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Shaibu, Holding Forte Effectively While Gov. Obaseki Takes A Deserved Break: Tale Of Synergistic Politics In Edo

The Oasis Reporters

July 16, 2022






L-R: Edo State Acting Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu; holding forte in governance, as Governor Godwin Obaseki is on leave.




L-R: Edo State Acting Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu; representative of Edo State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mordi Christian; Protocol Officer, FRSC, Usifoh Favour, and Managing Director, Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA), Dennis Omoregbe, during the inauguration of the vehicle registration taskforce, at the Government House, in Benin City, on Friday, July 15th, 2022


By Greg Abolo


Talk about a deputy governor working in perfect harmony with his principal, the place that comes to your mind is Edo State, stylishly called ‘the heartbeat of the nation’.



In Nigeria where governors never see eye to eye with their deputies, the rare case of Edo state becomes amazingly refreshing and one would wonder why their case is so different.

In The Oasis Reporters photo box, an uncountable number of photos abound of the acts of Governor Obaseki and in over half of them, deputy governor Shaibu would be found. He’s there always, lending support always to his principal. They seem free and happy in the company of each other. There are times too when their wives would join them. And it’s been so for some six years, still counting.

This is rare in Nigeria’s Politics.

In Kano State, former governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso had a faithful relationship with his deputy, Dr. Umar Ganduje. Even when Kwankwaso lost his re-election bid after four years in 2003, he still maintained his relationship with the deputy. Thus when President Olusegun Obasanjo made Kwankwaso Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, the former governor faithfully took Umar Ganduje along with him to Abuja for the four years that he was a minister.

Eight years later after losing an election, the duo swept back into office as governor and deputy once again for another four years.

Then he anointed Ganduje to succeed him. But unfortunately, the faithfulness in friendship ended. The Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido that Kwankwaso had crowned was deposed by Umar Ganduje. Many other things happened, and the friendship soured. Perhaps it ended.

Oyo State presents another scenario of a relationship between a governor and his deputy.

Governor Seyi Makinde and his Deputy started out as chubby friends who would even sit in the same classroom together, attend weddings together in the same outfit and seem to be happy in one another’s company.


Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (right) at a school classroom in Isokun with his deputy, Rauf Olaniyan on the left before relationships soured.




Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde and wife at the wedding of his deputy, Rauf Olaniyan’s daughter’s wedding, dressed in the same outfit.



But going forward into the 2023 elections, the deputy is out of the re-election ticket, like it happened in Kaduna State between Governor Nasir El-rufai and his then deputy, Barnabas Bala Bantex. El-rufai dropped Bantex and flew the APC flag on a Muslim – Muslim ticket.


Many other instances of soured relationships abound in Nigeria’s politics. Bola Ahmed Tinubu had as many as three different deputy governors in his eight year tenure as governor of Lagos State.

Ibrahim Shekarau also had at least two different deputy governors, in his eight year reign in Kano State.

These and many other factors make the rare case in Edo State worthy of commendation. More so when it is considered that Philip Shaibu came into governance as strategic loan from former governor of the state, Adams Oshiomole who had campaigned on the theme of a rejection of godfatherism in Edo politics, but ended up by surreptitiously making himself the new godfather in town. His nemesis was the fight he unjustifiably picked with Godwin Obaseki.

That was his hubris. He lost the battle and equally lost the fight. Obaseki’s camp voiced the battle cry, ‘Oshiomole gbaa nue‘ (Oshiomhole, shut your mouth), because ‘Edo nor be Lagos‘.



After the reggae came the blues…First meeting of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki after Oshiomole’s ill adviced push, Obaseki’s (left) forced departure from the APC into the PDP and his resounding win back to office for his final term.

That marked the beginning of the descent of Oshiomhole into a retirement in Politics.

But would he reinvent himself in Politics?

He’s struggling to.

The verdict of his Senatorial ambition is out in the streets of Edo North. Whether he would succeed or fail is in the hands of the people.

One man who may not lift his finger to help him now is his homeboy Philip Shaibu, a young protegé he brought into Edo politics from his backyard in Edo North and made him deputy governor of the state.

When Oshiomhole started his disgraceful naked market-square fight against performing Governor Godwin Obaseki, rather than join or side with his kinsman, Philip Shaibu wisely chose to be with the governor facing crucifixion from a pocket godfather. And so far, so good.

2024 would determine which way to go for Shaibu. To succeed his boss or go to the legislature?

Only the future would determine this.
Especially as Edo Central ( Principally the Esan people) are saying power should shift to them in 2024. It’s their turn.

Besides Edo may not be willing to have yet another governor from Iyanmo, Oshiomole’s home village.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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