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‘I’m hurt,’ Shaibu fumes as Edo PDP stakeholders endorse Ighodalo

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Edo assembly impeaches deputy governor, Philip Shaibu

OBINNA EZUGWU

Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, has accused his principal, Godwin Obaseki of betrayal over his decision to back another candidate as his successor.

This comes as the state People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders endorsed Asue Ighodalo, Obaseki’s choice, as the party’s preferred candidate in the upcoming 2024 governorship election.

Shaibu who spoke on Arise TV Morning Show on Wednesday, said he was persuaded to be the deputy governor to Obaseki and added value to Obaseki’s government in terms of political structure and his finances.

He, however, said he was hurt that Obaseki is supporting an outsider instead of him.

Shaibu had earlier faulted a meeting held on Monday during which PDP leaders in Edo North endorsed Ighodalo, a former Sterling Bank chairman, as their preferred PDP governorship candidate.

The meeting was at the instance of a former deputy governor of the state, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, and had in attendance many party heavyweights.

The meeting, which was held in Oghiadomhe residence in Fuga, had in attendance the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Blessing Agbebaku; former Senator Yisa Braimoh; former House of Representatives member, Johnson Abolagba; former House of Assembly Speaker, Kabiru Adjoto; Otunba Olu Fashanu; Dr. Bolaji Ojebuobuo; Joe Ekpenkhio; Omo Ezomon; Uyi Maiaika; Henry Tenebe, serving and former Edo State PDP functionaries, as well as all the LGA council chairmen.

They unanimously endorsed Ighodalo as the favoured aspirant to get the PDP ticket ahead of the September governorship election.

Shaibu, while addressing his supporters in his country home, Jattu, Etsako West Local Government, shortly after the Auchi Day Annual Celebration on Tuesday, said he considered the Monday meeting held in Oghiadomhe as a slight on his office as Deputy Governor.

He said having not informed or invited him to the meeting, the decision reached was null and void and of no effect.

Shaibu said, “Information reaching me says that Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, an elder of our party, called a meeting of PDP leaders in the six local governments of Edo North in his country home, Fugar, Etsako Central local government and pressurised them to endorse one of the aspirants for the forthcoming governorship primary election in the state.

“To me, that meeting did not hold, because, by virtue of my office as Deputy Governor, I remain the leader of the PDP in Edo North and the deputy leader of the party in the state. Any meeting held in the senatorial zone without my knowledge is deemed null and void.

“I respect Chief Mike Oghiadomhe as my elder and as my predecessor in office. Any meeting held in Edo North without my knowledge or input remains null and void.”

Shaibu said Oghiadomhe would not have allowed such to happen when he was in office as Deputy Governor and as a leader of Edo North.

“PDP is a party of structure and of hierarchy, well defined in its constitution. I plead with all of you to remain calm and not be provoked by this action because after the primaries, we need to come together as members of the PDP, so, we will need everybody to win the main election in September.

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“Chief Oghiadomhe is trying to provoke us but we will remain calm because this project is not about Philip Shaibu, it is God’s own project,” he added.

Ighodalo unifies Edo PDP, officially announces bid

Ighodalo, meanwhile, on Tuesday, held a unification meeting with members of the State Working Committee of the PDP.

The meeting held at the residence of the Edo State PDP Chairman, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, and, for the first time, witnessed the coming together of all aggrieved working committee members in the state.

Some of the members at the meeting included the Deputy Chairman of Edo PDP, Harrison Omagbon; Secretary, Hilary Otsu, Edo Central Vice Chairman, Bishop Anthony Okosun, Ehis Destiny Oreye, Anthony Anenih and Akhere Ogbesia.

Ighodalo had during a recent meeting with the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, promised to bring unity to the party before the 2024 governorship election.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the meeting, ighodalo said that he was at the meeting to inform the state working Committee of PDP of his intention to run for the office of the governor of Edo State.

“This is the first time the State Working Committee of the party is meeting in two years. I am so elated. My task, since I stepped into the frame, was to unify the party at every level in Edo State,” Punch quoted him to have said.

Shaibu said if given the opportunity to lead Edo State, he would make the state the best economy in the country.

He added, “The governor has done very well, he is laying a broad and solid foundation and we need to build on that. We have to look at inclusive economy and we need to look at bringing things down to meeting direct needs of the people,” he said

Earlier, the Edo State PDP Chairman, Dr. Aziegbemi commended the governorship aspirant for bringing the state working committee together, adding that the misunderstanding in the party was now a thing of the past.

“We looked at the Issues and we concluded that the best way for us and Edo State is to come together. It is only when we come together that we can make sure the legacy Governor Godwin Obaseki left behind will not be wiped off.”

 

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