The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has declared his interest to contest the forthcoming 2024 governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, declaring that nobody can halt his ambition.
The deputy governor, who made his declaration at the Bishop Kelly Centre, Benin, said he is a home boy who feels the pain of the people, urging the electorate and party members to back his ambition.
He said having been in politics for 30 years and working with Governor Godwin Obaseki in the last seven years to improve the state, he was in the best position to succeed his principal.
“Nobody can stop my ambition,” he declared.
The deputy governor promised to deliver practical governance if elected governor of the state in 2024.
He said this on Monday in a live broadcast while declaring his ambition to join the Edo governorship race.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had earlier announced September 21 as the election date.
“I just want to appreciate all of you. We have started the journey and I decided together with all of us that after the consultation, we needed to make the answer to our consultation known to Edo people and the answer is clear.
“Edo people have asked me to go and run and they said I am the one they see not just as a street boy but original own boy that can live there.
“I can assure you that by the grace of God, we will deliver practical governance,” he said.
The governorship aspirant talked about his achievements while he served as a House of Assembly member before he became a federal lawmaker at the House of Representatives.
Shaibu who promised to strengthen the agricultural sector vowed to continue where Obaseki stopped in the execution of projects across the state and promised to “hit the ground running.”
Shaibu was billed to declare at the Eterno Hotel but the hotel was taken over by some allies of the state governor who also fixed an event for the hotel.
The deputy governor’s plan to declare on Monday was contained in a letter issued by the Philip Shaibu Campaign Organisation which was dated November 23 and signed by the deputy governor.
The letter which was titled ‘Special Invitation,’ read, “On behalf of Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu Campaign Organisation, I invite you to honour me with your esteemed presence as I offer myself to serve as the Chief Servant (Governor) of Edo State.”
Shaibu’s ambition has put him at loggerheads with his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is believed not to be disposed to his deputy taking over from him.
At the height of the face-off, Shaibu approached an Abuja High Court to stop Obaseki and the Edo State House of Assembly from impeaching him.
He later withdrew the case after the intervention of well-meaning individuals.
However, Shaibu remains ostracised and currently has his office outside the Government House in the GRA in Benin, the state capital.
Shaibu has been consulting and meeting with politicians and the media on his intention.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja last Saturday, Shaibu said he wanted to succeed Obaseki because, “Edo people are in dire need of practical governance and we cannot afford to experiment again with someone who does not understand the politics and needs of Edo State.”
He added, “Everywhere, including the international scene, people are clamouring that governments should not be pushing projects that are not needed. So, we need to do needs assessment. You cannot know the needs of the people when you don’t live with them.
“For me, competence and experience should be the watchword. Who is competent, more experienced and who will hit the ground running from day one if he becomes governor?
“Are we going to experiment with a new person again and the person will spend the first four years learning on the job and the next four years trying to embezzle and set up businesses in the name of consolidating on his first term?”