• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Philip Shaibu: The ‘Obesere’ of Edo politics

Philip Shaibu

For the first time in my writing career, especially on political issues, I pitched my tent with Obaseki/Shaibu ticket in the concluded Edo election. In my article titled, Philip Shaibu: the deputy man of the year, I was not shy to proclaim my admiration for a rare deputy governor and the way Obaseki, the Moses managed his relationship with the young Philip to achieve “torgba” (their campaign payoff meaning 4 times 4). The eleven years age difference proved to be an advantage. That was a radical departure from the beliefs and sentiments in this part of the world where age difference is often an intimidating factor.

I took my position when I heard Babajide Kolade-Otitoju on TVC predicting Oshiomhole and his candidate to win the election. The defiant voice in me disagrees with his analysis though he had predicted other polls successfully. Must the godfathers always win? I decided to use my platform to express my views and stick my neck on the board for Obaseki.

Obaseki was said to have performed very well, but the reasons for my imaginary vote for Obaseki are two-fold. The first is his determination to challenge the low-mighty former APC chairman and second is Philip Shaibu who refused the Oshiomhole’s carrots to become the governor and standby his master. If you think that is not exceptional, check Jigawa state where three deputy governors served within eight years and over 22 states with past governors versus deputies’ dramas.

Godwin Obaseki needs to be giving governors and leaders’ lectures on relational intelligence. I proclaim him a chancellor in the science of relationship and relational intelligence. He needs to make open the ingredients in the okro soup he gave Philip Shaibu

My friend, namesake, and a UK’s based reader, Babajide Fatade, feared me for making my prediction public in favour of Shaibu. What if he does not win, and how will you handle the backlash from readers? As a creative writer, my role is to express my opinion, which will be a springboard for others to express their side of the story. It doesn’t matter if I am attacked or praised.

READ ALSO: Edo poll: Yiaga Africa trains over 500 persons on essentials of election observation

In the game of the Babajides, Kolade-Otitoju’s position birthed my views, though I do not agree with his analysis. Fatade’s comments reminded me of the central point of creative writing. You do not have to be bothered about the reactions of the others; it cannot all go against you or for you. Luckily for me, I won with the people of Edo state who resisted the insult to be assaulted within a short period of four years.

Godwin Obaseki needs to be giving governors and leaders’ lectures on relational intelligence. I proclaim him a chancellor in the science of relationship and relational intelligence. He needs to open the ingredients in the okro soup he gave Philip Shaibu. That ingredient will help Nigeria and leaders to work better in the best interest of our nation.

And to my distant man of the year, Philip Shaibu, the new Obesere of Edo politics. Your name has been written in gold on September 20 (coincidentally on my birthday) for staying behind a supposed adversary in politics, for refusing to be deceived by the carrots but stood firmly by your people. Posterity will judge your comrade attitude rightly.

Philip Shaibu is the Obesere of Edo politics. A new fuji musician named Abass Akande Obesere surfaced into the Fuji music scene in the early 90s. He destroyed the status quo with his unique music and creativity.

To me, after Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Obesere is the next dangerously creative fuji musician. He can combine all manners of combinable lewd and uncommon-sense jargons to make jocular musical vibes. He came into the scene without mentors and with a different brand of fuji percussion.

Above his creativity is his leadership quotient. He takes no-nonsense and always stands by the truth. He is still busy giving out credits instead attributing glory to himself. He openly attributed the origin of his famous name ‘Obesere’ to one of his band members.

A name he adopted from his band member and that made him famous. Many leaders will conceal that information and go to their grave with that credit. You cannot use age or the first to come to harass Sidomania Obesere. If you do what is wrong against any fuji artiste, Obesere is the Chief Advocate of the Fuji Colony. He was a nemesis for Wasiu Ayinde for saying Late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister was not the founder of Fuji music.

You might be asking why the comparison of Obesere with Edo election. ‘Wetin concern agbero with overload in the bus garage’? Obesere stands for creativity and positive disruption of the status quo in favour of the truth.

That was what Philip Shaibu did by standing with Godwin Obaseki, the face, and the hope of Edo people against godfatherism. I knew from the campaign that Edo people would likely not be gullible as Oshiomhole did the campaign for his candidate while Obaseki was much more visible. The exchange of candidates between APC and PDP, the rise and fall of Oshiomhole and the ‘Obesereism’ of Obaseki/Shaibu team will be a good storyline for a creative Nollywood producer- Nollywood here is another story to tell.

Philip Shaibu’s decision to stand by Obaseki is noble and standard for the Nigerian youths and leaders. Until we are bold and creative enough, we will not move forward. The political parasites are here to stay, and our gentleness cannot change the game. We must change our paradigm and fight godfatherism that is not in the interest of the people.

Now that the victory is here, there is work for Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu. The victory is with quantifiable value. The gaps in the votes between Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu shifted from 66, 310 votes in 2016 to 84, 336 votes in 2020.

This is an indicator of an increased number of people captured into the Edo state’s agenda and dividend net. The first work is to preserve and protect the unity of purpose that brought the victory. I trust Obaseki to answer to the name Obaseki- which means “the Oba’s favour is more valuable than mere success in trade”. He should position Shaibu to be the best deputy Nigeria will ever produce with more impactful responsibility.

There is an Obesere in Philip Shaibu that is bold and confident enough to serve the good people of Edo state. All the other stakeholders should be encouraged for a sacrifice of selfless services in education, youth empowerment, and infrastructural development for the people of Edo state.

Edo people must see the benefits of the death of the godfathers for them not to return to Egypt. This election and the experience must be the hallmark of the institutionalisation of good governance based on performance and shared values in Edo state and the other parts of the country.

We have started a journey in Edo state, the journey of political transformation that must be sustained even if it is from the Siamese twins on the same old horses as evidenced by the carpet crossing and lack of political ideology. Let the ideology that the Edo state election presents to us stand the test of time in our history by the consequent performance of Governor Obaseki.

Olugbemi FCCA, the Chief Responsibility Officer at Mentoras Leadership Limited and Founder, Positive Growth Africa. He can be reached on [email protected] or 08025489396.