Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu, yesterday dismissed claims that he was plotting to impeach the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, saying he never rebelled against his principal as widely reported.
Shaibu further noted that he remained “an unrepentant democrat, who believes in the democratic process and respects the mandate given to Obaseki and his humble self by the people of Edo State.”
In a statement issued by his media office yesterday, the Edo State deputy governor alleged that there were concerted efforts by mischief-makers and political jobbers to destabilise the state and widen the gulf between him and his principal.
Obaseki had narrated how he found out that his deputy was working against him, alleging that Shaibu had become so desperate to succeed him, ahead of the Edo governorship election in 2024.
He further claimed: “Shaibu went to Abuja. “He was boasting that he had connections in Abuja. He was also boasting that he had people in the National Assembly that they are all with the president now, that they will take care of him, and that if he cannot get the ticket in PDP, he knows what to do.”
But the deputy governor yesterday debunked the allegation, stressing that it was preposterous and outrageous to contemplate a coup against a man that gave him too much latitude.
While denouncing the allegations, Shaibu claimed that political jobbers sold a dummy “to the governor whom he referred to as his ‘elder brother’ to provoke more crises so they can benefit from it.”
He categorically noted that the claims “are 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 Obaseki.
“I remain an unrepentant democrat who believes in the democratic process and respects the mandate given to Obaseki and his humble self by the people of Edo State. 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, specifically, reiterated his unwavering loyalty to Obaseki and the principles of PDP to which they both belong.
Shaibu said: “It is a privilege to serve as 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 harbours ulterior motives or seeks to undermine the governor’s leadership is nothing short of a fabrication.
“I believe in the power of teamwork and collaboration. As a testament to this, Obaseki and himself had worked tirelessly together to deliver on the promises they made to the good people of Edo State.
“Our achievements in various sectors, including education, healthcare, infrastructure, and job creation, are a testament to this collective effort and the synergy between their offices,” he explained.
As the state’s deputy governor, Shaibu said his role was to support and complement the governor’s agenda and not to undermine it. I have consistently advocated for policies and initiatives that align with this administration’s goals and aspirations.
“It is therefore 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.”