Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, made a decisive move on Monday as he officially announced his candidacy for the 2024 governorship election in the state. In a pre-recorded speech that aired recently, Shaibu, who has served as the deputy governor since 2016, confirmed his intention to run for the highest office in the state under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Following his formal declaration, Shaibu inaugurated his campaign office in Benin City, the capital, during a well-attended event where he was supported by enthusiastic party members dressed in party-branded attire.
Shaibu stated, “After extensive consultations, we felt it was essential to inform our people of the answer to our consultation. And the answer is clear: they have asked me to run.” The 53-year-old politician expressed his unwavering commitment to the growth and development of Edo State, emphasizing his determination to make the South-South state a prosperous and thriving region.
Notably, Shaibu has traversed a rocky path in his political ambitions, often in conflict with Governor Godwin Obaseki, his principal. Despite facing various challenges, he asserted his resilience, stating that while he may have been persecuted, he remains unbroken.
Hailing from the same Edo North Senatorial District as the former governor and current lawmaker representing the district in the 10th National Assembly, Adams Oshiomhole, Shaibu’s political journey intertwined with that of Obaseki. Their previous alliance with Oshiomhole eroded leading up to the 2020 governorship election, with accusations of ‘godfatherism’ leveled against the ex-labor leader, allegations he vehemently denied.
In the last election, Obaseki and Shaibu emerged victorious over Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), despite Ize-Iyamu receiving support from Oshiomhole and other APC heavyweights, including former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, and former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the governorship poll in Edo State for September 21, 2024. Edo is among eight states holding off-cycle governorship elections due to legal disputes and court judgments, with the others being Anambra, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun, and Ondo.
As the political landscape unfolds in anticipation of the 2024 governorship election in Edo State, stakeholders and citizens await the upcoming campaigns and the democratic process that will ultimately determine the future leadership of the state.