Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has said that the state does not need somebody who does not understand the politics of the state.
Shaibu, by this declaration, is believed to have taken up the gauntlet to jostle for the plum position of governor in a renewed war with Governor Godwin Obaseki over the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP]
Shaibu told newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, that “with the 2024 Edo Governorship Election fast approaching, the state could not afford to experiment again with someone who does not understand the politics of the state or the needs of the people.
“Edo people need practical governance and you cannot experiment again with somebody that do not understand the politics of a good state and the needs of the people.”
It would be recalled that Shaibu had a running battle with his boss, and one of the fallout was his relocation to a decrepit office outside the Government House.
That was after he went to court to stop what he claimed to be moves to impeach him following concerns over his governorship aspiration.
He subsequently withdrew the legal move and apologized to the governor, who it was learnt had told him to downplay his governorship bid.
Obaseki has been severally reported to be backing Lagos-based corporate lawyer, Asue Ighodalo from Edo Central, the only zone that has not had a full term as governor in the Fourth Republic.
However, speaking on Sunday to selected journalists from Edo State based in Abuja, the deputy governor poohpoohed the governor’s zoning permutations, and the apparent selection of a man many in Edo State are calling a stranger.
He said: “You cannot know the need of the people when you don’t live with them. So for me, competence and experience should be the watchword as we go into election in 2024.
“Who is competent? Who is more experienced? Who will hit the ground running from day one?
“Are we going to experiment with a new person again? And the person will spend the first four years learning on the job and he will spend another four years trying to embezzle, set up his businesses in the name of consolidating on the gains of the first term.
“Or we need a governor that from the day one will hit the ground running?”
He said, “From my own experience, I have seen that for me to succeed as a Governor, there must be collaboration.
“I understand the debt profile of the state and where I feel I can get funding to put up structure in the state. So, I won’t be coming to learn on the job, but to hit the ground running.”
In a tone that many would also relate with Governor Obaseki’s intellectual disposition to governance and further worsen the war, Shaibu said that the problem with the system in Edo was that there had been too many seminars, workshops and programnes, yet the outcomes had never been implemented .
“You see, the problem, what we have in the system is that we have too many seminars, too many workshops, too many programs and you don’t have time to implement their outcomes.”
Shaibu, who also spoke on rotational governorship among the three zones in the state, said, “there was not and had never been any convention in the state, either through political or traditional conferences where such position was zoned.”
He, however, said that he was an advocate of fairness and equity, adding “whoever talks about equity, must come with clean hands.
Shaibu added, “Whereas other senatorial districts have had more than one turn in the governorship position in the state, Edo North had only one turn.
“We have had four governors from South, two from Central and only one from North.
“Just like my ambition to be the deputy governor was not mine, but I made myself available, so also the ambition to be governor is still not mine. I’m only making myself available.” [with additional reports from NAN]