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Edo North leaders berates Shaibu’s governorship ambition, warn dep gov against fueling crisis

7 Aug 2023

…insist Shaibu can’t be Edo’s next gov after 18 years in political office

…hails Obaseki’s devt strides

Leaders of Edo North Senatorial District, the senatorial zone of the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, have distanced themselves from his governorship ambition, warning the deputy governor against fuelling the crisis in the State.

The leaders, who briefed journalists in Benin City, said the deputy governor has been a political office holder for over 18 years, including eight years as an Edo House of Assembly member, 18 months as a member of the House of Representatives and seven years as Deputy Governor, urging him not “to let his selfish interest cause crisis or instability in the State.”

The Edo North leaders who are also leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the senatorial district hailed Governor Godwin Obaseki for his developmental strides across all sectors of the State, charging the deputy governor to take a cue from his boss and focus on delivering the dividends of democracy to the people of the State who he swore to serve.

Leaders of the group and former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Alhaji Kabiru Ajoto, commended the governor for employing over 579 persons who are from Afemai origin into the Edo State Civil Service, adding that the Afemai people have benefited greatly from the Obaseki-led administration.

Addressing journalists at the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State chapter, Adjoto, said: “The governor has been magnanimous in his dealing with his deputy as he has created the opportunity for him to shine but Shaibu has taken the simplicity of the governor for stupidity.”

According to him, “We are here to amplify the voice of the majority of the people from the six local government areas in Edo North as we have all taken our position to stand with the Governor of Edo State in the ongoing crisis which is really uncalled for.

“What is happening now is really unfortunate as the people of Edo North have met severally over a week thinking of what to do over the face-off between Governor Obaseki and Shaibu. We sent a powerful delegation to the deputy Governor to make peace with his boss but were surprised that he turned it down. We reached out to him but he turned the offer for peace down.

“Taking the governor to Court is most unfortunate and we can't keep quiet but to speak out over the development. The Deputy Governor decided not to work closely with Mr. Governor because of personal ambition to become governor of Edo State.”

He continued: “The people of Afemai are not with the deputy Governor even though he is our son. We are solidly behind Governor Godwin Obaseki. He has done so well for the people. An Afemai man has been the Speaker of the Edo Assembly and now, we are still the speaker in the House. We have also been the Chief of Staff in the past. We have signature projects in Edo North. Agbede-Ewan Road is over 30km, the Sabongida-Ora Road is a big project. The governor has revived the fertilizer factory in Edo North, among many other laudable projects.

“In the history of deputizing in Nigeria, Obaseki has made Comrade Philip Shaibu a household name in Nigeria because the Governor created the space for him to function effectively. Edo North people are grateful to his Excellency for this.

“Enough of these political shenanigans. We want to tell the governor that Edo North people are ready to follow him and whoever he points at to succeed him, we will support him because we know his judgement can't be wrong as he has done well for Edo people.”

He added, “As Speaker of EDHA, I have worked closely with Obaseki, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Shaibu. I am an insider and want to tell you that the entire crisis over the years between Oshiomhole and Obaseki, Shaibu is the brain behind them. Comrade Philip Shaibu created all these problems that we are experiencing in our political space today.

“In the coming days, I will tell the world what Shaibu has done to fuel the crisis between Obaseki and Oshiomhole over the years. He has succeeded in creating a big rift between Obaseki and Oshiomhole. Philip Shaibu sowed a seed of discord in Edo politics today.”

The former EDHA Speaker further noted, “Shaibu has been in government for 18 years now. Eight years as an EDHA member, 18 months at the National Assembly as a member House of Representatives and seven years as Deputy Governor of Edo State, and by the time he finishes next year, he would have spent 18 years uninterrupted. Now, he wants to be governor. Is he the owner of the State?”

On his part, Former Owan East Local Government Chairman Owan East and Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Jimoh Ijegba who spoke for the Owan people in Edo North said, “We are here for peace and in support of the governor of Edo State who has done so much for the Afemai people. We are grateful for the gesture towards us. This crisis is a complete distraction and the crisis is uncalled for. The governor should remain focused and never be distracted from his duties as we in Edo North will continue to give him the support he needs.”

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