Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu on Tuesday derided his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, insisting that the governor should have discussed his succession plan with him instead of ‘intimidating’ him.
Shaibu, stated this in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Tuesday, saying it was his constitutional right to contest for the office of governor.
Ripples Nigeria reports that Shaibu, who before now had a running battle with Obaseki over his governorship ambition, officially declared to run for the state governorship election on September 21, 2024, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday.
He said: “He (Obaseki) said I am the type of deputy governor any governor will wish to have. So, what has changed? What has changed simply is that I want to be the governor of Edo State.
“Possibly, maybe he (Obaseki) wants somebody else. In a situation like that, what you do is not intimidation, it is not harassment; you call a family together, you call all of us (aspirants) together and give us reasons why you feel certain things should be. Tell us what you want. You don’t intimidate, you don’t harass.
“If I am governor tomorrow and my deputy wants to contest, he has the right to contest. If I want to support somebody else, I also have the right to support somebody else, not intimidation.
“No conversation and then the next thing is intimidation and harassment, not to somebody that has sacrificed for the government.”
The PDP governorship aspirant further stated that he won’t cave in to pressure or intimidation but can be won over through engagements and discussions.
“I am someone that can easily give in after engagement but I am not somebody that can give in to intimidation. If I am to give in to intimidation, we won’t have democracy today”, Shaibu said.
According to him, it was unfortunate that some supporters of the governor were not able to separate between loyalty and constitutional rights.
He, however, said he remains loyal to Obaseki despite the sour relationship between them.
“It’s my cross I am carrying and that is why I have refused. I don’t need to fight. I am loyal to the governor; it’s not disputed but my right to contest is mine. Loyalty is given and it is fully given even with the humiliations and everything I am still loyal but when it comes to contest, it is my constitutional right,” he said.
He said: “I have no problem but I beg the governor, the governor should know he is the leader, he must be able to organise all of us, he must not love one more than the other.
“If he must do so, he must humiliate one. I have been praying that this whole relationship thing comes to normal.”
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