Philip Shaibu Is The Cause Of Edo APC Crisis, Says Edoror (Part 1)
In this interview with NAIJA CENTER, a former speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly and one of the lawmakers who are yet to be inaugurated into the house, Hon. Victor Edoror accused the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu of masterminding the crisis in Edo State.
Edoror claimed Shaibu’s intention is to be the next governor and has selfishly turned Obaseki against everyone to achieve his aim.
The former speaker also accused Obaseki of having selfish interest, he alleged the governor’s cousin, Don Pedro Obaseki was only supporting his brother because of his appeal.
Read the excerpt.
On the situation in Edo State, you said you are the genesis, would you like to give details?
The way they are presenting the matter as if it is a matter between Godwin Obaseki and Adams Oshiomhole is not correct. This is a matter between myself and the governor. Not really the governor, the deputy governor is the cause of all these crises.
The crisis started from the last administration when I was in the house as the speaker when Oshiomhole was still the governor. I was the speaker when Comrade brought Godwin to succeed him, Philip never wanted him because he wanted Osarodion Ogie to be the governor. The governor convinced us and we had to support Obaseki. Philip is my childhood friend from the university and he felt that ordinarily I will go with him but I made him understand that as a speaker, I needed to work with the governor.
I went with Obaseki and it didn’t go down well with Philip, so he planned my impeachment even though they didn’t have the number. I refused. If you can recall when my impeachment took place, there was a stalemate of about two months. I was acting as the speaker, I wanted to go to court but the election was around the corner. The governor assured me that if he became the governor, his first decision would be to restore me, he knew they were fighting me because of him.
When eventually, I came back to the house, I had the number to become the speaker, eighteen members were ready to support me but the same Philip convinced the governor and I became the deputy speaker instead.
When I was the deputy speaker because Philip didn’t even want me to be the deputy speaker, at the end of the day, they started blackmailing that Oshiomhole was using me even though I wasn’t even seeing Oshiomhole. When they wanted to increase the security vote from where it was to N6bn, I said no, how can you increase the security vote from N4bn to N6bn when we are saying the N4bn was too much?
Because of that, they won’t allow Edoror to fly, so they decided to impeach me for no reason. They didn’t have the number, they got to the house and members didn’t support them, so they just made the pronouncement, I went to court and I won and yet they increased the security vote because they purportedly impeached me. They stopped my salary for two years to the end of that Administration.
Are you saying two years to Oshiomhole’s administration?
No, not Oshiomhole’s administration, the way Edo State is, we had a staggered election. It is not when they do election for the house of assembly that they do election for the governor. all the time, Governor inherits members of the house of assembly from the previous government so, Oshoimhole had already gone when all these started taking place.
At the end of the day, the tenure ended without appealing the judgement, the matter is still court, I am in industrial court, calculating my money so they can pay me because the court that gave judgement said all my entitlement should be paid without specifying the amount. I am in industrial court now, they have not finished calculating my entitlement and after that, I can garnish my account.
After all these problems, I decided to go to the federal. I was contesting for the Federal House of rep. in Edo State, we have three local government that makes up a federal constituency, I got the endorsement of two and I was working on the endorsement of the last, I had already purchased the form before they called me from the government house. They called me and said that they wanted me to step down for someone.
Who was the person?
They asked me to step down for one Patric Idiake and I told them that the person cannot win an election. I received the phone call from Philip saying that the governor instructed me to step down for the guy. They asked me to come back to the house of assembly. How do I come back to the house when they don’t want me? Members wanted me but the government didn’t want me, they don’t’ like my way because I chose to be straight forward, I want to be remembered for being straight forward, so if they don’t want to work with me, let me go to the house that is independent where I can perform my duty. I have the mandate of the people. They told me that one of the reasons they wanted me to go back to the house, you know you must be a second timer before you can be a speaker, among the people who contested in Esan, no second timer. The only second timers we had were people who were contested from Uromi and they weren’t sure of APC winning Uromi and for that reason, Esan may come to a point of not having somebody to become speaker. For that reason, the government had mandated them to tell me that I should come back and contest for the House of Assembly and they knew that I will win and become speaker uninterrupted for four years.
I asked, ‘who sent you this message?’, he said ‘the governor did’ and I tried to reach the governor but I couldn’t and I sent him a message but he didn’t reply until we met at a meeting. I told him I accepted his offer and he thanked me for it.
Chief Francis Inegbineki from Lagos told me he was with the governor that I should become speaker, Chief Idah begged me and because of all these people, I accepted. It was late for me to get the form but they brought it for me, though they didn’t give me any money, I spent my money to respect them.
The state governor said your winnings will determine what you get. Some won with 2 votes, some three votes but I won with over 5000 votes. When I mean vote, I mean the difference between you and your opponent. After the election, we had several meetings with the governor, the governor did not tell any of us who he wanted to be the speaker. I had about 18 members who were ready to support my speakership. We were three people in the race, I had 18, one other guy had three and the one parading himself as the speaker now had two. The governor initially supported one Okoduwa who had three. The state government became threatened because of that and Philip assured him that he will handle the situation.
This was how they started calling people in the middle of the night. We were at a hotel when they called some of the members, they went there to try to broker peace but when they got there, they asked them to drop their phones to avoid being recorded. As soon as they dropped their phones, one Osaigbovo Iyoha took their phones and they were later driven to Obaseki. Thugs and Police accompanied them to the House of Assembly, many of the lawmakers had to keep calm to survive. One of the lawmakers ran away and they were able to get an additional five to the four members they already had on their side, that was how the problem began, how was how they had the night inauguration.
Why I said Oshiomhole is not in the matter, when I was contesting for the speakership and when I noticed they were working against me in the election because Philip through the governor gave a PDP candidate in my local government N20 million to defeat me yet I still won the election yet I won it without receiving election for two years, that is how much my people love me.
You said the deputy governor wanted you to support Osarodion Ogie and you refused but Philip became the deputy governor to Obaseki, why do you think he still came after you after this?
When Philip became the deputy governor to Obaseki, there was still incoherent among them. Initially, they were not working together. If you watch it in Edo State, all the people who supported Obaseki during primaries are the people the governor is fighting now because Philip and Ogie were able to brainwash Godwin and fought every other person that didn’t support them then.
The reason Oshiomhole brought Philip and Ogie to work with Godwin which he never wanted from the beginning was that Oshiomhole wanted cohesion and peace in the state. Though Godwin resisted, he told me that for him to take Philip, he will resign. I told him he is the governor and the Deputy cannot be higher than him. All Oshiomhole wanted was peace and gradually, the matter snowballed into what it is today.
You said you are the genesis of the crisis but before the fight extended to the House of Assembly, there was already a crack between Obaseki and Oshiomhole.
There wasn’t a fight.
There was, before the fight extended to the EDHA, there were already complaints from the leaders of the APC that Obaseki had abandoned them.
They complained about Obaseki abandonment but Oshiomhole was calming them. Charles Idahosa started the issue and it was Oshiomhole who settled the two of them. Godwin and Oshiomhole were still in good terms, the former governor was the backbone. The matter actually started during the primaries. In the primaries, all the candidates from Edo north were left for Oshiomhole and the candidates from Edo Central was left for Obaseki, I told you that Obaseki gave me a ticket, it was not Oshiomhole that gave me the ticket. All the ticket from Esan land was shared by Godwin Obaseki. I am shocked at the governor, he allowed himself to be used by Philip who is desperate to be the governor. IN all this fight, Philip knew that Oshiomhole will not succumb to him becoming governor without someone from Esanland becoming a governor first, for that reason, he pitched tent with Obaseki to betray Oshiomhole.
At the end of the day, Obaseki who also has a greedy agenda of wanting to eat alone decided to hang on the opportunity Philip sold to him and as such, Philip quickly entered into an agreement. The unwritten agreement between Obaseki and Philip is for the governor to handover to him.
With the crisis in the Assembly, according to my sources, the government has been inviting you and your colleagues to come to Edo and take the oath of office but you refused.
That source, at times, I pity people. I respect Don Pedro very well but at times, I don’t know whether he is broke, Pedro was the first person to alert Edo on the inadequacies and his delivish behaviour.
As we speak, me and Don Pedro have had a series of meetings and Pedro confessed to me that he is doing what he is doing because Godwin has begged him to help.
Are you talking of recent?
I am talking of recent. Pedro has told me that he is doing what he is doing because Godwin begged him. Even as he is doing what he is doing, the governor still doesn’t have respect for him. Be that as it may, he is doing it because the governor begged him and he said he knows Godwin is at fault.
Let me tell you, we are ready to go any day to do inauguration because we have the numbers. Some people that are there are just there because they cannot afford to stay without salary.
So, what is holding you back?
What is holding us back is that Godwin and his cohort said he will not allow us to have inauguration particularly six of us. Myself, Osifo, Seid Oshiomhole, Waziri and another lawmaker.
Was it not Seid Oshiomhole that was caught on audio boasting that the lawmakers were making enough money out of the crisis in Abuja?
I listened to the audio, if you listened to it, he was talking to someone.
Yes, but he revealed some secrets.
The other side what the person said was not recorded. A girl called him to say ‘come to Edo State, the lawmakers are sharing money, you are missing, now they are sharing N10m, come and collect yours’ and that was how the boy went into bragging.
You are saying Oshiomhole bragged on the audio?
Nonetheless, the audio placed you and your group in a very bad spotlight, won’t you say?
Of course, it was unfortunate. The truth was that he never knew he was being recorded, we believed him because we were in the same boat together. We are not getting money from anywhere, as for me, I get help from my friends and properties I owned before I became a lawmaker. So, where would he have gotten the money he was talking about? So, he was just bragging to the girl which was very unfortunate.
Let’s get back to the issue. You said you are ready to return to the house.
Yes, our resolution is that the 14 of us must go at the same time for the inauguration but they have made up their mind that six of us cannot be inaugurated and they went further to say that if we are inaugurated, they will suspend some of us instantly. So, we said for us to avoid that, let prominent persons like the Oba of Benin or from a Christian body witness the agreement, just to put the fear in them so that no one will be a victim.
This is an incomplete interview. Watch out for part 2.
Editor’s note: We edited eight to eighteen in the eight paragraph. The lawmaker made us understand he meant eighteen and not eight.