Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu, said weekend his decision to contest the 2024 governorship election was informed by the need to implement practical governance to address the developmental challenges of the state.…CONTINUE READING
Recall that his aspiration to be the governor of the state had in recent times, put him at loggerheads with the principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Shaibu, who stated this at a media parley with the Edo State Journalists Forum in Abuja, said experience, capacity, and knowledge were some of the factors separating him from anyone desirous of succeeding Governor Godwin Obaseki, adding that he had all.
He noted that there was no convention or agreement on zoning, adding that since the return to democracy in 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was yet to give its governorship ticket to any aspirant from Edo North.
“Edo people are in dire need of practical governance, and we cannot afford to experiment again with someone who does not understand the politics and needs of Edo State.
“Everywhere, including the international scene, people are clamouring that governments should not be pushing projects that are not needed. So, we need to do needs assessment. ”You cannot know the needs of the people when you don’t live with them. For me, competence and experience should be the watchword.
”Who is competent, more experienced and who will hit the ground running from day one if he becomes Governor? Are we going to experiment with a new person again and the person will spend the first four years learning on the job and the next four years trying to embezzle and set up businesses in the name of consolidating on his first term?
“I have been in the system. I understand the debt profile of Edo State and I know where I can get funding to put up structures in the state. I am not coming to learn on the job. I am not coming to experiment.
”The problem we have had in the system is that we have had too many seminars, workshops but there is no time to implement the outcome of these seminars,” the deputy governor said.
He, however said he was not desperate to be Obaseki’s seccessor, noting “I am not insisting on contesting. The ambition of becoming deputy governor was not mine but I made myself available.
”The ambition to be governor is still not mine but I am only making myself available. Don’t forget that the destinies of the people are connected and interwoven.
“There is no convention in Edo State on the issue of zoning, politically, traditionally or at conferences where we met to say this is how we want to have our politics zoned.”
On whether it is the turn of Edo Central which last produced a governor in 2007, Mr Shaibu said: “If you check out those that have been governors in Edo State, there is nowhere you will see the issue of zoning.
”We had four governors from Edo South, two from Edo Central and only one from Edo North. When you look at the PDP, the party has never given its governorship ticket to any candidate from Edo North. If I get the ticket of the PDP, I will be the first candidate of the PDP from Edo North since 1999.
“Anyhow you look at it, equity and fairness show that Edo North should produce the next governor. When people want to whip up sentiments out of ignorance and perceived incompetence, they come up with ethnic and religious sentiments. If I become governor, I won’t be governor of Afenmai. I will be governor of Edo State.
“I saw when Oserheimen Osunbor was governor, I saw when Adams Oshiomhole was governor and I work with Obaseki as governor.
”I know the mistakes of them all. I also know the things that were beneficial to Edo State that Osunbor, Oshiomhole and Obaseki did. We will amplify the good things and not repeat the mistakes. You can only do this if you are a part of the system.”
Although, the rift between Obaseki and Shaibu is far from over with the governor reportedly rooting for an aspirant of Edo Central extraction, Shaibu said the PDP remained the party on which platform he hoped to realize his ambition.
“I am still consulting and in the coming days, the outcome of my consultation will be made public. My first option is PDP, second option is PDP and the third is PDP. PDP wants to win the election and if it must win the election, the party must listen to the voice of the people.
”I have told them that I am a PDP member and am sure I will get the PDP ticket. They are mobilizing for me to get the ticket. They have told me some parties I should not go to, but I won’t reveal that to you now. They have told me a particular party I must not go to.
“I am a street man and even the governor will attest to the fact that I always preach the street message. I bring the street perspective to all our conversations. If I get the PDP ticket, the people will see my street credibility. I am not going into governorship to build estates. The only estate I owe my children is their education,” Shaibu said.
Speaking further, the deputy governor said: “Those who know me know that I am not a friend to bankers. I have sunk boreholes, renovated many schools with private monies as deputy governor. ‘I have built churches and mosques. I am not an advocate of keeping money in the banks. I have conscience, I am a Catholic.”
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