Is Philip Shaibu facing the Conclusion of His Political Journey?


The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, faces imminent removal following the issuance of an impeachment notice by the state house of Assembly.

When news broke that the Edo State House of Assembly had initiated impeachment proceedings against Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, many analysts perceived it as the culmination of a prolong conflict with Governor Godwin Obaseki. Majority Leader Charity Aiguobarueghian, announcing the impeachment notice during plenary, disclosed that a petitiob dated March 5, citing two breaches by Shaibu – Perjury and disclosed of government secrets – was signed by 21 out of 24 state legislators.

Aiguobarueghian observed that the petition garnered a membership count surpassing the two-thirds threshold mandate by the constitution. Blessing Agbebaku, the Speaker of the House (PDP-Owan-West), upon receiving the petition, instructed Yahaya Omogbai, the Clerk of the Deputy Governor. Additionally, the deputy governor was granted a seven-day period to address the impeachment notice.

Shaibu stood as a formidable political ally to Governor Godwin Obaseki, and in the lead-up to the 2020 state governorship election, they forged a seemingly unshakable alliance. United, they faced the challenges posed by the then National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, ultimately securing triumph as governor and deputy governor.

Friction arose when Shaibu expressed interest in the upcoming governorship election, leading Obaseku to believe it was an attempt to undermine his authority. Allegedly, Shaibu did not formally inform his boss pursuing consultations for his sambition. Despite the governor’s appeal to prioritize finishing the administration strongly, Shaibu chose to proceed with his political aspirations.

Amidst the ongoing conflict, the governor has divested the deputy of key state responsibilities, including revenue supervision and sports administration. The dispute escalated to the point where the deputy governor was relocated from the Government House to No. 7 Dennis Osadebe Avenue, originally designated for the state Public Procurement Office. In a recent development, the 2024 state budget exacerbated tensions, allocation a mere N300 million to the deputy governor’s office, a stark contrast to previous budget allocations in the billions, seen by some as an attempt to weaken his position.

During a recent Tv interview, Shaibu linked his disagreement with Obaseki to his aspiration to replace him. The deputy govenrnor stated that Obaseki is displeased with his lack of support for the governor’s favoured candidate, despite his numerous attempts to reconcile their relationship.

“He has not been happy that I’m not supporting his candidate. It is my right to contest in an election and I’m exercising that right. And he has done a lot of negative things. It doesn’t really matter, i see it as politics.

“I’ve made up my mind to always respect the office of the governor, and I’ll continue to respect the office of the governor till the end, weather as deputy pr any thing. So the relationship is not cordial, i can tell you that. It’s not from my own end, it’s from his own end because i have made attempts to bridge the gap, but he doesn’t allow it. I have called him and he doesn’t pick up, even in public functions. I greet him, he doesn’t answer me, because i have made up my mind that i must exercise my right. We’ve never had any differences, the only differences we have is ‘why are you contesting?'”

In response, Obaseki accused Shaibu of disloyalty, alleging a plot to overthrow him due to Shaibu’s eagerness to become the next governor. Obaseki claimed that Shaibu had been boasting about his connections in Abuja, hinting at a backup plan if he couldn’t secure the PDP ticket. The governor expressed surprise at Shaibu’s actiobs during the House of Assembly’s officer election after assuming they were aligned.

“He was in Abuja; he ame back that day. I am the chief security officer of this state. I get any information i need. But i have that responsibility to keep quiet and use the information properly. My deputy called the leader in APC, telling him that during the elections the next day, particularly the election of the Speaker of the House of Assembly that has five members of PDP to produced the next speaker.

“As far as i am concerned, that was not working in our common interest. Why would deputy governor seek to have another speakership candidate outside what the governor wants? Are we working together? That was when i knew we had a problem. That the deputy governor has become so desperate to take over.” sais Obaseki.

The deputy governor, speaking last Saturday, revealed facing impeachment threats due to his role in the PDP governorship primary. undeterred, he emphasized his constitutional right to contest the Edo governorship election. On February 22, Shaibu won a fractional primary at his Benin City residence, while Asue Ighodalo secured victory in another PDP primary at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.

Obaseki’s favoured candidate, Ighodalo, holds the PDP national leadership-recognized flag, yet the deputy governor disputes the primary’s legitimacy, arguing, which he alleges is biased towards Ighodalo

He asserted his legitimacy as the PDP candidate, cautioning that the party’s refusal to endorse him for the state governorship candidate could lead to dire consequences.

“PDP has date with history; delegates have spoken that they want Shaibu and i can bet you that the other eight aspirant will support Shaibu if the party backs him. If the party decides to join us in court to argue for Ighodalo then PDP winning Edo State for PDP will be shaky because Asue will not be accepted by the people,” Shaibu said.

In recent interviews, Shaibu’s comments, often critical of Obaseki, led many to believe he might not withstand the upcoming political challenges. With the governor aiming to diminish his influence, some analysts letter would be a wiser choice, sparing him potential impeachment humiliation.

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