As it seems, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, is politically confused and in crossroads. He is torned between going down with Godwin Obaseki or he goes with the party and its people. He has his doubts as the darkness of indecision looms above and over him, and in the uncertainty, there is no lamp to direct his steps. He sees several roads, he doesn’t know which one to follow.
On the 60th birthday anniversary of Chief Dan Orbih, Comrade Phillip Shaibu flew from Benin to attend the church service that morning and was seen dancing there. His action got tongues wagging on social media platforms as the video was shared militantly as most people were taken aback and shocked that he could fly down for the birthday anniversary of the Obaseki’s self-possessed political adversary.
I met the deputy governor inside the VIP lounge with others including Pastor Izi-Iyamu going back to Benin at the domestic wing of the Abuja Airport and I knew the story and videos that filtered in that morning about his attendance were true.
And again, during the yuletide, Philip Shaibu paid Chief Dan Orbih a curious visit in his Ogbona country home. As usual, Chief Dan Orbih welcomed him into his home with his infectious charming smile, they exchanged healthy pleasantries, perhaps at surface level, Philip sat for a while and then left. I have come to know that Chief Dan Orbih does not play dirty politics of bitterness but that of uncompromising political ideology.
Well, as a matter of fact, Phillip Shaibu started on a wrong political footing and I don’t know if he will be able to realign easily. Is there a message he is trying to send to Chief Dan Orbih, the party stalwart who is opposed to the political tyranny and dominance of Godwin Obaseki on PDP constitutional issues? Philip Shaibu was the one who openly started the mind games when he went to Channels TV to talk about, even in a cryptic manner, the issues he is having with Godwin Obaseki over PDP a day after the news was published in Vanguard Newspaper that he was about the leave the party. Days later after his own witless interview, one of his obsessed follower, Lukman, went on the same Channels TV in an interview with Seun Akinbaloye to mouth the unspeakable.
However, the struggle for the soul of Edo State PDP took unexpected turn when all enfronteries by the governor to dominate and subsume members of the old PDP met with the staunch brickwalls erected by Chief Dan Orbih through the courts. Obaski’s efforts to illegal suspend Chief Dan Orbih and others were rebuffed, and he was also legally rebuked for trying to stop Chief and others from attending the National Convention. And in addition to these failures, his inordinate attempts to create illegal harmonization of Excos in the party also were nullified by both the NWC and the courts.
I think in my own opinion, these got Philip Shaibu thinking and had since then entered his shell badly shocked. As a matter of fact, Philip is a better politician and he has been trying to warm himself towards Chief Dan Orbih. He has stopped his Lukman, the Harmless Rabbit guy of a boy, from attacking the party leader and from writing rubbish about what they plan within their new PDP meetings of taking over the party.
No doubt, Philip Shaibu has seen and read the hand writing on the wall; Obaseki cannot win the war he has started with the party just like he lost in APC before he left. He has also seen that even with this selfish fight, he is not going to be made the governor of the state even if they succeed. It is no longer news to him that Obaseki will feed one of his Lagos clique members and the name of Asue Ighadalo from the Esan senatorial district will be his preferred candidate. Again, Philip knows he cannot win the senatorial election in Edo North if he chooses to contest since the influence of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole still looms wild there.
So Philip Shaibu is confused and at sea. His political career can be terminated after 2023 if he does not make his wise choices now. He knows Obaseki, who has been alienated from the PDP governors forum is now holed up mostly in Edo State looking for local political vigilantes to accuse and devour. By now, Philip would have been seen aligning with presidential candidates as to elevate him for future appointment since elections in Edo State for him is off the grid now. But the penchant for betrayal of Obaseki is affecting him, in extension. If he goes his ways from Obaseki to align with the likes of Wike and co who are now sidelining Obaseki for his ill-advised actions and ingratitude, he will be seen as a sell-out by the vindictive governor. If he stays, he will go down with him obviously.
At the moment, Shaibu’s boys are literally crying that they don’t know what’s happening in the government, that they are apparently being isolated by the governor over 2024, and that even their principal, Philip, is confused. I think he will need a trapdoor to escape from this political annihilation.
From reliable sources, Philip is torn between running for senate in 2023 or waiting to alter the zoning arrangement in Edo Street and run for governorship in 2024, which is very unlikely.
However, as a sharp politician with the body language of Obaseki, he smells rat of betrayal by him because people have told him if he could betray Oshiomhole who is he that can’t be thrashed into a political dustbin.
His two prominent commissionership nominees have not been appointed since November 2021 indicating a crack between himself and Obaseki.
He is shocked with the romance between Obaseki and the afformentioned technocrat, the 63 years old Asue Ighodalo, who is eyeing the governorship seat in 2024.
Philip Shaibu’s boys are presently sheep without shephard in Edo State politics and government as they are neither in PDP nor in APC, the same fate with Philip himself who told a gathering of his supporters in May 2021 that he has not turned in his APC membership card. He said this out of frustration during the harmonization saga that has proved impossible.
Philip and his boys are the ones deceptively promoting an Obaseki Vice Presidency under Atiku to pave an easy way for him to ascend to the position of governor in 2024 using powers of incumbency if Obaseki resigns to join the race. The question is, will the PDP leadership in the South-South gift a newcomer that prime position assuming Atiku wins? This is even unlikely now Wike is the bride of the Party.
Philip has been told by both soothsayers and prophets to go and align with the main PDP Party structure and submit his ambition to God to touch the hearts of Party leaders to support him.
Today the Obaseki he betrayed Oshiomhole for has refused to promise to hand over to him.
In Obaseki’s camp led by the COS, Osaigbovo Iyoha, there is fear of Philip playing the Obaseki card just to become the governor but will probe him when he takes over. They are afraid he may end up sending Obaseki to jail for corruption if the books are keenly opened. Edo people are watching with keen interest, the unfolding political drama.