Comrade Phillip Shaibu, Deputy Governor of Edo State, on Monday debunked reports that he is unhappy with Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Speaking in an interview on Channels Television programme monitored by World Africa, Shaibu, however, said there are issues in PDP that needs to be resolved.
He said, “I am happy with my governor and I have no problem with my governor. So, the issue of not being happy with my governor is not there. I remain absolutely loyal to my governor but there are issues that we need to resolve over PDP”.
There was disquiet in Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday over reports that Comrade Phillip Shaibu has concluded plans to dump the party following alleged rift over matters bordering on running of the state.
World Africa had gathered that Shaibu’s grouse centred on the refusal of the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to appoint a cabinet one year after his election into office for a second term.
It was gathered that Shaibu had series of meetings during his vacation abroad where the plan was hatched.
A source, who was part of the meeting abroad, disclosed to World Africa that if all the body language and recent marathon meetings that took place abroad last week between Shaibu and some political heavyweights in Nigeria, are anything to go by, then Shaibu may be quitting the PDP this week.
A close confidant of the deputy governor, who spoke with World Africa on condition of anonymity, said Shaibu had been appealing to the governor to appoint those who laboured for their victory in the last governorship election, but Obaseki won’t budge.
He said, “Yes, that is the true position of things now. He is leaving the PDP. Many people in Edo State are not happy that there is no cabinet in place one year after the governor was sworn in for second term. For one year, those who voted and suffered to give the governor victory are not yet appointed.
“The deputy governor is not fighting for himself; he is fighting for the masses. He is addressed as a ‘comrade’ because that is what his life is all about; fighting for the masses and demanding justice for the oppressed in the society. He has been prevailing on the governor to appoint people who worked for him but he (Obaseki) has refused to listen.
“Many people spent money, risked their lives while some sold their property to mobilise for the governor’s victory in the last election, yet they are now left in the lurch after the governor secured victory.
“We have somebody here who resigned from Abuja and came here to work for the governor. The person has not been paid salaries for over one year now. Some marriages were broken because the husband was supporting Ize-Iyamu while the wife was backing Obaseki and today all these people who went through all these to give you victory are not appointed.
“The whole of Edo State is ready to die with the deputy governor on this matter. They will follow him anywhere he is going. Just like they were passionate about Obaseki and disconnected themselves from Oshiomhole, it is the same way they have disconnected themselves from Obaseki today.
“This is the first time in the history of this country where a government will not appoint a cabinet in one year. By 19th of this month, it will be exactly one year that we had the governorship election. There is no justification for him not to appoint a cabinet.
“The Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, was elected a month after Obaseki was elected. He has appointed over eight commissioners, so what is the justification for Obaseki not forming his cabinet? Many people in Edo believe it is wickedness, especially when you consider the fact that 14 Assembly members are yet to be inaugurated since 2019.
“There is wild jubilation in Edo now over the reports that the deputy governor wants to leave. Many people believe the governor is acting like a dictator.
“People are saying it is good that the deputy governor should separate himself so that people will not use what is happening now to condemn his political future that it is he and the governor who connived to deny people of appointments.”
There are fears that if Shaibu eventually defects from the PDP, he may be impeached by the House of Assembly which is firmly under Obaseki’s control.