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On Adams Oshiomhole’s position adjustment at the Presidential Inauguration By John Mayaki

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A great man, especially one responsible for widespread reforms and restore of values, needs not fall before those aggrieved that their reign of impunity has come to an end start to jeer and offer mockery.

This rush to find a fault, even where it doesn’t exist, stems out of lack of substantial materials for criticism, hence the resort to trivial matters of no significance for mere opportunistic antagonism.

Such was the case of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, whose position adjustment by protocol officers at the Presidential Inauguration was met with contrived anger and imaginative interpretations in a few expected quarters.

The actual event that took place was simple and clear, requiring no special exegesis. Chairman Oshiomhole stood to welcome the President in a position earlier designated by the protocol staff, but upon realization it was against standard norms of inaugural events, clarification was offered and he was respectfully ushered to the appropriate place on the line.

There was no more to it, and this is by no means unique. Across the globe, world leaders, at different points, have been found wanting in areas of protocol especially in unfamiliar setting or cross-cultural meetings. The President of the United States, Donald Trump suffered same in his meeting with England’s monarch, Queen Elizabeth. Similarly, Yemen’s Foreign Minister Khaled Alyemany was also a victim of a protocol error in his sitting position during a Warsaw session on security in the Middle East earlier this year.

Even the worst critics understand the likelihood for this to happen due to the simple fact that leaders, despite their expected elevated status, remain humans and all share the tendency to fall foul of the hundreds of protocol rules guiding government and diplomatic relations at one point or another.

This makes the needless drama that followed the incident of Chairman Oshiomhole amusing. Yet, it is not farfetched given the festering bitterness in the camps of those opposed to his reforms and insistence on party supremacy, as well as adherence to established laws.

Although the courage and fairness of Chairman Oshiomhole has helped to renew the All Progressives Congress and beyond mere electoral victory, helped it formulate ideological principles and values which clearly differentiates the party from the opposition; this has made him enemies of those who narrowly view political party as a singular means to grab power at all costs. Hence, they make a mountain out of a mole hill by trying, fruitlessly so, to impugn his character through any means, both flimsy and devious.

The truth of the matter is that Adams Oshiomhole is no ordinary party chairman. His internal party reforms which helped to deliver and guide candidates to success in states such as Ekiti and Osun, as well as insulate the party from the damaging plots of characters such as Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, are testament of his competence and character.

Even more so, the mutual respect and admiration shared between him and President Buhari, a man famed for his integrity and incorruptible nature, says all that needs to be said about his uprightness.

So efforts to latch on to trivialities, such as position on a line of esteemed and eminent Nigerians, only reinforces the fact that his traducers are out of genuine points to contend. In the light of this, it is best they move beyond the antagonism and reconcile themselves with the truth staring them in the face.

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