Shaibu insisted that despite his not-so-smooth association with Obaseki, it is his constitutional right to contest the number one office in the state.
Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has said that Governor Godwin Obaseki should have discussed his choice of a successor with him, accusing his principal of “intimidation” and “harassment”.
Shaibu made this known on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Tuesday.
The 53-year-old politician had on Monday officially declared to run for the September 21, 2024 governorship election in the state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Shaibu insisted that despite his not-so-smooth association with his principal, it is his constitutional right to contest the number one office in the state.
The deputy governor said, “He (Obaseki) said I am the type of deputy governor any governor will wish to have. So, what has changed? What has changed simply is that I want to be the governor of Edo State.
“Possibly, maybe he (Obaseki) wants somebody else. In a situation like that, what you do is not intimidation, it is not harassment; you call a family together, you call all of us (aspirants) together and give us reasons why you feel certain things should be. Tell us what you want. You don’t intimidate, you don’t harass.
“If I am governor tomorrow and my deputy wants to contest, he has the right to contest. If I want to support somebody else, I also have the right to support somebody else, not intimidation.
“No conversation and then the next thing is intimidation and harassment, not to somebody that has sacrificed for the government.”
The PDP governorship aspirant said he won’t cave in to pressure or intimidation but can be won over through engagements and discussions.
“I am someone that can easily give in after engagement but I am not somebody that can give in to intimidation. If I am to give in to intimidation, we won’t have democracy today,” Shaibu said.
He lamented that it was unfortunate that some supporters of the governors were not able to separate between loyalty and constitutional rights.
“It’s my cross I am carrying and that is why I have refused. I don’t need to fight. I am loyal to the governor; it’s not disputed but my right to contest is mine. Loyalty is given and it is fully given even with the humiliations and everything I am still loyal but when it comes to contest, it is my constitutional right,” he said.
Shaibu, who has been Obaseki’s deputy since 2016, said despite the sour relationship between himself and his principal, he is still loyal to the governor.
“I have no problem but I beg the governor, the governor should know he is the leader, he must be able to organise all of us, he must not love one more than the other. If he must do so, he must humiliate one,” Shaibu said, adding that he has been “praying that this whole relationship thing comes to normal”.