By Elempe Dele
Two days ago, the news of Comrade Philip Shaibu, the Edo State Deputy Governor, decamping from PDP to yet to be known party filtered in unexpectedly. I was quick to dismiss it as one of the handiworks of the opposition party even when it was retailed through Vanguard online news. Before we could be weaned off the numerous hearsay analysis concerning the news, the deputy governor granted an interview to Channels TV. Speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today, the Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu who was not heard during the interview denying plans to leave PDP, only dismissed the notion that he was having issues with the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki. He said, “I am happy with my Governor, I don’t have any problem with my Governor, the issue of not being happy with my Governor is not there, I remain absolutely loyal to my Governor. But there are issues that we need to resolve over PDP.”
Immediately my mind cast back to the sophisticated but superstitious omen where the owl hoots at night on the rooftop of a house then a child dies the next day in the same house.
I can vouch that the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, won’t be decamping to any party soon – that much I know. He was courted before the 2020 gubernatorial election as one of the most loyal deputies around because he stuck to the governor during the period of implosion in the Edo State APC that eventually saw them move to PDP. And they were both offered the joint ticket without much disputes because of this uncommon reputation. However, I was taken aback by part of the Channels TV interview where he mentioned that there are issues he need to resolve with the governor over PDP. Although this is ambiguous to some an extend, I think in my own opinion, it is too early for ‘issues’ to be resolved over PDP – just over a year they both left APC and were received into PDP with open arms and without pre-conditions. I say this to avert the likelihood, which is even being peddled by the opposition; “we nor tell una?”
Comrade Philip Shaibu is no doubt a very sophisticated political individual and we party members have a duty not to allow him to score an own goal just about a year into this unexpected political socialization with PDP. Going into a new party, one must expect to learn the processes of ideologies, conducts, attitudes…of members of the new party. It is not always easy, it takes time to understudy. For the benefit of scholarship, Political Socialization can be seen as the process by which individuals learn and customarily incorporate a political lens definning their perceptions of how power is arranged and organized; those perceptions, in turn, shape and define individuals’ definitions of who they are and how they should behave in the political and economic institutions in which they live(in this instance after moving from one party to the other) It has to do with the ways in which people obtain values and opinions that shape their political stance and ideology: it is a study of the developmental processes by which people acquire political cognition, attitudes, and behaviours. It refers to a learning process by which norms and behaviours acceptable to a well running political system are transmitted. It is through the performance of this function that individuals are inducted into the political culture and their orientations towards political focus are formed.
It must be retailed without mincing words therefore that PDP has a self-oiled hydrolic internal mechanism in operation whereby issues are resolved without the glitz of the social media. This is so because apart from excesses of the forewarned notification, the media cannot afford to settle internal disputes or issues, as the case may be. Rather, it will inflame them to unbelievable proportions. “But there are issues that we need to resolve over PDP,” is a hugely ambiguous statement. At least, it will lead to suppositions, disinformation, misinformation, outright falsehood, lies, propaganda…from section of the harmful public who are waiting on the sidewalks to help peddle anything at their disposals.
I have raised objective logic on the issue no matter how fallacious some individuals might view it. PDP is not a living soul, if there are issues the Deputy Governor is having, they must be associated with individual(s) within the party, expecially now that the state executive of the party has been emasculated, deprived of power, vitality and vigour.
To continue to pursue the ‘where and what’ has gone wrong will be an academic journey into futility. However, we must not look away from the Deputy Governor’s unhappiness with the intention of facing the consequences. Politics is about numbers, it’s about building structures, and not destroying bridges. He is a very important part of the party and the ‘issues’ cannot be wished away with levity. The ‘issues’ must be addressed and a common ground must be agreed upon, and this burden basically rest on the shoulders of the Governor, who no doubt, is the closest person to Comrade Philip Shaibu in relative terms and the leader of the party in Edo State.
But the sacrosanctity of the PDP brand must be kept. Election and electioneering are over, at least, for the time being, so also should be politicking. What should be uppermost in our minds should be governence, and I wish the Comrade to focus on this. He is the leader of the party in Edo North Senatorial District by the virtue of his position. He should drive the proposed airport to the region and other trademark developments that can be seen, that would be sustainable, that would engineer growth and development of the region. The common people, like me, would rather want us to be doing appraisals by now about human capital development in Edo North Senatorial District a year after election than relapse back into the expected narratives concerning politicking. By now, we should be talking about the Deputy Governor using his position to weaponize scholarship through the educational sector that needs total overhaul in that area. The people will be more listening and enchanted if the discussion on Channels TV was centered around how government can assist in adding value(value chain) to their agricultural products as they are basically into agrarian economy rather than the habitual discussion of politics that have become monotonous to the ear.
Three years is left for the government to be able to meet with it’s promises to the people. And three years is enough to achieve so much but won’t be enough if the focus is not on the marching orders for performance rather than armchair glitz discussion on politics. The actualization of the Gelegele Sea Port, with interface between the state government and NDDC, is possible to enhance our local economy and the economies of South South States. This should be on the bunner as it is still achievable. The Edo State Government has made it its mission to make the state the industrial hub of the South-South through the development of industrial clusters and free trade zones. This can be achieved within the next three years. The proposed Edo North airport by the State Governor would open up economic activities in that region. The region is blessed with mineral resources, and agricultural potentials. All these and others that the people can basically point at before 2024 should be the redirected focus going forward.