The political impasse in Edo State took another turn on Thursday when Governor Godwin Obaseki said the Peoples Democratic Party PDP will determine his deputy Philip Shaibu’s fate following the latter’s governorship ambition.
Shaibu on Monday threw himself into the race for Dennis Osadebay House, ending months of speculations about his intention for the 2024 governorship election in Edo State.
But days after the declaration, Obaseki, who rode to power under the All Progressives Congress (APC) and later switched to the PDP after a fallout with his predecessor Adams Oshiomhole, said the country’s main opposition party would decide his deputy’s fate.
“The party will decide and also members of the party will decide who will be the flag bearer of the party in the forthcoming governorship election,” Obaseki, 66, said after a closed-door meeting with his Bauchi counterpart Bala Mohammed and a former Akwa-Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel.
“The relationship as you know, has been cordial. He (Philip) wants to run for the office I currently occupy and he is free to. I think as a Nigerian, he has the constitutional right to run, nobody can or should stop him.”
But when asked if he would support Shaibu, he said: “I’m only one out of millions of our party members in Edo state. I don’t think my vote alone will determine whether he becomes the party’s flag bearer.”
‘Nigerians Are Suffering’
The Edo governor explained that they were in Bauchi to discuss party politics and national issues.
With the removal of fuel subsidy leading to a spike in the cost of living, Governor Obaseki wants the country’s leaders to be solution providers.
“Nigerians are suffering, and the suffering is unprecedented. But I think we should stop lamenting and think of what to do as leaders to confront the issues we face to reduce the suffering of our people and put more food on the tables,” he said.
“The year is coming to an end and the prices of food items are going up what can we, as PDP governors do to ameliorate the sufferings of our people? These are some of the things we came to talk about while preserving the unity of this country.”