By Pius Onaghise, JP
I laboriously viewed Washington Osifo’s interview on an online TV production anchored by John Mayaki and felt nothing but pity for the young man. Seeing and listening to him, it was apparent that he lacked proper training in a well oriented family setting and proper training as a lawyer he claims to be. A well brought up man and a well brought up lawyer would exercise better discretion in so attacking a system that has given him so much, undeservedly.
First of all, Washington Osifo was less than two years as a lawyer when he was made the Director of Legal services , Edo State Oil and Gas Commission, where he made his fortune within a year he spent there. He was thereafter appointed Secretary to Uhunmwode Local Government Council to replace his cousin, one Enabus Eghe. The story of how Washington Osifo betrayed Enabus to replace him as Council Secretary, leading to the man’s illness and ultimate death is rife among Uhunmwode politicians and the sordid tales cannot be stated here.
Washington Osifo later decamped to the ACN/ APC and also hustled to be appointed Commissoner under Oshiomhole. He would later replace his friend from same ward, Ekpenisi Omorotionmwan as Commisioner for Education and later Commisioner for Energy and water resources.
When Godwin Obaseki started his own Government, Washington Osifo also tried to get in as Commisioner and even spent as much as 25 million Naira to be nominated by the then Uhunmwode APC leaders, but Obaseki, who clearly did not like him, declined his nomination.
In 2018, he joined the race for the Edo State House of Assembly and was given a shellacking by one Kaycee, a very young man and new entrant into politics. It took the intervention of Adams Oshiomhole, as National Chairman of the APC, to veto the decision of Uhunmwode APC members and for Osifo’s name to be forwarded to INEC as the Party’s candidate.
I went this length to chronicle Mr. Osifo’s political journey to enable better appreciation of who he is.
Seeing his political trajectory , any keen observer would see a man who has been very lucky with having his way in politics . This, apparently, is the reason he has refused to accept his crushing defeat in the last Edo APC House of Representatives primaries where he scored a lowly 19 and the winner, Chief Billy Osawaru scored 79; but whether he accepts defeat or not should be his business; what decent members of the society and APC cannot accept is his new penchant for arrogantly calling the State leadership of the Party names. What he has done for years in Uhunmwode, he has finally taken to the State leadership and this cannot be allowed to continue.
Uhunmwode and Orhionmwon APC leaders clearly analysed the aspirants to the House of Representatives and made their choice, without coercion and inducements. Their choice was a clear referendum on the direction they wanted to go this time and it was to the effect that Washington Osifo failed the previous times he occupied public offices.
Personally, and I think I would be speaking the minds of many Uhunmwode indigenes, especially the politicians, Washington Osifo’s temerity to vie for the House of Representatives given the way he used public office positions in the past to insult party leaders, and live a life of flamboyance as though he was a pop artist is arrogance taken too far. Who among Uhunmwode political leaders has Washington not fought and insulted? Starting from his brother Isaiah Osifo to his former Oga, Hon. Samson Osagie, Roland Alari, Charles Idahosa, Ekpenisi Omorotionmwan, Bobby Imasuen, Prof. David Osifo and even the current APC Chairman, Hon. Osawe.
What even annoyed the APC leaders in Uhunmwode and the ward Chairmen was that he was elected to represent Uhunmwode in the State House of Assembly, he arrogantly refused to be inaugurated, depriving Uhunmwode people of representation at that level for four years. So after wasting the efforts party members put in to elect him into the State House of Assembly in 2019, he now impudently wanted to go to the House of Representatives? What sense does it make? Why not go to the House of Assembly to complete a mandate given to you by the people instead of vying for a higher mandate when you did not even go for the first one?
It is disheartening that after frittering away several opportunities to build goodwill with the people when he was in offices and failing woefully to build bridges with people, he now goes about looking for scapegoats and people to blame, without any concrete evidence of foul play. It is time Washington is told that his arrogance and implacable hedonism are reasons he can never win election in Uhunmwode again; blame must be situated where blame is.
My final thought is that Instead of embarking on this silly media opprobrius attacks against the Edo APC and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who ensured that he got a safe and free ticket to run for the House of Aseembly seat again, which he arrogantly rejected, Washington should go for penance and beg Kaycee, the young man he stole his mandate in 2018, to forgive him. He should also beg the Uhunmwode leaders he has insulted and derided for years to forgive him. Lastly, he should beg those his so-called boys that have been with him since his Commissoner days to forgive him as they always go about with sordid tales of how he treated them poorly..
Mr. Pius Onaghise is from Ekose, in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State.