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Edo 2024: Shaibu declares support for APC’s Okpebholo

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Former Edo Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, has declared his support for Senator Monday Okpebholo, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the upcoming September 21st election in Edo State.

Shaibu described Okpebholo as one of the two “home boys” among the 16 candidates running for governor. The other “home boy,” according to Shaibu, is Olumide Akpata, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party and a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association. Shaibu believes that both candidates possess the qualities needed to move Edo forward.

“I will support a home boy. I came in to contest to be the Governor of Edo State because I needed governance to return to a home boy, somebody who understands our plight, somebody who understands what the people are feeling,” Shaibu said while speaking to reporters at St. Paul Catholic Church on Airport Road, Benin, during the Fathers’ Day celebration.

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Shaibu criticized the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo, describing him as a product of godfatherism, which former Governor Senator Adams Oshiomhole fought against. “Asue Ighodalo they are parading in the PDP is an outsider, and we have also agreed that no more godfatherism in Edo. The man PDP is parading is the godson of Governor Godwin Obaseki. There is no way a godson can be governor of Edo State again.”

Explaining his decision further, Shaibu said, “We do not want an outsider. We have experimented with an outsider, and it is not working. So, this time round, we want a home boy. I came into the contest as a home boy, but today, we have only two home boys in the major political parties: one is in the LP, and the other is in APC. I decided to follow the home boy in the APC.”

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Addressing potential accusations of anti-party activity, Shaibu stated, “It is not an anti-party activity. In the last election, Obaseki was one leg in LP, and the other leg in PDP. So, my decision cannot be described as anti-party activity.”

Shaibu, an ex-President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), praised Okpebholo as a grassroots politician with the experience and capability to advance the state. “Enough of English that takes us nowhere. We are talking about good governance. Okpebholo understands the plight of Edo residents. He who wears the shoe knows where it pinches.”

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He also questioned the suitability of the PDP candidate, “Asue Ighodalo, who has never voted in any election, how can he be seeking our votes? Why are some people comparing Asue Ighodalo, a Lagos-based lawyer, with Okpebholo, a sitting senator (of Edo Central Senatorial District), who is really a home boy? When Olumide Akpata and Okpebholo get home to their people, they will speak their languages, unlike Asue Ighodalo.”

Shaibu concluded by emphasizing the importance of selecting a leader who genuinely understands and shares the experiences of Edo residents.

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