Stakeholders in Edo Central Senatorial District have called on the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, to exercise restraint and stop the incessant blackmail in a bid to pressure the State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to disregard the senatorial zoning arrangement of the State for the region to produce the next governor of the State.
The stakeholders who spoke during a press conference held at the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Chapter, in Benin City, said the frustration Shaibu is expressing is only a decoy to make it seem as if he is being victimised by Obaseki whereas he is intoxicated by his inordinate ambition to become the next governor of the State.
Speaking on behalf of the Edo Central people, the Convener of Esan Advocates for Good Governance (EAFGG), Comrade Bartholomew Okoudo, charged Edo people not to be deceived by all the tantrums, blackmail, and display of entitlement by the Deputy Governor, which are failed attempts to force the governor to yield to pressure so that he can have his way.
According to him, “The people of Edo Central Senatorial District are calling on the Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, to exercise restraint and stop the incessant blackmail of the Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in a bid to pressure the governor to yield to pressure to disregard the senatorial zoning arrangement to produce the next governor of the State.
“His frequent tirade is to get the Governor to endorse his candidacy for the governorship election holding next year. This is the singular reason he is employing different tricks to box the governor into a corner and extract a commitment.
“Shaibu’s attempt to curry public sympathy is aimed at arm-twisting the governor. The frustration he is expressing is only a coy way to make it seem as if he is being victimised, but everyone knows he is intoxicated by his inordinate ambition.
“Shaibu thinks everything must be by force. It is on record that the people of Edo North Senatorial District produced Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is also from Etsako West Local Government Area. He served for eight years between 2008 and 2016 before handing over to the incumbent governor, Obaseki, a Benin man, who was produced by the people of Edo South Senatorial District.”
The stakeholders continued: “The lot to produce the next governor according to the zoning arrangement is on the Edo Central Senatorial District, who have never had the opportunity to produce the governor of the State except the short-lived tenure of Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, between May 2007 and November 2008.
“The shenanigans by Comrade Shaibu aimed at blackmailing the governor in pursuit of his unreasonable and desperate ambition to become the next governor at all cost will not work and must be resisted by all well-meaning Edo people.
“During the administration of Chief Lucky Igbinedion, between 1999 and 2007, the Deputy Governor at the time was Chief Mike Oghiadomhe from Etsako in Edo North Senatorial District. He also served for eight years.
“This was followed by Oshiomhole, also from Etsako West as Governor and now Comrade Philip Shaibu, from Etsako West, who is almost completing eight years tenure as deputy governor.
“How then can he be aspiring to be the next governor? Is this fair and equitable? What is the fate of the other local government areas and senatorial districts in the State?” the stakeholders queried.
Okoudo further noted, “We understand that the Deputy Governor has his right to aspire for any political position in the State and Country, but we urge him to stop these charades to pressure the governor into neglecting the zoning arrangement. His agitation runs against the spirit of fairness and equity.
“From Shaibu running to the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking for a restraining order to stop Governor Obaseki from impeaching him to spreading falsehoods about the Governor preventing him from performing his roles as deputy and causing various scenes at public events and public places, it has all been an engineered charade to make the Governor seem unapproachable.
“The most recent of these is his attempt to force his way into the personal office of the Governor along with his security aides at the Dennis Osadebe Avenue, GRA, Benin City.
“The Deputy Governor who has worked with Governor Obaseki over the past seven years should know him better that no amount of pressure to blackmail him will force the governor to support him in his inordinate quest.”
He charged, “We the people of Edo Central Senatorial District are calling on him to stop this charade and follow the path of peace in the spirit of equity and fairness.
“There is peace and security in Edo and we urge the Deputy Governor not to create the scene that there is no peace in Edo through his actions and desperate moves.”