Edo 2024: Shaibu declares support for APC candidate Okpebholo

A former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has declared his support for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Monday Okpebholo, for the September 21 governorship election.

The ousted former deputy governor who spoke on Sunday said Okpebholo had the makings of the “homeboy” needed to take over governance in Edo State.

Shaibu was impeached by the House of Representatives on April 8 after a protracted battle with Governor Godwin Obaseki over his succession bid.

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Shaibu spoke to journalists on the sidelines of the Father’s Day celebration at St. Paul Catholic Church in Benin City.

He noted that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Asue Ighodalo, is a product of godfatherism which, he said, had been eradicated from the political history of Edo State.

According to him, the former governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole, preached against godfatherism and joined Obaseki to fight against godfatherism during the 2020 elections, adding that he also learned new political strategies from the governor.

Shaibu said: “I can learn very well and learning is the most important thing in our lives and we must keep learning until we die. Governor Obaseki says he has the right to support anyone, but he also forgot that he has no right to stop anyone from supporting anyone. So it is my right to also decide who I want to support.

“I’ll back a homeboy. I entered the contest to become Governor of Edo State because I needed the administration to return to a house boy, someone who understands our plight and someone who understands what the people feel.

“We don’t want an outsider. We experimented with an outsider and it didn’t work, so this time we want a homeboy. We have only two house boys in the major political parties; one is in the Labor Party and one is in the All Progressives Congress.

“I chose to follow the homeboy in the APC. The man they are parading in the PDP is an outsider and we also agree that there is no more godfatherism in Edo. The man parading the PDP is the godson of Obaseki and there is no way any godson can be governor of Edo State again.”

When asked if he would not be accused of anti-party activities as he is still a member of the PDP, Shiabu said: “No, it is not anti-party because I know that in the last elections the governor had one foot in the was a struggle. Labor Party and one foot in the PDP, so it can’t be anti-party now.”

On Okpebholo’s capacity, he said: “Enough English that gets us nowhere. We are talking about governance, the man who understands the plight of the people. He wears the shoes and knows where it pinches.

“A man who has never voted, how can he ask for our vote? And we compare him to a man who is a sitting senator and who is actually a houseboy!”