Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, raised concerns about Monday’s gathering of Peoples Democratic Party leaders in Edo North, endorsing Asue Ighodalo, the former Sterling Bank chairman, as their favored PDP gubernatorial candidate.
Facilitated by former deputy governor Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, the meeting convened several influential party figures at Oghiadomhe’s residence in Fuga.
Attendees included the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Blessing Agbebaku, former Senator Yisa Braimoh, ex-House of Representatives member Johnson Abolagba, and former House of Assembly Speaker Kabiru Adjoto.
Notably present were Otunba Olu Fashanu, Dr. Bolaji Ojebuobuo, Joe Ekpenkhio, Omo Ezomon, Uyi Maiaika, Henry Tenebe, current and former Edo State PDP officials, and all LGA council chairmen.
They collectively backed Ighodalo as the favored aspirant for the PDP ticket ahead of the upcoming September gubernatorial election.
There are speculations about Ighodalo securing the support of Governor Godwin Obaseki, who opposes Shaibu’s bid to succeed him.
Shaibu, addressing his supporters at his residence in Jattu, Etsako West Local Government, after the Auchi Day Annual Celebration on Tuesday, criticized the meeting held in Oghiadomhe’s absence.
He deemed the decisions made without informing or inviting him as null and void, considering it a disregard for his role as Deputy Governor.
Shaibu said, “Information reaching me says that Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, an elder of our party, called a meeting of PDP leaders in the six local governments of Edo North in his country home, Fugar, Etsako Central local government and pressurised them to endorse one of the aspirants for the forthcoming governorship primary election in the state.
“To me, that meeting did not hold, because, by virtue of my office as Deputy Governor, I remain the leader of the PDP in Edo North and the deputy leader of the party in the state. Any meeting held in the senatorial zone without my knowledge is deemed null and void.
“I respect Chief Mike Oghiadomhe as my elder and as my predecessor in office. Any meeting held in Edo North without my knowledge or input remains null and void.”
Shaibu said Oghiadomhe would not have allowed such to happen when he was in office as Deputy Governor and as a leader of Edo North.
“PDP is a party of structure and of hierarchy, well defined in its constitution. I plead with all of you to remain calm and not be provoked by this action because after the primaries, we need to come together as members of the PDP, so, we will need everybody to win the main election in September.
“Chief Oghiadomhe is trying to provoke us but we will remain calm because this project is not about Philip Shaibu, it is God’s own project,” he added.