After months of controversy, uproar, Philip Shaibu declares for 2024 Edo governorship race

Philip Shaibu

By Rose Moses

After months of controversy and uproar, Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has officially declared his intention to run for the 2024 governorship election in the state. 

In a pre-recorded speech aired today, November 27, 2023, Shaibu, who has been the deputy governor since 2016, announced his decision to seek the number one office in the state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The deputy governor would follow this up with a live programme, where he began by appreciating the work the incumbent government has done so far in the state, pointing out  that there are still lots of work to be done.

He said his government, when elected, will pay attention to agriculture and education, amongst other needs and aspirations of various areas in the state. 

“Every area has its potentials,” he said explaining that while Uromi axis is well known for fruits farming, Auchi in Edo North, is known for its unique groundnuts, a variety he said is highly sought after, even from different parts of the world. 

“All over the world, they will tell you Auchi groundnut is the best in the world. Even in London, they will ask you for Auchi groundnut,” he said

He continued: “So we are going to be talking about sectorial agriculture, according to area where certain fruits are grown. And we are going to do one thing….I discovered that our young people are not interested in farming. So we are going to look for incentives that will attract them to farming.

“Our manifesto will be out as we move on. Today, I am not going to bore you with so much speech but to thank you and appreciate all of you and to say the journey has started after all the consultations. The answer to all the consultations we’ve made is, clear. They’ve asked me to go and run. 

They said I am the one they see. I’m not just a street boy but original 100% home boy that can lead them. And I can assure you that by the grace of God, we will deliver practical governance. 

“We did it in the House of Assembly when I had to come to you, leaders from Constituency II. What other legislators till now don’t do, I did. I come every time…the first time I came to you, I told you that N20m was allotted to specific project in every constituency and we agreed on what we’re going to do with the money.

“When it was increased to N36m, I came back to say it has been increased to N36m and we all agreed what it will be used for. That’s how I was able achieve the 49 projects in eight years and when I got to the House of Representatives, the same thing happened. I came and I told you that N186m was approved for that year for my constituency and we agreed on the projects we were going to do with that. 

“We carried out physical projects you can see. So, as your governor, every allocation - both external, internal, grants, you will know and also know what we will be doing with them. I want to assure you all that I will run a transparent government,” he told the modest gathering, which also had in attendance, his wife.

Similarly in after the pre-recorded speech and official declaration also aired today, Shaibu, who obviously appeared to have bitten the bullet, went on to launch his campaign office in Benin City, the state capital.

The 53-year-old politician said he has put his life on the line for the development and growth of the state and he was determined to make the South-South state great again.

Recall that Shaibu has been having a running battle with his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, for sometime over his political ambition. He nonetheless said though he was persecuted, he was not crushed. Shaibu is from Edo North Senatorial District, the same district as ex-governor of the state and current lawmaker representing the district in the 10th National Assembly, Adams Oshiomhole.

Both Obaseki and Shaibu were once allies of Oshiomhole but the political association among them tumbled towards the 2020 governorship election when the ex-labour leader was accused of ‘godfatherism’ which he denied.

Obaseki and Shaibu survived their re-election which had Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who was backed by Oshiomhole and other APC heavyweights, including ex-governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu.

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