The Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, on Monday formally declared his intention to contest the 2024 Edo governorship election under the banner of Peoples’ Democratic (PDP).
Shaibu, in the early morning declaration, alluded to his political travails in the last couple of months, especially, and declared that he remained unbowed even as he forged ahead against the unfavourable disposition of his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The declaration event which was earlier scheduled to take place at Eterno Hotels, GRA, Benin, was shifted late Sunday night when information flittered in that one of the Governor Obaseki’s support groups, “Obaseki ending well”, also scheduled an event at the same venue for 7.30 pm on Monday. The development forced Shaibu to look for an alternative venue and he chose the sacred ground of a Catholic Church in Benin City, the state capital.
Addressing his supporters at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Central, the new venue the deputy governor secured, Shaibu said that despite his present predicament, his antecedents in the struggle for democracy were parts of the propelling factors for him to move on to actualize his ambition.
Describing himself as “100 percent Home Boy”, an allusion to the clamour that the next governor of the state must be someone who knows the state very well, and not someone imported, a veiled reference to the touted candidate of Governor Obaseki, Shaibu hinged his campaign on five pillars that include: infrastructural development, economic diversification, Education, Sports.
Others are Skills development and job creation, healthcare, social welfare system, agriculture, rural development, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, and transparent governance.
He said while working closely with Governor Godwin Obaseki in the past seven years, a solid foundation for progress had been laid in the state.
“Under our administration, we have seen remarkable achievements and milestones, but there is still much work to be done. I am aware of the need by the greater Edo people for a more inclusive government, a government of the Edo people, by the Edo people, and for the Edo people.
He reiterated that his administration would be “A government of individuals who have been there and know the pains and wishes of an average Edolite”
Shaibu maintained that under his supervision, the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), grew impressively, which he attributed to the introduction of digital and cutting-edge ideas.
“Back in the day, you didn’t just call me “Mr Constituency Project” for nothing. In my time as a legislator, I delivered 49 constituency projects at the state level and 13 solid constituency projects within my short stint at the federal level.
“I have fought the good fight for you my people, Along the way, suffered humiliations and enjoyed many moments of victory but I am thankful in all things. I have been pressed but not crushed, persecuted but not abandoned, badly hurt but not destroyed. I resonate with the tireless and irrepressible Spirit of the Edo People. By the grace of God, nothing and no one can stop us. After all, I be original Edo son; your 100 percent home boy.
“This is why today, I stand before you with great conviction and resolve, as I declare my intention to run for the office of the governor of Edo State under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the upcoming 2024 election,” he declared.