Fact check: Oshiomole, Shaibu , the first to Give “Omehia” treatment to osunbor in Edo


The macabre political drama playing out in Rivers State culminating in the delisting of a former governor places Edo and Rivers State on the same pedestal.

Even the speed and the relish with which the Rivers State Gov, Mr. Nyesom Wike pursued the process of”disrobing and delisting” a former governor of the state is akin to what happened in Edo State in 2012.

To show that he meant business, Gov Wike personally took the responsibility of bringing down the portrait of Chief Celestine Omehia from the walls of the Government House in Port Harcourt. The video on this went viral showing the deep-rooted anger and animosity the incumbent governor harboured against his predecessor, similar to that between Comrade Adams Oshiomole and Prof Osereime Osunbor.

The fact check reveals that Gov Wike may have ostensibly based his inglorious actions on the same rule book used by the comrade governor of Edo State in 2012.

Recall that INEC declared Prof Osunbor as the winner of the Edo 2012 governorship election. Comrade Oshiomole challenged the INEC verdict and the case was terminated at Court of Appeal, where Osunbor victory was nullified.

Comrade Oshiomole moved fast to consolidate his grip on power and one of the crudest means he chose to do so was to devise means to obliterate any imprimatur of his predecessor. He told whoever cared to listen that Prof Osunbor was not in any way a former governor.

Curiously, the comrade governor was able to recruit foot soldiers for his “mission and one of the most vocal of them was Hon Philip Shaibu, the then Minority Whip in the Edo state House of Assembly who later became the Majority Leader of the House and today the deputy governor of the state.

With the active support of his political acolytes, the comrade governor went full blast and declared a total war against his predecessor. Prof Osunbor’s portrait was removed from the walls of the Government House to ensure that he was not accorded any name recognition as a former governor. Also, he was denied the perks of his office.

The frosty relationship between the duo changed when the comrade governor, seeking endorsements for his re-election bid, visited the Esan country home of Prof Osunbor, on a courtesy visit, and received the tacit support he so craved for.

Pronto, the comrade governor quickly rescinded his decision to delist Prof Osunbor and also put the necessary machinery in motion to give the decision legislative backing, an angle spearheaded and perfected by the comrade governor’s then political godson, Hon Shaibu.

Similarly, Gov Wike also chose the path of perfidy while dealing with his erstwhile political ally and former governor, Chief Celestine

The Supreme Court sacked Chief Omehia in 2007, in a landmark case between him and Mr. Rotimi Amechi who, it is said, is his first cousin.

However, on the assumption of office, Gov Wike reversed the status quo, causing the state assembly to pass a law conferring recognition as a former governor on Chief Omehia.

All went well until divergent political interests tore both parties apart. Gov Wike, in a fit of anger and to extract some pound of flesh from Chief Omehia, again used the same state assembly to return Chief Omehia to his “pariah status”, ensuring his name is delisted, his portraits removed as well as being asked to refund all earned entitlements and allowances in the past seven years.

While signing the bill into law, Gov Wike denied any political connotations behind the action. According to him, the “delisting” of Chief Omehia as a former governor was in tandem with the Supreme Court ruling which nullified his election. Technically and legally speaking, Chief Omehia was never a governor in the eyes of the law.


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