Amid his differences with Governor Godwin Obaseki, Comrade Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, is set to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) next week, pending any unforeseen circumstances. A senior member of the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) revealed this information under the condition of anonymity.
However, Shaibu’s move towards the APC appears to be encountering challenges due to the stance of Senator Adams Oshiomhole, who remarked that the party isn’t intended to serve as a rehabilitation centre for struggling politicians.
Oshiomhole, the former national chairman of the APC and a two-term governor of Edo State, did not provide Obaseki and Shaibu with the party’s re-election tickets during his tenure as chairman. Consequently, the duo switched to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to secure tickets and won re-election in 2018.
Nonetheless, Shaibu has distanced himself from reports of joining the APC, categorizing them as falsehoods. He affirmed his loyalty to Governor Obaseki, stating that he would stand by him regardless.
Coinciding with these developments, the Federal High Court in Abuja renewed its August 4 order, halting an alleged plan to impeach Shaibu as deputy governor. The court rescheduled the hearing for August 22, and the order mandates all involved parties to maintain the status quo ante bellum until the case is heard and decided.
Shaibu’s decision to return to the APC follows his legal action seeking to prevent an alleged impeachment plot against him. Governor Obaseki interpreted this legal action as a pre-emptive move before Shaibu’s switch to the APC.
A reliable source confirmed Shaibu’s defection plans, stating that he has been in discussions with both state and national APC leaderships for some time. The source added that Shaibu will formally join the party, along with a few of his supporters, next week under the auspices of the NWC.
In response to the reported defection, Senator Adams Oshiomhole emphasized that the APC is not a platform for politicians seeking refuge due to their struggles. He expressed his desire for peace in Edo State regardless of the party in power, underlining the importance of loyalty in politics.
In contrast, Shaibu’s spokesperson refuted the defection reports, labelling them as fabrications. He stressed that Shaibu has consistently declared his allegiance to Governor Obaseki and has no intentions of leaving the PDP.
The court proceedings have also shown ongoing tensions. The Federal High Court restated its order to halt any impeachment plots against Shaibu and deferred the hearing to August 22. Amid these legal matters, the various parties involved were directed to maintain the status quo until the case is resolved.
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