The Oasis Reporters
September 25, 2023
The news is out that politically embattled deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has gone on his knees from a distance and begged his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki for forgiveness over their political differences.
Shaibu, who disclosed this in an interview with journalists in his Benin City residence on Thursday last week, asked Governor Obaseki to forgive and forget.
The deputy governor must have weighed all his options and realized that he may lose all by continually remaining at loggerheads with governor Obaseki who has all the shiny marbles in his corner, and with nothing to lose.
Ever since former governor Adams Oshiomole who nominated Obaseki and promoted him to be his successor made all the arrangements including giving him a deputy who incidentally is from his district, political watchers set their focussed lenses on the affairs of Edo State.
This was largely so because in the history of Nigerian politics, the relationships between governors and their deputies have hardly ever been smooth sailing.
It has always been a rarity for governors to glide through four or eight years in power and be at peace with their deputies. There are former governors who would usually orchestrate the impeachment of their deputies. Some former governors have changed deputies up to two or more times within eight years. Very few have ensured that their deputies succeed them.
Notable exceptions have been Sani Yerima of Zamfara State. Even at that, his former deputy turned against him.
One time Kano state governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso stuck with his former deputy through thick and thin. He even ensured that his former deputy succeeded him.
Yet as soon as Abdullahi Ganduje became governor, his relationship with his erstwhile principal soured. Till date, they still jostle to annoy each other even after they left office.
This is why hopeful political watchers saw the interesting synergy of a scenario in Edo state with interest. A deputy governor was working in seamless fluidity with his principal. Whenever Obaseki hosted dignitaries, Shaibu was sure to be there, laughing and chit chatting. Soon Obaseki’s enemies became Shaibu’s enemies. Whenever Obaseki traveled, Shaibu would act. Everything seemed perfect.
Until Shaibu started eyeing the chair at Osadebey House that Obaseki must vacate in 2024 after an 8 year tenure.
But Shaibu, in dreaming robust dreams about effusive love from his principal and the special feeling of entitlement syndrome, has fallen on hard rock.
That was when he saw the true colours of governor Obaseki.
Probably thinking of the special circumstances of being given Shaibu as a loyalty gift of a deputy, Obaseki looked again at the political map of the Edo tripod which interpreted that Edo north had governed the state through Adams Oshiomole for 8 years. He, Obaseki was going to complete his 8 year tenure for Edo South. Fairness and equity would demand that the next governor should be from Edo Central.
But Shaibu wanted to be pampered into shunting a significant Edo Central aside to make way for him and enable him to run. Like the deft move Atiku Abubakar made that has irreparably damaged the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Therefore, Obaseki played his draft by locking Shaibu out of Government House precincts and reconciling with his estranged former boss, Adams Oshiomole who is now all smiles after the smarting over Shaibu in the corner of Obaseki during the fisticuffs days. After all, he brought Shaibu from their Edo north home to the dinner table in Osadebey House.
Now he can snigger at Shaibu. Whether it is the last laugh, nobody really knows. But the smart move would be for Shaibu to swallow his saliva and his pride to add some more pleas in order to get back into favour. Then plot his next move before setting his sights beyond 8 years from 2024. He’s still young and spritely. He must let Edo Central take their place in the Sun. He must be patient.