The bid of the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shaibu, suffered a major setback today as the PDP leadership in his own senatorial district – Edo North – came together at the residence of Chief Oghiadomhe to endorse the candidacy of Barr. Asue Ighodalo.
In a grainy video clip, Sen. Yisa Baimoh was seen leading the motion to adopt Barr. Ighodalo. The question, when put to the leaders and party executives from the 6 local government areas by Hon. Johnson Abolagba, was unanimously adopted. Hon. Abolagba then advised Edo Central PDP party members to follow the lead of Edo North and similarly present Barr. Asue Ighodalo as their consensus candidate ahead of the Party primaries on the 3rd of February.
A selection of PDP leaders in attendance at the endorsement were the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Blessing Agbebaku; former Edo State Deputy Governor and Chief of Staff to President Jonathan, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe; Sen. Yisa Braimoh; Sen. Odion Ugbesia and his twin brother Akhere; Mr. Ose Anenih; the Vice Chairman of Esan South East LGA, Mrs. Susan Opekpen; former Esan North East LGA Chairman Ogbejele Idogei; Barr. Anthony Ehilebo; Hon. Honesty Agnibatse; and former Edo State PDP Youth Leader Arc. Targius Irabor;
This endorsement effectively pulls the rug from under the feet of Philip Shaibu, who now finds himself without a political base within the PDP. His angry outburst at the palace of the Otaru of Auchi later that day, suggests he too is very aware of the precarious political position he finds himself in. He accused Obaseki of diminishing the office of the deputy governor; and charged the people he was speaking to, to support him because it was his turn; according to the Deputy Governor, failing to support him would keep Edo North out of power for at least two decades. It is worth noting that while the current Governor of Edo State is from Edo South; his predecessor, Gov. Adams Oshiomole, was from the same local government in Edo North that Comrade Shaibu hails from.
As momentum continues to build behind Barr. Asue Ighodalo ahead of the PDP party primaries in February, questions arise about the role of Chief Dan Orbih, who was noticeably absent from political engagements which took place in his senatorial district today. Seen last night in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in the company of Ogbeide Ihama where he attended a social event organized by Gov. Wike; Chief Orbih’s feud with Gov. Obaseki remains unresolved. Will Chief Orbih align with Barr. Ighodalo and help the PDP retain power? Or will he play a spoiler role that will help the APC secure victory in Edo State; just like Gov. Wike did during the 2023 General Elections?
Meanwhile, Barr Asue Ighodalo is set to officially declare on the 12th of January in Benin.