Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, will next week formally declare his intention to contest the 2024 Edo State governorship election.
Shaibu’s ambition has put him at loggerheads with his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is believed not to be disposed to his deputy taking over from him.
At the height of the face-off, Shaibu approached an Abuja High Court to stop Obaseki and the Edo State House of Assembly from impeaching him. He later withdrew the case after the intervention of well-meaning individuals.
However, Shaibu remains ostracised and currently has his office outside the Government House in the GRA in Benin.
Shaibu has been consulting and meeting with politicians and the media on his intention with the latest being his meeting with journalists in Abuja over the weekend and it was gathered that a similar meeting would be held in Lagos on Tuesday
A close aide to Shaibu said that “If everything works according to his (Shaibu’s) plans, he will officially declare his intention next week.
“He has already secured a campaign office along Airport Road, some of the campaign vehicles have started arriving and the consultations have reached an advanced stage.
“He has been endorsed by his kinsmen and he has also met with several groups, including the media, in the last few weeks. He is ready for the race. All he needs to do is declare his intention next week, all things being equal.”
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Saturday, Shaibu said he wanted to succeed Obaseki because “Edo people are in dire need of practical governance and we cannot afford to experiment again with someone who does not understand the politics and needs of Edo State.”
He said, “Everywhere, including the international scene, people are clamouring that governments should not be pushing projects that are not needed. So, we need to do needs assessment. You cannot know the needs of the people when you don’t live with them. For me, competence and experience should be the watchword. Who is competent, more experienced and who will hit the ground running from day one if he becomes governor? Are we going to experiment with a new person again and the person will spend the first four years learning on the job and the next four years trying to embezzle and set up businesses in the name of consolidating on his first term?”