Edo State deputy governor, Comrade Phillip Shaibu, made his first official appearance and pledged his loyalty to Governor Godwin Obaseki after a state function on Sunday.
Shaibu, who spoke shortly after the thanksgiving service organised to mark the 32nd year anniversary of the creation of Edo State, described Governor Obaseki as his elder brother and would not want to discuss whatever differences they had with the media.
The deputy governor has a case pending before an Abuja Federal High Court, where he had gone to seek relief to halt his speculative impeachment by his principal, Governor Obaseki, the Edo State House of Assembly, and a few others.
Shaibu, since the rifts became public discourse, had not personally spoken on the matter and has for almost a month now been away from the state, a situation Obaseki alluded to while speaking with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s stakeholders in Edo North Senatorial District penultimate week, that Shaibu travelled out of the country without informing him.
Obaseki also expressed shock at his deputy’s action and accused him of plotting a coup against him.
Shaibu, while speaking at an interview during an interdenominational thanksgiving service to mark the Midwest Referendum and 32nd anniversary of Edo State, held at the New Festival Hall, Government House, Benin City, declared his unalloyed loyalty to Obaseki.
“My loyalty to the governor remains absolute. I see that everybody is doing solidarity. I am also in solidarity with the governor. I am also declaring my unalloyed solidarity and loyalty to the governor and nothing more.”
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“As for the issues that are around town when I was away, I really would not want to talk. Issues that concern my governor are not things I like to speak about on camera. No, no, no! He is my elder brother and boss and I don’t think I should talk about anything.
“And if I have issues with him, I think it is better settled at home and not in the media. I am well brought up”, he said.
The deputy governor, however noted that his ambition remained personal to him and assured that such would not affect his commitment and loyalty to the governor.
“I can tell you that from my Christian background if you make a vow with God that you want to do something, you must fulfill it. And the vow I have taken with God is that I will continue to support Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo State from the beginning to the end.
“But that does not stop anything that has to do with ambition. Ambition is personal, and it does not affect loyalty. My loyalty to the governor remains absolute. I see that everybody is doing solidarity. I am also in solidarity with the governor. I am also declaring my unalloyed solidarity and loyalty to the governor and nothing more.”
Speaking at the interdenominational service, Governor Obaseki said the nation was experiencing harrowing times with the future looking bleak amid the current socio-economic challenges but urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the country despite the prevailing circumstances.
The governor noted that the glory of the new Edo Nation “stands on the threshold of transformation in the area of infrastructure, development, innovation, and inclusiveness to build a State where humanity thrives.”
“I appreciate all those who have created time to come and worship with us at the 60th Mid-West Referendum and 32nd anniversary of Edo State.
“We are here today to praise and thank God for what He has done for us as a people. Yes, things are difficult, times are hard, and the future looks bleak, but we must thank God, as it can only get better with our belief and hope in him. This morning, I am expected to make some declarations upon the state and the glory of the new Edo nation.” The governor noted.
Quoting the Book of Psalms 24 vs 1-2, the governor said, “Dear citizens of Edo State, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. The people He chose for his inheritance, the Earth is of the Lord and everything in it, the World and all who lives in it, for He founded it on the sea and established it on the waters. (Psalms 24 vs 1-2).
“Father, you are as close as the very air we breathe. May we and our beloved State continue to grow and revolve around you and the light, life, and increase fill Edo State.”
“Today marks a pivotal movement in our journey, a sermon to unite us in our collective efforts; the dawn of this new era has unveiled a horizon of limitless possibilities. It is both a responsibility and privilege to grasp this opportunity with unyielding determination.
“As we stand on the threshold of transformation, let us remember the dreams that ignited our hearts and inspiration that propel our endeavour; we are the architect of this emerging glory in our beloved State.
“Entrusted with the responsibility to shape its destiny, the glory of the new Edo rests not in its infrastructure alone but in its people’s belief, steadfast in their commitment to progress and unity. Let us carry the thought of innovation because it’s through innovation that we shall illuminate the path to success and prosperity”, Obaseki admonished.