Edo North PDP, others protest plot to impeach Philip Shaibu

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Five days after the Edo State House of Assembly issued an impeachment notice on the Deputy Governor of the State, Philip Shaibu, hundreds of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in Edo North senatorial district staged a peaceful protest to condemn the move by the state’s lawmakers to impeach the deputy governor.

DAILY POST reports that the protesters also included supporters, grassroots mobilizers, lovers, and admirers of the embattled Edo State deputy governor.

The protesters, who took to the streets in the early hours of Sunday morning, March 10, 2024, opined that the allegations presented by the lawmakers to issue the impeachment notice on the deputy governor were not only frivolous but also politically motivated.

DAILY POST recalls that Shaibu has been facing scrutiny following his aspiration to succeed his boss, Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Against all odds, in a parallel governorship primary held on February 22, Shaibu was declared the candidate of the party by delegates from across the 18 local government areas.

The protesters, under the aegis of Edo North PDP Rescue Movement (ENREM), gathered in the early hours of Sunday at the popular Jattu Junction in Etsako West Local Government with placards, and marched around major streets in the locality.

The protesters carried placards bearing various inscriptions such as “We say no to the impeachment of Philip Shaibu,” “We say no to the persecution of Philip Shaibu,” “Shaibu should be rewarded for his loyalty, not persecuted,” “The silence of the PDP National Working Committee is suspicious, speak out now,” and “Give peace a chance,” among others.

The spokesperson of the protesters, Hon Festus Owu, while addressing the press, accused those behind the impeachment of benefiting from the goodwill and kindness of Philip Shaibu in the past.

Owu condemned the role of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, in the impeachment proceedings, reminding him of Shaibu’s inalienable and fundamental rights to express his desire to be elected governor of the state.

He emphasized that any party aiming to win elections must prioritize coherence and resolving internal issues rather than exacerbating them. Every individual has the right to contest an election, and Philip Shaibu has expressed his willingness to contest for the position of Edo State Governor. Anyone obstructing this is deliberately leading the state back to the era of godfatherism.

Owu alleged that Governor Obaseki had made a statement a few years ago that anyone, including himself, should be stoned if they attempted to become a godfather in the state.

He further expressed his opinion that given the political situation in the state regarding the planned impeachment of the deputy governor, Governor Obaseki won’t be stoned but left to be tormented by his own conscience.

Owu advised the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Blessing Agbebaku, not to become a puppet or a rubber stamp Speaker in the hands of “enemies of our state” who do not have the best interests of the people at heart.

The spokesperson also criticized the leadership of the PDP National Working Committee, describing their silence as questionable, unacceptable, and an acceptance of their involvement in the ongoing impeachment plot. He considered it a demonstration of leadership failure and urged the party to take necessary action to prevent the imminent collapse of the party.

“If you tell a man not to farm in your farmland, it does not mean he will not farm that year.” What the state needs now, more than ever, is peace.

“All stakeholders should collaborate with the Governor and the Deputy to ensure peace in the state and collectively mobilize support across the state to win the forthcoming September 21 governorship election.

“We urge the Edo State House of Assembly to focus on providing good legislative governance for the Edo people they represent, rather than engaging in fruitless ventures of impeachment that do not benefit the hungry Edo people suffering from the effects of bad governance and poor representation in the state.

“We implore the Speaker of the State House Assembly, Blessing Agbebaku, to heed the voice of reason and work in the interest of Afemai, his own people, who elected him to represent their interests,” he added.