Gov Obaseki is a betrayer for refusing to support me as his successor – Shaibu

Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor of Edo state has accused his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, of betraying him.

Mr Shaibu made the allegations on Wednesday while featuring in a televised interview, recalling how he contributed financially and otherwise to ensure he and his principal were not booted out of the governorship race by their predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole in 2019.

Mr Oshiomhole installed Mr Godwin, deputised by Mr Shaibu, as his successor, but the predecessor and his political godsons fell out before the end of their first term in office.

As the Edo 2019 gubernatorial race was underway, the former governor, then national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), made sure the governor did not secure the ticket of the party, prompting the state helmsman to decamp to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr Obaseki got the ticket of the PDP and won the governorship race, ushering him into another term of four years.

As the PDP prepares to pick its gubernatorial candidate on February 22, there are indications that the governor is backing another candidate, dumping his deputy, Shaibu, who hopes to succeed him in office.

The indications have led to the lamentations by the deputy governor describing his principal as a betrayer while recalling how he was cajoled to run with Mr Godwin who was politically a novice in 2016.

“Actually, I was persuaded and there was no protest. I actually didn’t want to be a deputy governor,” he said on Arise TV. “I was very comfortable in the House of Representatives. It took almost one month to get me to accept to be the deputy governor of Edo State.

“I accepted to add value to the ticket of Obaseki because Obaseki was not known and he was not one of the politicians. They needed a young, vibrant politician that has won election before and that can add political value to the ticket.”

The politician said he contributed financially in local and foreign currencies in 2019 to support their joint ticket in the PDP, only to be betrayed as the September 21 exercise draws near.

“I feel betrayed by the governor. I feel very betrayed,” Mr Shaibu said. “When we go to church, there are certain biblical verses that are becoming to make meaning to me. There is this particular verse that has been going through my mind: ‘The heart of man is desperately wicked.’ When I see what the governor is doing, the verse now makes meaning to me.

“I added value in terms of my political structure, my finances. All the vehicles that were used to campaign in 2016 are mine. I lost about 20% of my political capital in Edo North to support Godwin Obaseki, and in supporting him even as deputy governor.

“I supported the second term bid of the governor with my finances. Including how we got the ticket of the PDP, I contributed financially, both in naira and in dollars. If I say betrayal, it’s an understatement. I feel very hurt and betrayed.”