Mr. Philip Shaibu, the self-described escort and politically displaced Deputy Governor of Edo State, is unrelenting in his attacks against the PDP.
Continuing his pity party, he recently featured on a television program where he rehashed his sob story of how the Edo State chapter of the party has refused him ‘acceptance’, despite offering him and his principal the four most senior positions available at the expense of others who kept the party alive, in the face of series of onslaughts led by Shaibu himself for many years.
Displaying his infamous poor grasp of the English language, and the confused thought process behind that, he recounted his tale of woes with a declaration of his lack of sympathy for the PDP, even indicating a preference for independent candidacy, had the option been available. He then proceeded to reel out his demands from the same party, including an unconstitutional reshuffling of its leadership, based on his membership and leadership of the party.
Similar confusing logic pervaded his speech on the program, thus reinforcing the popular sentiment amongst political enthusiasts in Edo State, and perhaps Nigeria, that there are a few things more torturous than listening and trying to make sense of Philip Shaibu’s endless babbles.
Besides his limited vocabulary which, comparable to that of a pre-teen, confines him to a few phrases that he repeats over and over again without care for actual meaning or fitness, Philip Shaibu is also not one who pays any serious attention to thought consistency, let alone premising an argument or position on a defensible and discernible logic. A harsh critic may accuse him of just opening his mouth and hoping for the best. That is, he just talks.
In any case, it appears that Philip Shaibu’s grouse is that the state chapter of the PDP has refused to man its zones and other important positions with allies he considers pivotal to a rumored governorship bid in 2024 and the national leadership of the party has also refused to indulge the many tantrums he has staged to achieve that goal. Hence the threats, attacks, and demand for a nebulous ‘harmonization’.
Although Shaibu insists that as escorts and soldiers of the Governor, his allies, on whose behalf he claims he is agitating, made the ultimate sacrifice of resigning their positions in the APC to join the PDP; now that the election is over, he has made a U-turn, claiming that it was actually no sacrifice at all.
They are not satisfied as members of the PDP, willing to work their way up when such opportunity arises and as provided for in the constitution of the party. Instead, they must be settled with positions commensurate with what they lost in the APC. But to sacrifice is to lose something in pursuit of a higher goal which, in this case, was the return of Obaseki to office in 2020, something the PDP faithfully – and at great cost – delivered on.
Insisting on regaining lost privileges, despite achieving the larger goal of securing the return of Obaseki and Shaibu himself, is clearly an attempt to have one’s cake and eat it. An act of political armed robbery plotted with the understanding that old members of the PDP are nothing but unsuspecting fools.
No one, not Philip Shaibu, has stopped to think about how this must feel for the old members of the PDP who watched as unknown invaders overran and stole their party’s most prized possessions without any concession. Not the Deputy Governor’s position, as would have ordinarily been the case. They simply had to make do with the promise of being part of the administration – a promise Governor Obaseki has treated with contempt.
Yet, in place of gratitude, they have watched and listened to Philip Shaibu, the biggest beneficiary of their rare accommodation and compromise, denigrate their leaders and issue threats to the party. He is the homeless wretch offered the King’s bedroom who now claims ownership of the house.
To give in to Shaibu’s threat is to signal weakness and advertise to all that the PDP is willing to turn its back on its constitution, and loyal servants, to appease and massage the ego of an indecorous man-child, as described by his own principal who reduced Shaibu’s tantrums to “youthful exuberance”, despite him crossing the age of 50.
As we wait on Shaibu to finally grow up and act his age, the PDP must not indulge his childishness and greed, similar to how the people of Edo State must not repeat the costly mistake of excusing his – and his principal’s – failures when they re-present themselves for office in the immediate future.