By Jethro Ibileke
Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), from the six local government areas that make up Edo north senatorial district have thrown their weight behind the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, while reprimanding his deputy, Philip Shaibu for taking his boss to court over alleged impeachment plot.
The embattled deputy governor who is a son of Afemai, came under fire on Monday at a press briefing addressed by the party leaders who reaffirmed their support for the governor.
A former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Kabir Adjoto, who led the group, described Shaibu’s action as an embarrassment and a disgrace to the Afemai nation.
He said: “We have watched in utter disbelief the self contrived rift between our Governor Godwin Obaseki and our son the Deputy Governor of Edo State Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu. Afemai people are a very hard working, Patriotic and Loyal race.
“It is unheard of in the history of Nigeria where a sitting Deputy Governor will initiate a court action against his Governor without any justification as in the instant case. And also go ahead to engage social media miscreants to disparage his Governor.
“The Court action is not only speculative but baseless and highly embarrassing.
“We are coming out today to disassociate the Afemai people from this ill conceived action, and to also apologise to the Governor of the State for this unfortunate incident”.
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Adjoto who quoted copiously from the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, as amended, applauded Governor Godwin Obaseki for giving his Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu a wide latitude to operate.
According to him, “For the avoidance of doubt the framers of our Constitution, the 1999 Constitution as amended were very clear in Section 193(1) that the duties of the Deputy Governor inter alia is ‘the Governor of a state may in his discretion assign to the Deputy Governor or any Commissioner of the State responsibility for any business of the Government of the State, including the administration of any department of Government.’
“Our dear Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has been most magnanimous more than any Governor in Nigeria, and has saddled our son, the Deputy Governor with the highest number of responsibilities ranging from sport, internal revenue, Boundary committee, immunisation to mention but a few which has earned him the name ‘The most busy Deputy Governor in Nigeria’.
While assuring that Edo North PDP leaders support the federal character principles, they noted that former Governor Adams Oshiomhole and the present Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu hail from the same Uzairue clan and pointed out that even if the 2024 governorship position is zoned to Edo North, it would be against the grain for an Uzairue man to be eyeing the position when there are other wards and Local Government Areas in Edo North.
“Senator Oshiomhole hails from Uzairue Clan, just like the present Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Philip Shaibu. Edo North stands on tripod of Etsako, Owan and Akoko Edo. Assuming while not conceding that it is the turn of Edo North to produce the next Governor of Edo State again will it go to the same clan?
“We are firm believers in the Federal Character more so when another of our illustrious son from the same Etsako extraction has just been nominated as a Minister.
“Edo North people stand for equity, fairness and Justice and we are grateful to other Senatorial Districts particularly, the majority tribe, Edo South for allowing us to produce the Governor from 2008 to 2016. We shall not abuse that privilege”.
Hon. Yusuf Buhari spoke on behalf of Etsako Federal Constituency, Hon. Jimah Ijiegbai spoke on behalf of Owan Federal Constituency, while the leader of the group and former Speaker, Hon. Kabir Adjoto also spoke on behalf of Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency, at the briefing.
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