politics and governance in Nigeria, where lies, deceits, arrogance, pride, ingratitude, intolerance, lip-service, favouritism, nepotism, mismanagement, looting, voodoo, vendetta, killings and impunities are the order of the day.

Nowadays, evil doers tag, mock, ridicule, haunt, intimidate, harass, threaten and attack children of God over past sins even when God has forgiven and restored their life from damnation. It signals the augury of the ruins of the world.

Before Obaseki obtained PDP tickets, the party beamed its searchlight on the college. In a statement: College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi: The Rot Created by Governor Godwin Obaseki, signed by Edo PDP spokesman, Chris Nehikhare, the party accused the governor of illegality; impunity, looting, vandalism and abandonment.

Edo State Governor and re-election seeking candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki, is a man who throws his name about as a tool of access to God. But his life is the opposite of being Christ-like. When carefully analysed, Mr Obaseki’s life, an encapsulation of his attitude and character, underlined by his thoughts, words and actions, is darkened and corrupted by vices that Jesus lashed Pharisees for. His politics of backstabbing, ingratitude, rebellion and violence has no comparison. He is not alone.

Watching his Deputy talking about violence in a sponsored interview aired by Africa Independent Television (AIT) edition of 17th August, you will quickly conclude that Mr Philip Shaibu suffers from the same malaise that plagues his principal. Otherwise, how can a hand-waving Shaibu, who led thousands of thugs into a hallowed legislative chamber or the one who hired hundreds of motorcyclists without helmets for a deadly expressway ride to the gates of a university marking convocation all for the purpose of a political address in front of his estranged benefactor’s home wash his hands off violence?

Without visible achievements to launch his campaign, Obaseki’s elementary rhetoric relies on the demonization of Pastor Andrew Osagie Ize-Iyamu (PAOI), the popular and formidable candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), using past campaign pomposity of former Governor of Edo State and former National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

As one of Nigeria’s greatest intellectual orators, Oshiomhole had successfully sold Obaseki, an “unripe tomato” to electorate in 2016. Now complimentarily labelled as ‘rotten tomato,’ Obaseki’s campaign strategy of negatively deploying Oshiomhole’s oratorial prowess exposes the slapdash man that Oshiomhole literarily carried on his back as an insipid, spineless, lip-service Christian, who is unable to discern Pastor Ize-Iyamu as a man at peace with God and humanity ever since he accepted Jesus Christ, repented from his sins and, just like everyone of us that truly calls upon his name, earned God’s forgiveness in return.

In Chapters 8 and 9 of The Acts of the Apostles, Saul “consented” to the murder of Stephen through stoning. He led “great persecution” against the church at Jerusalem, breathing murder against men and women, resulting to their scattering throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.

Verse 3 of Chapter 8 states: “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.”

The same notorious Saul would become Paul in Verse 9 of Chapter 13, “filled with the holy spirit,” after an encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus, where his scarlets of sins were immediately whitened as snow. He harvested countless unbelievers for God.

No other issue has portrayed Obaseki as a Pharisee than the needless controversy he used his family minions to create over The Simple Agenda, the manifesto Ize-Iyamu wrote and published. In 2016, Obaseki contested Edo governorship election without a manifesto. He won with the support of Oshiomole and the Comrade’s countless foot soldiers. But having suddenly realised the need for a manifesto to anchor his re-election campaign, he launched a move to covet Ize-Iyamu’s document.

On 17th July, 2020, a member of the extended family, Tony Osayi Obaseki, declared his intention to pursue litigation over ownership of the document after another member 2016 failed governorship aspirant, Pedro Obaseki, laid half-hearted claim. While Dr Obaseki controverted his recent claim in an old television programme of 2016, where he acknowledged Ize-Iyamu’s copyright, the needless controversy showed Governor Obaseki’s desperation to reincarnate himself in office in the face of public rejection.

Seeing the futility of his desperation, Obaseki, a self-acclaimed technocrat who studied Classics in the university without mandatory admission subjects of Mathematics and English, quickly cobbled a phantasm: Make Edo Great Again (MEGA). Presenting it in a recent virtual conference, he couldn’t even explain the meaning or workability of MEGA. As records have shown, the acronym, MEGA, was first publicised in 2017 when organisers of a cultural education adopted it for an event tagged: Edocated.

Obaseki’s desperation to covet Ize-Iyamu’s intellectual property fertilized after his aides couldn’t get the permission to use this writer’s critical handbook on the manifesto. At APC’s final rally in 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and the entire party followership used the critique on the manifesto to campaign for Obaseki against Iye-Iyamu. That day, 10, 000 copies were distributed free-of-charge. Having locked himself up at the Government House since 12th November 2016, Obaseki had hoped to re-use the handbook to undo Ize-Iyamu again after they swapped parties.

Whereas in 2016, Obaseki campaigned free-of-charge with the handbook, won and smartly evaded any acknowledgement of its impact on his victory, this writer stopped his aides that broached the idea of underwriting the handbook review for a re-use after primaries in June. Furthermore, this writer warned Obaseki’s aides on the consequences of campaigning with the handbook without a written permission.

There is no controversy, whatsoever. Obaseki has no manifesto. He has never written any. He campaigned on the continuity of Oshiomhole’s developmental stride in 2016. Ize-Iyamu is the author and copyright owner of the only manifesto Edo State knows today: The Simple Agenda, a manifesto of hope. This writer believes in the ideas Ize-Iyamu espoused for Edo State’s encompassing development. He has read the manifesto copiously, analysed it painstakingly, criticised it positively, published his opinion carefully and distributed it freely in 2016. His critique intended to make a more workable document of the manifesto. He freely and wholeheartedly endorses Ize-Iyamu’s governorship bid. He enjoins all good people of Edo State to work for PAOI, the acronym of Ize-Iyamu’s name, by voting for APC.

The essence of criticism is to build with sound value judgment. The critic’s general purpose is to enrich the reader’s understanding of a literary work by wearing the hat of the writer. That is why Samuel Johnson, the English critic, biographer, essayist, poet, and lexicographer thrived as one of the greatest figures of 18th-Century life and letters.

The devout Anglican and committed Tory once declared, “I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works.”

Sebastine EBHUOMHAN is a multiple award-winning journalist from Edo State resident in Abuja. He can be reached at: usie007@yahoo.com or 08037204620. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.