Nigerians Criticise Oshiomhole For Speaking Harshly To Widow

For telling a widow to ‘go and die’ in Benin City, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State is at the receiving end of criticism from many Nigerians who have asked him to undergo an anger management programme.

oshiomhole-adamsA recent video clip on YouTube shows Oshiomhole, in company with his chief of staff, Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon, and other government officials, scolding the widow for blocking the road with her goods and thereby constituting a nuisance to other road users.

The woman’s goods are impounded in the process. But, looking quite distraught, she pleads for leniency with the governor, who is casually dressed in a white shirt and a pair of trousers with a matching cap.

“Oga, please! I take God beg you. Make una help me. I beg, I be widow,” the woman begs on her knees.

Apparently not swayed by her excuses for breaking the law, Oshiomhole yells at the woman in anger. He speaks to her harshly, using uncomplimentary words.

“You are a widow! Go and die. Because your husband died, you want to kill people on the road. Why did you put these things on the road?” Oshiomole says and then orders his security aides to confiscate the woman’s goods.

At some point the woman is pushed into a waiting bus. But the governor ordered his aides to let her go. The video lasts exactly two minutes and 20 seconds.

Although Oshiomhole has since apologised for his behaviour and blamed his outburst on anger, Nigerians who watched the trending video say he needs to effectively work on his temper.

Those who besieged the YouTube channel where the video was first uploaded wondered if Oshiomhole had graduated from being a fearless activist to a dictator.

Some of them have asked the governor to make atonement for his “sin” by undergoing a compulsory course in ‘anger management’. By doing so, they hope that in the future he would learn to choose the right words whenever he is irritated by the actions of the people of Edo State.

“The problem is with the governor’s statement. It shouldn’t have come from a public officer of his calibre. Governor Oshiomhole really needs to undergo some training on anger management,” Busayo Olukunle says.

Also Hussain Bello thinks the governor needs to prioritise the management of his anger so that such an incident will not repeat itself.

“He is a governor. So he should work on his anger. He shouldn’t be acting in that manner in the full glare of the public. The words he spoke were too harsh. No matter how angry he must have been, he shouldn’t have used such words. That woman might have been one of those who voted for him,” he says.

Commenting on Facebook, one Dele Victor-Banjo describes Oshiomhole’s speech as one depicting him as a “heartless oppressor”, adding that the governor needs to comport himself during such situations.

Victor-Banjo says, “This video is heart-breaking. I really feel for the poor woman. Indeed, this clip really shows the governor as a truly heartless oppressor which may not be the case. Definitely, this is not Governor Oshiomhole’s finest moment. He must have been having a rather frustrating day and was bent on taking it out on someone else.”

Doyin Fash says that an anger management course may help the governor to demonstrate a sense of empathy towards the downtrodden whenever he is angered.

He writes, “I saw the footage and I feel very sorry for the poor widow. Regardless of her offence, I still expect a man entrusted with the security of the lives and properties of the masses to have demonstrated a sense of responsibility and empathy towards the poor widow. It is regrettable.”

Meanwhile, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, who claims to be a member of the opposition All Progressives Congress, joined the ranks of Nigerians who rebuked the governor for speaking harshly to the widow.

Without mincing words, Fani-Kayode condemned Oshiomole’s comment.

“Such heartlessness. Oshiomhole tells this penniless widow that is begging him to go and die. What is it that makes some men behave in such a cruel way to others once they get power. I’m utterly speechless,” Fani-Kayode wrote on his Facebook page, as he shared the video on the social network.

But as the Peoples Democratic Party slammed the governor on Facebook and its Edo State Chapter reportedly offered the widow the sum of N250,000, some Nigerians made efforts to defend the governor. The latter express the opinion that the backlash, which followed the incident, could deter an elected official from giving his or her best to enforce laws aimed at maintaining order in the society.

Commenting on Facebook, one Kayode Daniel-Fowora says, “Is the governor right with his utterances? No! Was the widow right for violating the law? No. Should we look away and not follow what the law states? No. Does being a widow or widower justify anyone of wrongdoing? No. Has anger got the best of anyone of us like with Oshiomhole? Yes. Before we make comments let us think deeply. We won’t achieve any goal if we choose to symphatise with everyone’s excuses for breaking the law.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. @kayode daniel. The issue is not weather she broke the law. Even those that break the law are still human. What has breaking the law got to do with the governor telling the widow to go and die. He should learn how to manage his anger.

  2. This whole outburst is becoming something else.yes, I agree his statement was uncalled for; but does that make the widow above the law?
    Where it not for this his anger/agression, would Benin city & Edo state be what it is today? When he was busy fighting “God-Fatherism”, why didn’t we tell him to go for Anger Management course?
    PDP should be ashamed of themselves!!!! How many pensioners died during their reign in power, all in the name of unpaid claims? How many widows did they empower while in power? Pot calling kettle black!!!!