Edo leaked video: Why Gambari must dare be different

By Editor on 19/08/2020

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There is a video currently making the rounds in the social media. It was released by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), showing former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole in deep discussions with Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, the Chief of Staff (CoS) to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Oshiomhole, himself, the immediate past Governor of Edo State for eight years, was overheard clearly in the video, talking about the arrest of some people. These were the operative words: “Arrest him, deal with him and all this will end.”

Now, this is beyond disturbing. To say the least it is tragedy! That is assuming, but not conceding that what that video depicts, going by the utterances and body language of a seemingly thoroughly agitated Oshiomhole, is the true story.

At the least, even at the risk of appearing partisan, we join the PDP to ask for a thorough investigation into this matter, with the aim of assuring Nigerians that the odious picture that apparently disbelieving encounter depicts, is not what it seems. We ask for nothing less at Whirlwindnews.com.

For effect, we reproduce what the PDP are now saying over the video clip: “Nigerians were alarmed by the video in which Oshiomhole was seen emphatically urging the Chief of Staff to Mr. President on the need to clampdown on certain unnamed Nigerians to achieve political suppression and submission ahead of the Edo election.

“The involvement of the Chief of Staff to the President and the fact that the discussion held within the precincts of the Presidential Villa, have made the Presidency complicit. This places a huge burden on President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Already, there is anxiety in the public space that the discussion between Oshiomhole and Prof. Gambari as captured in the video is an extension of discussions that must have held behind closed doors in the Presidential villa.

“The video has validated earlier revelations of plots by Oshiomhole and the discredited APC governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to use compromised security operatives being mobilised by certain individuals in the presidency, to arrest innocent Nigerians, including traditional, faith-based and community leaders on trumped up charges, ahead of the Edo election.

“It also confirms our stance that Adams Oshiomhole and the APC candidate have completely lost ground in Edo state, hence the plot to clamp down on the people. Nigerians and the people of Edo State now know those to hold responsible should there be cases of illegal arrests, assassinations and unexplained killings, sudden disappearances of prominent people, accidental discharge by federal security operatives and mysterious accidents in the course of this Edo governorship election. President Buhari must reassure Nigerians by immediately ordering the arrest of Oshiomhole and Prof. Gambari for questioning over the video.”

Granted, the party may be crying wolf where there is none and the duo are discussing something else. But this needs to be proved to Nigerians and outsiders who are taking keen interest in the Edo election.

Why so? Simple! The credibility of elections is as fundamental and central to the survival of a nation, Nigeria inclusive, as its absence is equally destructive and fatal. At the time when virtually all nations are finding ways of crawling out of the hole, where they sank as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, no nation can afford to bespatter itself with the paintbrush of infamy. A thriving democracy as depicted by a trustworthy electoral process is one of the easiest ways of achieving this. Nigeria, therefore could only dare to be different at its own peril.

Not only does a credible democratic tradition ensure that leaders who enjoy the mandate of the people must emerge, which in itself is a confidence-building mechanism that showcases that the leadership and the led are one in accord, it also evokes a good name for a country to enable it do business with the outside world in the same manner lack of it conduces suspicion and in some cases bad blood. Just like oil and water do not mix, some nations with good names become at best circumspect, if not totally avoid others with bad names.

There is no doubt that in extreme cases, flawed elections have become an avenue for greater crisis and even bloodsheds occasioned by uprisings, insurrections and outright wars. Of course Nigeria’s tortuous history is a clear example.

We are presently witnesses to the outcome in Mali, where a two-year-old election dispute between the government and the opposition, has just degenerated to a coup d’etat as seen by the arrest of President Ibrahim Boubakar Keïta alongside Prime Minister Boubou Cissé by apparently mutinying soldiers.

Is it not ironical and a damning coincidence that the Malian situation is coming on the same day that the said Aso Rock tape is being revealed? While the Malian situation is still at an early stage, nothing stops Nigeria from having its eyes in the outcome even if only as a lesson.

Of course, we shrug our shoulders and entertain ourselves with the enticing feeling that we have outgrown the Malian situation by way of our socio-political development. But, can we in the same manner also obviate the damning consequences of being seen as a bad country with defective and shameful democratic ethos? That is a question that begs for an answer ahead of the Edo elections.

Instructively, this is the first election Nigeria would be conducting with Gambari as the Chief of Staff. Painfully, he is now being linked to such an ugly picture. It is worse that he is currently on the receiving end rather than the one investigating this horrific development.

Yet, there is a way out. The damage has not been done so far even though a credible explanation from him would not be a bad idea. He could still redeem the situation by washing his hands of the inglorious project at this stage. The disaster is if he goes ahead.

In fact, since his position has become such critical in the present political arrangement in the country, the Edo election is one that ought to present him the opportunity of shining and not only entrenching his name positively in the minds of Nigerians, but etching same across the pages of history, a feat his predecessor failed to achieve even with begging opportunities and sadly so.

Yes! Granted that from the outset, he made it clear that he was in office to do the bidding of the President, but his office has also entrusted him with the opportunity and mandate to play a more ennobling for his boss and the nation. He cannot exculpate himself or plead loyalty if he leads his boss to perdition, political or historical. He ought to save him from it, even if that is what he wants. Wise servants have a way of doing that. He only needs be creative. And from his pedigree, he has or ought to have what it takes to be creative.

As a gatekeeper, nobody seems better suited today to create a buffer between the President and the political hounds hovering around the polity including the Presidency, who have nothing else, not even in the least, an iota of love and good intention for the numero uno, outside using him to burrow their ways to personal, selfish and most times unedifying ends.

The need to create this barrier and the ability to do so, become even more evident by the fact that we are not talking of a typical politician, but a career diplomat with such a tall credential at the international realm where good name is considered more important than pure diamond.

At the risk of repetition, we insist that someone with the pedigree of Gambari should be able to spot trouble from afar. Granted that politicians, especially of Nigerian variant have a way of infusing poison into the best of apples and cause it to rot, it requires only the will power and nothing more for someone as experienced as the CoS, to present an antidote to their deadly venom.

Failure to do so will therefore not be for lack of capacity, but of choice and if so, he would have himself and not even his boss to blame for the sure negative consequences. Too bad if he doesn’t realise that.

Clearly, any careful observer cannot fail to read the somewhat desperation in Oshiomhole’s conducts. The imprimateur is written all over him. The apparent burning passion of wanting to prove something in his native Edo appears to be quite evident. Who would not be, given what he has passed through in recent times? However, the flipside is what he does to achieve this end.

On the one hand, if his strategy is to ride on the wings of the likes of Gambari and even the President to help him garner votes in Edo by their sheer influence and stops there, the outcome would be quite ennobling and even heroic if crowned with success. But anything to the contrary that tapers towards truncating the will of the people, especially through officially-sanctioned violence and brutality would create the direct opposite.

Finally, we say it will not be quite sad if the will of Edo people is slaughtered on the slab by some antidemocratic forces. But, a Gambari being arm-twisted and outwitted to do so will be far worse. It will be tragic!



Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on August, 19 2020

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