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Philip Shaibu: My Bid To Become Edo Governor Is A Fight For Generational Change, I Will Succeed

‘When I win the primaries, Obaseki will support me because he knows I can deliver.’

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has said that the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, cannot stop him from running in Edo State’s 2024 election, as he (Shaibu) is running not just on his ambition, but on a generational ambition to build Edo State.

Shaibu said this in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday night, where he also dismissed claims that he planned on joining the All-Progressive’s Congress (APC) to run for the governorship, as he said he will be running solely under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The Deputy Governor, when discussing his past rift with his principal, Obaseki, which was caused by his decision to run for the post of Edo State governor, said, “He cannot tell me to step down from my constitutional right. It is my right. The governor can’t tell me step down… My bid to be governor is a generational change fight, it’s not about whether Governor Obaseki wants me or not. He has the right to support whoever, and that is why in all this rift, I have kept mute, I refuse to make comments.

“My quest to contest for governor is not just my ambition, it is a generational ambition, and we are going to succeed, and I’m going to contest under the platform of PDP.”

When Shaibu was asked about his adamance to run for governor despite claiming to be loyal to Obaseki who had ordered him to not run in the forthcoming elections, Shaibu claimed that he had been intimidated by the governor and other high-ranking officials since his decision to run as he further said, “Ambition is personal, loyalty is given. I am 100% loyal to my governor, and that is why he has, I have been intimidated and harassed. As I speak to you, I am relocated from government house, I didn’t go to court to check the legality of that action, that is loyalty.

“My office for- this is the fourth or fifth month, no allocation has been given to my office. And this evening, my aides told me that the governor has also instructed that the fuel they used to give to my vehicle should no longer be given to my vehicle, so why all this…I cannot be intimidated.”

Addressing the different sources which claimed he was going to decamp to the APC, the deputy governor said, “I have never contemplated jumping any ship. These are just propaganda, and it was a game to push me out. But unfortunately, those that orchestrated that plan to push me out didn’t know that I’m somebody of means, I’m somebody of principles, I’m somebody that when I’m committed, I’m committed.”

Revealing his continuous drive and commitment to running for Edo State governor, Shaibu said, “My people want me to contest, and also, they need an homeboy, an original 100% homeboy to lead them. They need people that can bring governance to their doorstep, and they also know that I have experience, having worked with Osumbo in the legislative arm, and also worked with Comrade Adams Oshiomole, also in the legislative arm, now, working with Obaseki as the deputy governor. I’m well equipped to understand what governance is all about, both from the legislative arm and the executive arm.

He was then asked if he believed he has Obaseki’s backing in this election, to which he replied, “Well, I will say yes and no. Yes, from my relationship with him, working with him for 7 years, I will say yes, because I know my governor likes somebody that is not corrupt, he likes somebody that is hardworking, he likes go-getters, and he has commended me for having these qualities.”

He said that for Obaseki to have said those things, he believes that Obaseki will be glad to be succeeded by him (Shaibu). However, he said that politics has its own game, and the governor may have his own plan.

However, he said, “Nonetheless, I can assure you, whatever plan the governor has, when I win the primaries, the governor will support me, because he knows I can deliver, I can build on what we have collectively achieved, and I can correct some of the things that we have not been able to do.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi