Adams Oshiomhole at 71
Adams Oshiomhole, former two-term governor of Edo state and one-time National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), won the Edo North senatorial race with a resounding 107,110 votes to his opponent’s 55,344 votes. His victory not only reaffirmed his popularity with the Edo State electorate, particularly his constituency but also revived his politics, which had been presumed to be comatose as a result of his long and bruising battles with Edo governor Godwin Obaseki.
Oshiomhole, a former trade unionist and chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), is now 71 years old but has not lost any of the idiosyncratic feistiness and gregariousness that have hallmarked his political career since 2007 when he first entered politics. He has become accustomed to winning, even though he was robbed in the 2007 Edo governorship poll. His tenures were distinguished by activism and doggedness, and they helped propel him into a fulfilling and rewarding political career.
He was ousted as APC chairman in a civilian coup orchestrated from his ward and sealed by controversial court judgements in 2020, after enacting a series of tumultuous but sometimes tactless measures that threw his party into upheaval. His lack of strategic approach to complex political dynamics that required diplomatic and subtle handling was his major downfall.
While there is no apparent indication of any serious health challenge etched on his face, at 71 years old, he is unlikely to angle for the presidency. His excellent grasp of issues, rhetorical fecundity, and didactic tone should serve him well in the National Assembly.
While he has weaknesses and failings, his uncanny talent for associating with the winning side, untrammeled loyalty to friends, and immense potential to socialize without being judgmental will likely help his politics in his evening years.