ANALYSIS: Tinubu rescued Oshiomhole, but turned his back on Obaseki

, the embattled governor of , had his moment not too long ago and almost brought down , the National Chairman of the All Progressives ().

Mr Obaseki, other APC governors, and some ministers from the South-South had put in all their political might in a plot to remove Mr Oshiomhole before the commencement of the party governorship primaries.

And, of course, that appeared to be the safest route for Mr Obaseki to easily pick the APC ticket to run for a second term as Edo governor after a once-promising relationship between him and Mr Oshiomhole became horribly sour.

Back home in his Edo State where he had served before as governor, Mr Oshiomhole had been suspended by the local chapters of the APC and thoroughly discredited in the state, obviously through the prompting of Governor Obaseki.

Time was ticking against Mr Oshiomhole.

In a matter of days, he would be kicked out of office as the APC chairman, most people had concluded.

And just in the nick of time, Bola Tinubu, the man that is highly regarded as the party’s national leader, stepped in. He said those who were plotting Mr Oshiomhole’s removal saw the national chairman as the obstacle to their 2023 political ambition.

“The Chairman has been a tireless campaigner and mobilizer for the party. He has steered the party through difficult elections. His contributions should not be undervalued now that the bulk of elections are behind us,” Mr Tinubu said in a statement in March.

Mr Tinubu said it would, therefore, be “an act of ingratitude” to remove the APC chairman.

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“It is no secret that the Chairman and Edo Governor Obaseki are in dispute. This is unfortunate. However, the party has moved through proper procedures within the proper organs of the party to hopefully resolve this spat,” he added.

The sea became calm, quiet, and safe for the APC chairman, after Mr Tinubu’s statement.

Nigerian politicians share a common belief – if you do not “finish” your political enemy, if you give him a breather, he is likely to come for you with every strength he could muster, and with every ‘weapon’ he could lay hands on. And also when the fight gets dirtier, you could actually be fighting under the rule that there is no rule.

Mr Oshiomhole survived the plot, gathered some strength, and, with Mr Obaseki’s disqualification on Friday from contesting the forthcoming APC governorship primary in Edo State, it seems he has now taken his pound of flesh from his erstwhile protégé.

Oshiomhole-Obaseki political fight has been on for several months. In fact, it became an open secret in June 2019 that the two leaders were at war against each other.

The fight divided the APC in Edo state and crippled the Edo House of Assembly, where 14 elected lawmakers, out of 24, are yet to be inaugurated several months after their elections. The 14 members are loyalists of Mr Oshiomhole.

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