By Obaseki Aigbogun
It beats me hollow that some persons would have the effrontery to stand in defence of Philip Shaibu with respect to violence. Anyone giving him a benefit of doubt is either completely ignorant of who the man is, biased by pecuniary gains or a poor student of history with obvious selective amnesia.
Just type the name Philip Shaibu on Google and the stories that will pop up will be more about his connection to one incident of violence, controversy or the other.
In a previous article written by my colleague, Idede Oseyande on this subject matter, he quoted how Philip Shaibu was described by his bosom friend and current media aide, Lukman Akemokue in a detailed narration of the emergence of Philip Shaibu as the deputy governor of the state in 2016.
In a well-crafted article as an eye witness, Lukman narrated how Philip threatened Adams Oshiomhole in his house at Iyamho while the latter was still a sitting Governor of the state. The article can be found online with this title: “THE EDO POLITICAL UPHEAVAL: THE DILEMMA OF PHILIP SHAIBU (Part 2)”,
“It came to pass as my instinct had earlier warned me that Comrade Oshiomhole had already plotted and settled for Gani Audu as a running mate to Obaseki and Henry Idahagbon as Secretary to State Government. But Philip would have none of that! He bluntly and openly stood against such move. Philip was terribly rude to his benefactor, then a serving Governor for that matter. Philip threatened Oshiomhole a serving governor in his own house in Iyamho in a crude disrespectful and vitriolic vituperations in the following words:
‘Oga, you dare not try it. In fact, you can’t. if you dare make the mistake of announcing Gani Audu as Obaseki’s running mate, I will not only kill Gani Audu, I will do it right here in your presence so that You can hand me over to the police……
It was then that Oga Oshiomhole caved in and asked ‘Philip, who then do you want as Deputy Governor? And Philip shouted back: ‘Oga I can do it and you must compensate Ogie with SSG for dashing his hopes else I will still kill Gani” ~ #Lukman Akemokue
When I read in the news that he wrote a petition to a security agency, I knew something was in the offing. It was like the devil asking for justice and fairness, when in the real sense, he actually thrives in the opposite. The smooth liar Philip had tried to point accusing fingers at Adams Oshiomhole with respect to the violence in the northern parts of the state.
Meanwhile, the records of himself and comrade are in the public domain for everyone to see and pass judgment. When Philip contested for the President of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), he was the pioneer of violence and gun-wielding during NANS conventions. In the era of Chief Segun Okeowo of blessed memory, NUNS which later became NANS was driven by ideology.
The faction you belonged to was largely dependent on your political leanings the socialist, communist, capitalist etc. Unionism was driven by ideas for the general good of the public and not for personal gains.
The do-or-die ideology seen today in NANS whereby conventions are no longer based on peaceful negotiations and manifestoes but on force, guns, and cultism, became the norm under the supervision of the likes of Philip Shaibu.
Before Adams became the Governor of Edo state, he had served in various capacities as a labour leader. Can Shaibu point out one case where Adams was accused of fomenting violence to disrupt elections or accused of kidnapping, maiming or assassinating any of his political opponents? Adams was seen as being violent for the first time when he made his association with Philip public knowledge.
This is because Philip started fomenting trouble with the cover of being a political son of Adams Oshiomhole.
In 2009, when Hon. Garuba Zakawanu of blessed memory was replaced by Hon. Bright Omokhodion as the speaker of Edo state house of Assembly, it was simply a game of negotiation and it was peaceful. There was no bloodletting and nobody was hospitalized.
But in 2014 when Philip was the majority leader of the state house of assembly and with his closeness to the then Governor Adams, he started unleashing mayhem on all those who opposed him in the name of Comrade Governor. Using the political crisis within the state house of assembly as an alibi, he led thugs to the house of opposition members to either coerce them to succumb to his interest or be suspended from the house of assembly.
A fresh case study was that of Hon Abdul Rasak Momoh, who was then representing Etsako West 1 constituency under the Action Congress, AC, but later defected to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. The eye-witness report by the younger brother of the legislator made mention of the presence of Philip and over thirty thugs at the official residence of his brother at the legislative quarters. They came the first time and met only the wife at home and left a message for her husband and when the man returned, they came again, beat him to stupor and threw him over the fence leaving him for dead.
In 2016, May 1st to be precise, after Philip had forcefully gotten the deputy governorship ticket, he led an assassination attack on the then Deputy Governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Pius Odubu at Auchi, where the latter had gone to solicit for support from party members as he sought to contest for Governor. This was published in several national and local newspapers.
In 2018, Philip was the mastermind of the political crisis and violence in Owan federal constituency. As a matter of fact, the violence which characterized the APC congress at the council secretariat was under Philip’s directive. The people took directive from him with the belief that it was coming from his political godfather, Adams Oshiomhole. It was this same violence that snowballed into the kidnap of the APC party candidate prior to the general elections in Owan-West.
Peaceful negotiations and deliberations are alien to Philip Shaibu. His knack for violence and bloodletting can only be compared with the bloodsucking demons as described by religious leaders.
For anyone to believe that Philip is being hunted is like accusing God of persecuting Satan. Philip Shaibu is violence personified and he cannot be allowed to continue.
This nuisance must be stopped by the good people of Edo State come September 19th. An individual cannot continue to terrorise the entire political space in Edo State.
Obaseki Aigbogun, a Political Observer, writes from Benin City.