The news media was awash with stories of the legal case filed by the embattled deputy governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, against his boss, the governor of Edo State, whom he accused of orchestrating an impeachment plot against him.
According to documents filed in the Federal High Court in Abuja, Shaibu is seeking a restraining order to prevent Governor Obaseki from proceeding with the alleged impeachment plot.
However, no concrete evidence has been provided to substantiate these claims, leading many to speculate about the true nature of this dispute.
In response to Shaibu’s allegations, Crusoe Osagie, the Governor’s Special Adviser on Media Projects, released a statement firmly denying the accusations. The statement portrayed the deputy governor’s actions as akin to “fleeing when no man pursues,” suggesting that the legal
case is an unwarranted reaction to a situation that does not exist.
The statement also highlighted Shaibu’s behaviour, painting a picture of an immature man driven by a sense of entitlement who is willing to create a crisis to further his ambitions of
succeeding Governor Obaseki “by any means necessary”.
Osagie’s statement has cast serious doubt on Shaibu’s allegations and raised questions about his suitability for leadership.
Political analysts have noted that the legal case comes at a time when rumours of Shaibu’s desire to succeed Governor Obaseki have been circulating. Some believe that the legal
manoeuvre is an attempt by the deputy governor to position himself as the leader of the PDP in Edo State, while others see it as a sign of a deeper rift within the state’s leadership.
Whatever the motivations may be, the legal battle between the governor and his deputy has put the political dynamics of Edo State in the spotlight once again.
The situation also raises concerns about the stability of governance in Edo State, as the discord between the two top leaders may hinder the effective administration of the state. Citizens and political observers alike will be watching closely as the legal case unfolds, seeking to understand the true nature of the allegations and the impact this may have on the political future of Edo State.
As the legal proceedings continue, the people of Edo State will be looking for reassurances from the deputy governor that his actions are guided by the best interests of the state, rather than personal ambition or baseless fears.
For now, the legal case stands as a symbol of a political system in turmoil, with a deputy governor who is at odds with his boss and the people of Edo State caught in the middle of a
dispute that many believe should never have reached the courts.
Only time will reveal the truth behind these allegations and whether the actions of Deputy Governor Shaibu are a sign of genuine concern or a political manoeuvre gone awry.
And, in fact, because many people were left very surprised by the verve and fervour with which a supposed political novice, Godwin Obaseki, fought and eventually defeated his predecessor and perceived political godfather, Senator Adams Oshiomole, prior to the 2020 elections.
Even Oshiomhole himself was reported to have been mystified by the audacity of Obaseki, whom he handpicked
to succeed him at the time.
What many people did not realise at the time, though, was that it was Philip Shaibu that stoked the tensions that eventually bubbled into a full-blown crisis that eventually led to the exit of the governor and his team from the APC at the time.
In fact, it is reported that a dismayed Oshiomhole lamented how the very man whom he had planted into office with the hope that he would checkmate an inexperienced Obaseki eventually led an onslaught against him.
Today, the reasons behind Philip’s actions are coming to the fore. In his childish mind, he had hoped that once he had orchestrated the demise of Oshiomhole, a grateful Godwin Obaseki would hand over governance of the state over to him in repayment of his “loyalties”.
Except that, like most of the politicians before him, he vastly underestimated his boss.
It is a matter of historical fact that Godwin Obaseki was one of the few governors in the history of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic to officially hand over power to his deputy several times while proceeding on vacation or leave.
The governor had also, on many occasions, elevated his status
beyond that of any other deputy governor in the history of deputy governors in Nigeria.
Such was the might of Philip Shaibu that he presided over virtually every affair of the government, enabled by a governor who, in his naivete, assumed he was upholding the rule of law and levelling the playing field.
Philip Shaibu superintended over the revenues of the state and was in charge of its political strategy- a role that he now seeks to weaponise against his boss.
None of the confidence that was reposed in him by his boss matters. All that is important is that he insists on succeeding the governor, and becoming the number one citizen of the state, no matter whose ox is gored.
This type of reasoning and behaviour is not surprising.
A few of us lonesome voices had warned the governor several times about the character of his deputy, but all our entreaties fell on deaf ears, and now, the chickens have come home to roost. We warned against the fight with Oshiomhole, but egged on by a self-interested deputy, the governor rejected all voices of reason.
Now, the governor has seen first-hand the true nature of his deputy. The shadow games played by Philip Shaibu reveal a desperate man fuelled by an over-inflated ego and a misguided ambition.
This is not the temperament of a leader, nor does it signify the level of strategic thinking required of somebody aspiring to the highest office in the state.
What is equally alarming is the foolishness with which the deputy has acted, as if the governor’s trust and responsibilities bestowed upon him were not privileges to be honoured, but tools to be exploited for personal gain. The tragedy here is that the people of Edo State are the ones who will ultimately suffer from this needless foolishness.
Instead of focusing on governance and the overall well-being of the people, the state’s leadership is embroiled in a drama of ego, betrayal and misguided ambition.
The precious time and resources that could have been devoted to meaningful development are now consumed by a political theatre that serves no one but the lead character in his own drama.
This recent legal case is a clear sign of a man lost in his delusions. Philip Shaibu has lost touch with reality believing in his own hype, intrigue and conspiracy.
At the end of the day, his phantom impeachment plot is a clear sign that “our husband has gone mad again”.
Adams Osato Ogbemudia wrote in from Benin City.