Political Desperation: Like the biblical sinner, Deputy Governor, Shaibu flees when no man pursues

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Shaibu, like a spoilt child, steering crisis because Obaseki is opting for governance instead of politics

From Crusoe Osagie

The most outstanding characteristic of a spoilt child is the attitude of entitlement and the self-embattled Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu has displayed this feature manifestly in the last six years.

The rabble-rouser deputy governor has now taken his indiscipline and hubris to the zenith by trying to create crisis for his boss, Governor Godwin Obaseki because of his inordinate and self-serving ambition to succeed the governor by all means, no matter whose ox is gored.

Like the biblical sinner who runs when no one pursues him, Shaibu has ran to the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking for a restraining order to stop Governor Obaseki from impeaching him – which is at best, a completely false allegation.

As a Deputy Governor, Shaibu has always been indisciplined and impudent. Imagine a deputy governor who on sundry occasions saunters and gallivants into the State Executive Council (EXCO) meetings while the meeting is ongoing and the governor already superintending.

The governor in most of the cases has to pause the important sessions and allow his deputy take his seat like a king. He then says hello to his superior, the governor, who continues to superintend the crucial proceedings. These are no secrets. Any Executive Council member from November 12, 2016, when the governor became the State’s helmsman till date can attest to this fact. But for the governor’s maturity, tolerance and carriage, Shaibu’s fecklessness would have hit the vortex long before now.

Imagine a deputy governor who insists that all other vehicles on the governor’s convoy must be behind his own vehicle when he and the governor are travelling together. Any vehicle in the convoy that dares to overtake his vehicle, Shaibu directs his security agents to descend on the driver and unleash mayhem on same.

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A particular driver in the governor’s convoy on a trip to a Niger-Delta State in 2020 was beaten to stupor under the supervision of the Deputy Governor and his wife, Maryann. His crime was that he dared to overtake Shaibu’s vehicle in order to catch up with the governor’s convoy, where he is supposed to be. That driver is disfigured till date with a missing tooth as a mark of the beast to remind him and his unborn generations that their father dared and played in the terrain of the ultimate bully. This is the kind of person that Philip Shaibu is.

The most blame, in all honesty, goes to the governor for trying to adopt a civilized manner in relating with his deputy governor in a society where such gesture is taken for weakness. Imagine having the governor officially transferring full executive powers to the deputy governor to act on his behalf anytime he proceeds on leave.

Even though this is the right thing to do, most governors will never do it. The reason is because of characters like Philip Shaibu who in his selfishness resorts to tantrums like a spoilt child whenever he cannot have his way.

Philip Shaibu always plays the card of a very loyal deputy, but this is far from reality. His only proof of loyalty is his involvement in the faceoff between the governor and the immediate past governor of the State and former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole. What Shaibu will never do is to disclose the benefits that accrued to him in the course of this contention.

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The Deputy Governor, Shaibu who has worked with Obaseki over the past six years should know the Governor very well. No amount of pressure, distraction or blackmail will make Obaseki support him in his inordinate and desperate ambition to become the governor of Edo State at all cost, sacrificing competence on the altar of mediocrity and in flagrant disregard for every other interest.

Obaseki was under intense pressure from the legacy PDP group to sacrifice Philip Shaibu’s position as the Deputy Governor to the old PDP as part of their reward for offering a platform for the Governor to seek reelection after he left the APC. It was Obaseki’s insistence on retaining Shaibu’s position as Deputy Governor that caused the crisis between the Governor, his followers, and the old PDP.

Is this not sufficient reward for Philip Shaibu’s support for the governor? Or is Obaseki to sacrifice the destinies of over four million Edo people just to satisfy Shaibu?

It is Obaseki’s well-considered position that abandoning governance to pursue intense politics at this time is not in the best interest of Edo people. Shaibu should 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.

The Bible says in the Book of Proverbs 28:1 that “the wicked flee when no one pursues.” Shaibu flees when no one pursues, but Obaseki remains unperturbed. No matter the controversy, Governor Obaseki will not abandon governance in pursuit of senseless politics.

The resort to the courts at a time when there is practically nothing to be scared about gives Shaibu away as a man haunted by his own demons – if indeed he has the interest of the State at heart, he need not flee.

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Come to think of it, during the administration of Chief Lucky Igbinedion between 1999 and 2007, the Deputy Governor at the time was Chief Mike Oghiadomhe from Etsako; he did eight years. Then came Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from Etsako West as Governor; he did another eight years. This was followed by Comr. Philip Shaibu, from Etsako West as Deputy Governor; he is almost completing another eight years.

Does Shaibu therefore think that it is fair and equitable for him to become Edo’s next governor, particularly when he is from same Etsako West where the immediate past Governor, Comr. Oshiomhole is from? Are there no other competent hands from other ethnic groups? What happens to the people from Owan East and Owan West, Akoko-Edo and the Esans? Are they not part of Edo State?

If these people are constantly disenfranchised by Edo South and Etsako people, would the consequences not be dire? Shaibu must be called to order to temper his ambition with reason.

Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser Media Projects writes from Benin City

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