Edo Guber 2024 Race: Why Shaibu Will Triumph at The End


.By Godwin Edionwele, reporting from Benin

The past wars Obaseki fought have proven him to be a veteran of a sort. But the rift between him and his deputy may well prove costly unless he backpedals. It is said in some parables that not all wars are to be fought; sometimes you turn to diplomacy. If there is anything to show Shaibu’s strength in this instance, it is his loyalty while supporting Obaseki during his fight with Oshiomole. Phillip went out of his way and ensured he did not betray his boss; for this, Obaseki ought to be eternally grateful. Ask Adebule of Lagos, how she abandoned her boss in the 2018 saga. Obaseki should know that, when Oshiomole pitched Shaibu to be his deputy, Oshiomole calculated that, he, Obaseki, being a core technocrat, was best supported by a veteran politician in the person of Phillip Shaibu, who at that time had served as two-term Majority Leader in the State House of Assembly.

Honestly, in politics, as they often say, nothing is fair; but Phillip, rushing to the Courts to stave off his impeachment was because he had his ears to the ground. He may have been tipped about Obaseki’s plans to get rid of him, something Obaseki is very much at home to do. No other deputy governor in Nigeria had tried this bold act. Should Phillip succeed in crossing to APC, the fate of Obaseki would instantly be sealed! The reason is simple; waiting in the wings to welcome Shaibu with open hands is Nyesom Wike who has an axe to grind with Obaseki. Together with Oshiomole, they will run to Mr. President and say “Oh, our son has come back, let us give him all the moral support he needs”, and that’s awful. With Federal Might at his disposal and other machinery of propaganda, it is going to be water under the bridge for Obaseki.

He is only a career politician and his excesses are well known. Has he repaid those who backed him materially and financially during his early days prior to winning his election? In case he does not know, members of the State Assembly actually blew the lid off the whistle to warn Shaibu; he couldn’t have rushed to the courts just like that. Obaseki’s explanation concerning this is ignorance; it is also infantile for him to suggest that it was too early for Shaibu to kick off his political ambition, or that it was the turn of Ishan to produce the next governor because of fairness. This is laughable for Obaseki to talk of “fairness”. Have the roads in Benin and those leading to the outskirts of town been fixed? What fairness is Obaseki talking about?

Almost 7 years on the throne and the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi highway is still in a mess; where is the fairness here?  What is the fairness of those politicians who continually recycle themselves in office, from senate to governor and now to minister? If Shaibu wants to contest for governorship, that’s his right—provided he has the machinery. In Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, an Igbira wants another Igbira to succeed him. Previously, the Igalas were in charge. The people of the Okun dynasty have always cried foul to no avail. In Borno State, the Kanuris would always produce the governor; In Rivers State, Wike, and Amaechi are from the same Local government.

So, who says another Estako man cannot become the next governor? It pays Oshiomole to throw his weight behind Obaseki in the event that his dream comes true. If Obaseki will play his card right let him concentrate on his job as governor. Shaibu has done nothing wrong to warrant this nonsense of impeachment talk. He should think more of fixing Benin’s dilapidated roads—just as they were in the days he was caught on camera eating corn with Oshiomole! Only then will he receive applause. Shaibu is not his problem; Obaseki is his own problem!