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Nothing And No One Can Stop Us, Shaibu Taunts Obaseki as He Declares Governorship Ambition - TELL Magazine

Nothing And No One Can Stop Us, Shaibu Taunts Obaseki as He Declares Governorship Ambition

Obaseki and Shaibu Photo
Obaseki and Shaibu

A defiant Phillip Shaibu, the embattled deputy governor of Edo State, has finally thrown his hat into the ring to succeed his boss, Governor Godwin Obaseki as he declared his governorship ambition on Monday in Benin City, the state capital. The tenure of the present administration ends November 11, 2024, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has fixed Saturday September 21, 2024 for the off-season election, while party primaries will hold between February 1 and 24, 2024.

After hide-and-seek with agents of the state governor over the venue of the event, Shaibu, who is contesting on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the wish of the governor, eventually made his formal declaration at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre after a last-minute change in arrangements.

The event, which originally was to take place at Eterno Hotels, GRA, Benin, was hurriedly moved to another location late Sunday night to the Catholic Church ground off Airport Road when the organisers were hinted that one of Governor Obaseki’s support groups, “Obaseki ending well”, had also fixed an event same date, same venue for 7.30 pm.

In spite of this initial hiccup, an unfazed Shaibu insisted that he remained unbowed despite his political travails in the last couple of months. He said that despite his present predicament, his antecedents in the struggle for democracy were parts of the propelling factors for him to move on to actualise his ambition.

In his early morning declaration, the deputy governor unveiled a five-point agenda for the state to wit: infrastructure development and economic diversification; education, sports, skills development and job creation; healthcare and social welfare systems; agriculture, rural development and poverty alleviation; security, environmental sustainability and transparent governance.

Throwing a jab at his boss, Shaibu boasted of being “100 percent Home Boy” who knows the state very well, and not someone ‘imported’, a veiled reference to the touted anointed candidate of Governor Obaseki, one Asuen Ighodalo, chairman, board of directors of the governor’s annual ‘Alaghodaro’ economic summit.

Waxing philosophical, an emotional Shaibu said: “I have fought the good fight for you my people. Along the way, I suffered humiliations, and enjoyed many moments of victory; but I am thankful in all things.

“I have been pressed, but not crushed; persecuted, but not abandoned, badly hurt, but not destroyed. I resonate with the tireless and irrepressible spirit of the Edo People. By the grace of God, nothing, and no one can stop us. After all, I be original Edo son; your 100 percent home boy”.

Going down memory lane, Shaibu recalled how, since he ventured into partisan politics three decades ago, he had lived with the people, and they have loved him as their very own son.

According to him, “I have felt your pains at close quarters; sat with the elders to benefit from their words of wisdom; led the youth in many struggles for their rights; visibility and freedom; learned the intricacies of modern governance, and built adequate service capacity”.

The governorship hopeful emphasized that his declaration was not just a political affair, but “It’s a call to destiny; a call to become the heartbeat of this nation, not just in words but indeed. Therefore, I humbly seek your support, your trust, and your nomination in this upcoming election, as we embark on this journey together; united in our determination to make Edo State a better place for ourselves and generations to come”.

On the experience he would be bringing to the table, Shaibu shared in the successes of the Obaseki administration which he said had laid a solid foundation for progress. He stated that “Under our administration, we have seen remarkable achievements and milestones, but there is still much work to be done. I am aware of the need by the greater Edo people for a more inclusive government, a government of the Edo people, by the Edo people, and for the Edo people”.

Chronicling his achievements in his capacity as deputy governor in the last seven years, Shaibu identified taking the state’s internally-generated revenue to a steep increase, which he attributed to the introduction of digital and cutting-edge ideas, being at the forefront of efforts to combat the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, the promotion of Bendel Insurance Football Club to the premiership, and taking charge of the rescue mission against kidnappers of train passengers at Igueben, among others.

Further flaunting his accomplishments, Shaibu, one-time majority leader in the state House of Assembly, said “Back in the day, you didn’t just call me ‘Mr. Constituency Project’ for nothing. In my time as a legislator, I delivered 49 constituency projects at the state level and 13 solid constituency projects within my short stint at the federal level.

“This is why today, I stand before you with great conviction and resolve, as I declare my intention to run for the office of the governor of Edo State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the upcoming 2024 election”.

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