By Victor Oshioke
I watched with disgust, but not with surprise, two video clips which have been making the rounds on social media platforms in recent days, where Mr. Philip Shaibu made some outlandish accusations against Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Let me confess upfront that I didn’t see the need to comment on such a childish, obviously insincere effort to smeer the unimpeachable reputation of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole FMES ( Father of Modern Edo State). However I have been inundated with calls from friends asking me to at least share with them my thoughts on this latest convulsive gurgling of smelly infantile vomit from Philip Shaibu.
My first observation watching the video clips was how deflated, incoherent and disoriented Philip Shaibu was, struggling to find his level with English language usage, while at the same time finding it difficult to put flesh on a very bony lie. In all, it was a rather poor attempt to soil the image of a man like Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s with a solidly established public profile. So I do not expect that any reasonable person would be convinced about the truthfulness of Shaibu’s lame accusations. But we are in a silly season of smeer, and it is clear that for over a year now, Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu have come to terms with the fact that they seem to be losing all pathways to reelection for a second tenure with nothing on ground to campaign, as their first tenure achievements. Their goal has since been reassessed and focused on primarily to do damage to the character and person of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. This is the reality of the current campaign of calumny rather than campaign for re-election which Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu have recruited the bumpkin Dan Orbih, a self confessed arch enemy of Oshiomhole to help them prosecute across the lenght and breath of Edo State. This partly explains why the number of their followers keep depleting on a daily basis as many conscientious persons on their political divide are beginning to realise that there is no effort being made to apologise to the people on the none availability of government achievements in the past 4 years to justify re-election. Instead, from one rally to the other, it is all anti Oshiomhole rhetorics.
This has prompted one Anthony B Oamhen who sarcastically, but aptly captured it in his Facebook post when he wrote that the MEGA MANIFESTO which PDP and Obaseki are selling to Edo people at their campaign rallies across the state is that *”they use 45 minutes to insult Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, they use 30 minutes to insult Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, they use 25 minutes to preach violence, they use 12 minutes to dance and the rally comes to an end.*
My disgust comes from the fact that Mr. Philip Shaibu, in spite of his generally accepted intellectual deficiencies, would stoop so low from the position he was set on, to lie so cheaply like a street urchin by claiming that the cause of the crisis between him and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole started when the latter wanted him to join a plot to impeach Godwin Obaseki as governor. He should have been more generous with facts to inform his audience that it took the intervention of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Dr. Pius Odubu for him to attend Godwin Obaseki ‘s 2018 Budget Presentation ceremony to the Edo State House of Assembly. He was ready for a showdown with the governor because he claimed that the appropriated amount for his office was not enough for him to successfully run the office, and he stormed out of the governor’s office when he was given an advance copy of the budget prior to the presentation. It took concerted pleas from Barr. Osarodion Ogie and Dr. Odubu for him to change his mind and attend the ceremony. I can recall how Comrade did not mince words to impress it on Philip Shaibu that he needs to show some respect and work in harmony with the governor for the successs of their government. This is the same Comrade being accused of plotting to impeach the governor.
Nonetheless, I am not surprised because a man who could betray someone who called him son, would concoct any falsehood to justify that betrayal which has led to his principal and himself being rejected by Edo people, wherever they go for their faltering re-election campaign.
Last week it was the same Philip Shaibu who said that his fight against Oshiomhole is a fight against godfatherism. Seeing that it has failed to improve their standing in the minds of Edo people, he started a new narrative early this week that Oshiomhole is encouraging violence among APC supporters and by the end of the week he was granting yet another press interview alleging that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has recruited persons to assassinate him.
The bottomline is that nobody is asking Philip Shaibu to explain why he betrayed Oshiomhole, what Edo people want to know is simply what they achieved in 4 years to justify being reelected.
Obviously, Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu have nothing on ground to show as their stewardship to the Edo people. So they are throwing up irrelevant issues to distract the people from asking them critical questions concerning the wasted past 4 years.
But, no matter how.much they try to distract us, those questions must be asked and nobody will harm Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu, because we want them alive and healthy to face their impending defeat and witness what good governance is all about under the government of Pastor Osagie Ize lyamu.
Phillip Shaibu was never exceptional in any way, except that he was favoured among Comrade Adams Oshiomhole numerous official and non official aides. Being a favourite of Comrade, he was overpampered to the extent that he was hoisted to a position of authority well beyond his mental and intellectual abilities. He had nothing to offer in his position as Deputy Governor, so the only area he was confident that he could add value to the government was the deployment of his thuggish expertise.
Godwin Obaseki, the politically naive, socially dumb and emotionally anaesthetised, self acclaimed technocrat was quick to buy into the prospect of having a brutish second in command to prosecute his onslaught on anyone who dared to express a contrary view to his own. The consequences of having these two deviants in Government House at the same time, is what we experience in Edo State today. An experience which, no less a personality than Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has compared to the darkest moments of our military dictatorship past.
There is a parable among the Etsakos which says, “Eghue nó seh usomhi orha, elo kpo ló mió” translated literally, it means “A goat that climbs to the rooftop, is seen by all eyes”. The interpretation is that, when a goat is misbehaving in the neighbourhood, some people may complain, but not everybody will agree that the goat is bad. However, encouraged by the disagreement about its character, the goat will one day climb up to the roof top, and everybody will see it and conclude that it is indeed a bad goat. This is the case we have in Edo State today. Unfortunately we have two goats who have climbed to the rooftop and all eyes have seen them and concluded that indeed they are bad goats.
For long, Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu have been misbehaving with impunity as if there are no rules in Nigeria. As masters in the game of deceit and subterfuge, they were blackmailing Comrade Adams Oshiomhole with the false narrative of fighting godfatherism. Buoyed by the fact that some people saw the crisis in Edo State from their perspective of vested interest, Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu continued to up the game of abuse of powers and violation of the principles of democracy and separation of powers. Gradually, they acted as if they were the law, and nothing else mattered, except themselves and the power of immunity that protects them from prosecution while in office. Eventually, they found themselves on the rooftop, misbehaving and making statements which were not under their powers as governor and deputy governor. Now the whole world has seen them on the rooftop, and there’s no more hiding place for their gimmicks. For over a year, they turned the Edo House of Assembly into a department in the Government House, preventing the proper inauguration of members-elect. It never occurred to them that there was no way such an aberration would stand the test of time , because if it was allowed to stay, every governor in every state in Nigeria would henceforth cause to be inaugurated, only members who they are prepared to work with during their tenures, which will ultimately lead to end of legislative autonomy in our democracy.
They were warned, but like Egungun, they ignored the “be careful” appeal from many quarters. Their blind ambition pushed them on to the Express, and they started issuing threats that would arrest and deal with anyone who dared them. It got to the point where for the first time since 1999, a governor boasted on national television that only himself and his deputy enjoy immunity from prosecution as if to suggest that they were superior beings from everyone else in the state, capable of crushing everyone else. Perhaps, this public proclamation of immunity which is usually taken for granted by those who enjoy it, may have been the signal that awakened federal authorities to the dangerous scenario playing out in Edo State. For a governor to boast publicly about his immunity, is to suggest that he can maim, destroy and kill without consequences.
Now that the two goats got to the rooftop, their misbehaviour could no longer be hidden. The Attorney General of the Federation had to act fast to ensure that Edo State had a functional legislature, which technically ended ended Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu’s dictatorship in Edo State.
This is the cause of Philip Shaibu’s distress, pains and frustration. How does he react? Not like a real man who, when faced with the consequences of his bad choices takes responsibility for his indiscretion. Instead he continues on his villainous path by seeking to justify his betrayal. He concocts a tale of lies around the one man on whose shoulders he has sat until his careless ambition led to his fall from that height where, neither his brains nor his character could ever have propelled him.
Incidentally both Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Philip Shaibu are Roman Catholics by faith. They both receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament. So for Philip Shaibu who I know, perhaps out of habit than from conviction, wears the crucifix on his neck always, to engender such lies, laced with such venom against a man who has done so much for him, he has inadvertently placed himself where he would be judged according to his own words.
Who is Philip Shaibu to pronounce upon whose life the grace of God manifests? Apart from the treasures of ill gotten wealth acquired through abuse of his positions as a privileged political son of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, what else has he achieved in life on his own merit, that gives him the audacity to play with the concept of God’s grace upon man?
Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Phillip Shaibu should thank God for the grace to serve as Deputy Governor of Edo State. If his arrogance cannot permit him to appreciate Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Edo people for the opportunity given to him, he should at least stop insulting their sensibilities.
Victor Oshioke writes from Benin City.