Edo State deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu has alleged attempts by fifth columnists to widen the imaginary gulf between him and the governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki in a selfish attempt to feather their own nests.
According to him, political jobbers sold the coup dummy to the governor whom he referred to as his ‘elder brother’ with a view to provoking more crises so they could profit off it.
He said it is preposterous to contemplate a coup against a man who has given him so much latitude to operate.
While denouncing the allegations, Hon. Shaibu was emphatic in stating that the claims were not only baseless but also malicious attempts by political jobbers hell-bent on misleading the governor “with the singular aim of damaging my reputation and sowing seeds of discord between me and my brother governor”.
Shaibu reiterated his unwavering loyalty to Governor Obaseki and the principles of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP to which they both belong, adding that it is a privilege to serve as Governor Obaseki’s Deputy, and consistently within the last seven years demonstrated his commitment to the advancement of a shared vision for Edo State.
“Any insinuation that he harbors ulterior motives or seeks to undermine the Governor’s leadership is nothing short of a fabrication”, one of his aides said after the meeting.
Shaibu maintained that he believes in the power of teamwork and collaboration and that as a testament to this, he and Governor Obaseki have worked tirelessly together to deliver on the promises they made to the good people of Edo State.
He said their achievements in various sectors, including education, healthcare, infrastructure, and job creation, are a testament to this collective effort and the synergy between their offices.
According to him, as Deputy Governor, his role is to support and complement the Governor’s agenda and not undermine it
“I have consistently advocated for policies and initiatives that align with this administration’s goals and aspirations. It is disheartening to see such baseless allegations being propagated, as they only serve to distract the administration from its primary objective of serving the people of Edo State”, he declared.
Respect for the joint mandate
Shaibu said he remains an unrepentant democrat who believes in the democratic process and respects the mandate given to Governor Obaseki and his humble self by the people of Edo State and that the idea that he would consider a ‘coup’ to overthrow a democratically elected government is not only absurd but also deeply offensive.
The deputy governor urged the media and the public to approach these allegations with the skepticism they deserve, while he encouraged all to focus on the issues that truly matter to the people of Edo State – improving their lives, providing quality education, ensuring accessible healthcare, and creating employment opportunities.
“Governor Obaseki and I are committed to the continued development of Edo State. We are united in our determination to build a prosperous and inclusive society. I call on all well-meaning individuals to reject these divisive narratives and join in the quest to transform Edo State into a model of sustainable development and good governance. Edo state PDP politicians should embrace peace and seek unity to fight the common enemy”, one of his aides who was at the meeting quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile, fresh facts emerged at the weekend that contrary to earlier allegations, the deputy governor did not refuse to join the governor in the selection of commissioners in Etsako.
According to a top PDP source from the state, the Governor had on that day sent his deputy to proceed to Edo north to resolve some political issues.
“He was on his way when the Chief of Staff to the Governor called that the governor needs his attention in Benin.
“The Deputy allegedly informed the CoS to inform the governor that he was already close to Afuze axis to address the issue he directed him to do. The governor allegedly acknowledged this call”, he stated.
APC NWC not receiving Shaibu
According to the source, Shaibu had always appreciated his elder brother the governor in performing any assigned tasks.
He said; “The appointment of political office holders is the prerogative of the governor. Therefore, if a governor decides to allow his deputy to nominate candidates to fill any position, it is a privilege. But political jobbers who also include hack writers have generated more lies from the pit of hell, saying that Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu has perfected plans to rejoin the All-Progressives Congress, APC next week. There is no iota of truth in this.
“To further put a lie to this, the spin doctors claimed that the APC National Working Committee, NWC is set to receive him in Abuja. The question here for the discerning minds is that, is it the NWC of a party that receives a decamped into the party? Shaibu has never minced words, vowing to sink and swim with his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki. This, he has said severally at public fora.”
According to him, these evil men acting as agents of evil have come up with unbelievable accusations like coming late to State Executive meetings, attempting to slap the Secretary to the State Government, being the brain behind feuds between: Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the governor; as well as with the former Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike and Obaseki, Dan Orbih and Obaseki and many others that their wild and dangerous imaginations can come up with.
“In view of this, I plead with these characters bent on driving a wedge between Comrade Philip Shaibu and his boss, Governor Godwin Obaseki to put the Edo project and the people far above their own selfish interests,” he added.
Vanguard had on Saturday quoted Governor Obaseki as claiming that Shaibu would explore every avenue to achieve his governorship ambition, including plotting a coup to oust him (the incumbent) from office.
The governor had made the claims during a meeting with elders and leaders from Etsako West, East and Central Local Government Areas of the State, held in Jattu, Etsako West council as part of campaigns for the September 2, 2023, local council election.
He said, “My Deputy Governor has become so desperate to take over and is ready to do anything, including carrying out a coup d’etat to ensure he kicks me out and becomes the governor of Edo State.”