Edo: Meet Philip Shuaibu, Obaseki’s strongman
By John Eche
For those in the know, a sizeable part of the credit for Godwin Obaseki’s re-election would go to Philip Shuaibu, his strongman who also doubles as Deputy Governor of Edo State.
Shuaibu who was born in Kaduna in 1969 is like Obaseki himself, a former ally and associate of the former Governor of Edo State, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.
Indeed, sources say that Oshiomhole had indeed almost literally handpicked the former student activist to be Deputy Governor alongside Obaseki in 2016.
He hails from the Delta North Senatorial zone of the state and was quite instructive in helping to contain and checkmate the APC storm troopers in that zone. He also made enormous contributions in helping to build the fighting force with which Obaseki finally prosecuted the campaigns to the extent that during the parley with candidates at his palace ahead of the polls, the Oba of Benin had reportedly affirmed that he had indeed been briefed that Shuaibu was the tough man in the Obaseki camp.
At a point during the campaign, so infuriated was the former governor with Shuaibu that he was reportedly alleged to have made a number of efforts to get him arrested.
Political watchers say that going forward, Shuaibu may remain a major face in the Nigerian political equation.
Indeed, one of the conjectures presently being voiced is that Shuaibu may be in position to replace his boss at the close of his second term in office as Deputy Governor in 2024. However, this would not fully tally with the supposedly existing informal power sharing arrangement in the state and in which the Esan people of Edo Central may presently be angling to ‘take their own turn’ in the state’s governance process.
Mr. Philip Shuaibu, Edo Deputy Governor