Edo 2024: Philip’s Disability and Witches

Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu

Edo 2024: Philip’s Disability and Witches

Elempe Dele

A little superstition will suffice in deconstructing the tribulations Comrade Philip Shaibu has been going through since he imagined in his mind that he could take over powers from his boss, Governor Godwin Obaseki. While some feel he should have consulted with his boss before nursing such a high ambition after over 2 decades in the corridors of power, others feel he should have been allowed to contest freely as his rights demands.

In Shakespear’s play, Macbeth, the three witches – the fascinating characters in the play, told Macbeth that he will become the king, that no man born of woman can defeat him, and that he will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane.

With the prophecy of the witches and the encouragement of his wife, Macbeth kills the king, took over the thrown, and kills more people out of paranoia. Civil war erupts to overthrow Macbeth, which led to his death eventually.

Now, away from the play, the Edo House of Assembly, on Wednesday, commenced impeachment proceedings against Philip.The Majority Leader, Charity Aiguobarueghian, who announced the impeachment notice, said a petition dated 5 March against Mr Shaibu, was signed by 21 of the 24 members of the legislature.

Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu
Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu

There are processes under law that will eventually lead to his ejection from government. The first step has been taken, that is notice of allegation of ‘gross misconduct’. The second step is serving the deputy governor the notice within 7 days. The third step is the right of the deputy governor to respond or not…this is optional.

The fourth step would be that within 14 days, there would be presentation of the notice to the speaker, and the house shall resolve the motion without debate whether the allegations should be investigated or not. This needs at least two-third of members of the house.

The fifth step, if the motion reaches the required majority, which is certain with 21 out of 24 in favour of his impeachment, it is for the speaker to with 7 days request the chief judge of the state to appoint a panel of 7 members to investigate the allegations. The sixth step is for the panel to within 3 months come up with their findings, and the deputy governor have a right to defend himself of the allegations, which include leaking government information to the public. The next step is for the house to consider the report if the allegations are proven.

A resolution for the adoption of the report shall be moved. And lastly, as soon as the report is adopted, the deputy governor shall stand removed from office from the day of the adoption.

The consequences of his impeachment are dire; he shall vacate office as soon as two-third of the house adopts the report. Secondly, he cannot in any court to seek redress on the matter. He is eventually replaced by the governor by nominating a replacement and must be approved by the house.

Although the process takes much time when followed keenly, one would not fail to see the hand writing on the brown khaki shirt of Comrade Philip as he walks away from the Edo State Government House where he has since been ostracized.

Is Philip a victim of his own ambition or a victim of the governor? There have been different opinions across moral and legal debates.

While some argue on different social media platforms and television stations that he should have been allowed to to exercise his right to contest, and perhaps fail, which was obvious, others feel he should have respected and consulted his boss who gave him so much latitude and power before going to the mountains to announce his ambition to rule over the feifdom of Edo State he devised in his mind.

Both arguments are very valid arguments, but I have refused to be drawn to either camp. Mine is about the Aristocratic Mean. Always stay measured, considerate, diplomatic, thoughtful, decent, heedful…in whatever you do. Philip, without any much of argument, threw caution to the wind after his boss expressed disappointment over his rightful ambition. I have always said, not all things that are right are totally expedient. As a man, you should know when to fight, you should know wars you cannot win, you should know the arsenal in your armoury, you should know when to walk away..

This is not cowardice, it is thoughtfulness. I can recall the Nigeria civil war where the secessionists where hysterical with emotive rhetorics; no army in Africa can defeat us! This they said holding mimic wooden guns on bare foot and no food. So has been Comrade Philip. He was all over everywhere with several mimic guns ready to fight the governor forgetting his arsenal is without any ammunition.

Comrade Philip was emotive in his clamour to claim the Edo State gubernatorial ticket under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he never was proud of for over 3 years until now. Secondly, his hysteria was not backed by home witches and wizards as he had ridiculed his mentor and benefactor, Senator Adams Oshiomole, who helped him to rise politically.

So where exactly did he get the three witches or more from who prophesied to him that he would be able to oust Governor Obaseki, force voters across the 3 senatorial district to vote for him, and be installed the ruler of Edo State?

Perhaps I am looking at the ongoing chess game from the outside, but for all I know and can divine, Philip was in touch with the wrong witches.

To any discerning mind, it would be easier for a camel to be swallowed by the eye of the needle than for Philip to be enthroned in Edo State. The demography, sentiment and reality on ground as of today does not support such a magic which Philip captured in his mind.

I will rather Comrade Philip go to the Catholic, if that is where witches that deviled for him are lurked, to seek for exorcism – that is the removal of the troubling spirit that has been sailing him since he has been in battle with the governor in recent times.

Was it not funny and bemusing how he confronted the PDP brass in Abuja to offer him the Certificate of Return in an election he clearly did not participate in?

This is time for clear reflection by Philip. He can take time off from the maddening political crowd that seem to be taking a toll on him.

I will suggest that the witches that prophesied to Philip should be arrested for they are accessories to the murder of his political journey. They must be punished, for they cannot simply disappear into the dark night.

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