Edo crisis: I’m willing to join forces with Oshiomhole, says Impeached deputy gov, Shaibu 

The immediate past deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has stated that he is completely prepared to join his political tent with Senator Adams Oshiomhole’s.

News24 Nigeria reports that Shaibu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, was recently impeached by the Edo State House of Assembly, after falling out with Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Speaking in an interview with The Punch, Shaibu, who was a loyalist of Oshiomhole-the leader of the All Progressives Congress in the state and former national chairman of the party, said he is now ready to return to the former Edo governor.

“I am ready. I have also consistently apologised to Comrade, and I am using this avenue to do so again over what happened in 2020, especially the language I used during that period. I look at some of the videos, and the only thing I can do is apologise. However, I don’t regret the action I took because Oshiomhole is the one who led us to fight against godfathers. I felt what he was trying to do at that time was wrong. Reuniting with him will be interesting. Even amid the fight, I have maintained that he is my father. I will reunite with him sooner or later. He is also my mentor. So, a lot of things that I do, I learnt from him,” he said.

Asked about his alleged plan to formally dump the PDP for Oshiomhole’s APC, Shaibu said, ” A lot of people are angry because of what they did to me. In Owan East in Edo North, my supporters told me last week that they could no longer wait, and I told them to take any step they deemed okay. We are asking people to hold on, but they keep moving to other parties daily. Others say they have no faith in the leadership of the party, that they have been maltreated, and that we all need to leave. When I asked them where they wanted us to move to, they said the APC. I am a team player, if I am still in the PDP and if my team says we can no longer stay, I will follow them. I said previously that we escorted the governor to the PDP. It is the treatment that we get that will determine whether we will stay in the PDP or go back to where we are coming from. I am principled and will not work against the candidate if I am still in the PDP. So, if I am not going to work for Ighodalo, that means I will have to leave.

“If the team comprising the Legacy Group and my original groups say we have to move to the APC, we will not hesitate. There is a problem for the PDP considering the heavyweight who may likely leave the party. Some have never left the PDP since the creation of the party, but they have told me that they are ready to go wherever I go. I told them we should see if the issues can be resolved but they said they couldn’t see a solution in sight.

“They are calling people who are leaving the party to come back and threatening local government chairmen not to allow members to defect to other parties. The LG bosses are now begging party members not to leave but it is too late to beg. They act like they are the only ones who have wisdom, forgetting that God gave everyone talent and it is by putting our talents together that we can thrive.”

Speaking further, Shaibu revealed why he did not live in Government House whilst serving as deputy governor, saying he forsaw Obaseki’s would turn against him.

His words : ” I envisaged that things would end this way and that things were not going to be fine. That was why I was the last person within our group to accept Obaseki when Comrade Adams Oshiomhole put him forward. Out of respect for Oshiomhole, I accepted. We were also told that he was coming in with private-sector ideas and that there was likely going to be a recession which we would need Obaseki to help us battle. But I warned that this man was going to destroy the house, and it eventually happened.

“When I was nominated to be Obaseki’s running mate, I was not interested but people in our team like Chris Okaeben, Washington Osifo, Larry Aghedo, Andrew Momodu, and Abbas Braimoh and other young people came to talk to me to accept the offer. They said if I refused the offer, we (the young people) would not have a representative in the government. I accepted reluctantly but I told them that I see a fight in the future. The first year was full of tension but Comrade (Oshiomhole) and his former deputy, Pius Odubu, told me that the government had just started and that I had no choice. Comrade told me I had to be loyal to the governor and that I was at his mercy. That was when I knew something would go wrong.

“First, I told my wife that we were not going to live in the Government House but in our private residence so that when there was a fight, I wouldn’t be told to pack my things out of the Government House because it would be disgraceful. She asked me why I felt that way, and I told her I had a premonition that all would not be well. My wife said we should pray about it, but seven years later, what I predicted happened. Imagine looking for vehicles to pack our belongings out of the Government House. My office was relocated out of the Government House which was the only thing connecting the governor and me. I am happy that my office was only relocated out of the Government House.”

On the forthcoming governorship election in the state the Etsako-born Shaibu said he would not support the PDP candidate, Asue Ighodalo.

” First, I am not ready to support the governorship candidate of the party, Asue Ighodalo, and until the PDP does the needful, I may not be able to answer the question. I cannot support him because he didn’t open up to me about his ambition despite asking him several times, including at my house. The last time I asked was in November. So, I was taken aback when he spoke on TV that he was being pushed to run.

“I called him and asked who was pushing him to run, but he told me to ignore the report and that it was a social media thing. But his younger brother, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, said that the move to make his elder brother the governor of Edo State started two years ago. Edo State needs a “homeboy” to govern them, not people who will rent houses during their tenure and leave as soon as it ends. We need people who we can relate to and understand the challenges of the people. The PDP governorship candidate is more of an Ibadan man than an Edo man.”

On his impeachment, Shaibu  said he has forgiven Obaseki.

” I have forgiven him. I thank God for the grace he has given me to be alive. The way I am is the way my heart is. I am plain, genuine and I don’t keep anything in my heart. That’s why I am always in good health because I don’t keep malice. I don’t have space for negativity and the Bible says the heart of men is desperately wicked. So, I know that there are principalities you need to fight in this world. So, when I meet the likes of Obaseki and Ighodalo, I don’t allow their ways to affect me.

“I have adjusted to the kind of people that they are. So, whatever they do does not hit me hard. As regards forgiveness, the Lord’s Prayer is clear about that. It said we should forgive those who trespass against us. I have done that. So, I can also be forgiven of my sins because I am not a saint. Honourable Kabiru Adjoto and I are now back together after falling out over some issues. His group is the one who started the whole thing that led to my removal from office. I have forgiven him and some other people, and the only way I can see salvation is to do what is right.”

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