AFTER months of debate and uproar, Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, bit the bullet today and publicly stated his intention to run for governor of the state in 2024.
Shaibu, who has been the state’s deputy governor since 2016, stated in a pre-recorded speech shown today that he would run for governor on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform.
Following his official announcement, Shaibu opened his campaign office in Benin City, the state capital, at an event attended by party members dressed in branded attire.
“After all the consultation we have made, we needed to now make the answer to our consultation known to our people. And the answer is clear: they have asked me to run,” Shaibu said.
The 53-year-old politician stated that he has risked his life for the state’s development and progress, and that he is committed to make the South-South state great again.
Shaibu, who has been at odds with his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, for some time now over his political ambition, said he was persecuted but not crushed.
Shaibu comes from the Edo North Senatorial District, which is also the same district which the ex-governor of the state and current lawmaker in the 10th National Assembly, Adams Oshiomhole comes from.
Both Obaseki and Shaibu were originally allies of Oshiomhole, but their political relationship deteriorated as the ex-labour leader was accused of ‘godfatherism,’ which he disputed.
In the last election, Obaseki and Shaibu defeated All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Osagie Ize-Iyamu, despite the fact that the APC candidate was sponsored by Oshiomhole and other APC heavyweights such as ex-governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, and ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.
To succeed Obaseki, Shaibu would have to first compete for the PDP ticket, and then with other main contenders on September 21, 2024, the date set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the governorship election.
Due to litigation and judicial decisions, Edo is one of eight states conducting off-cycle governorship elections. Anambra, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun, and Ondo are the others.