Edo APC Defends Philip Shaibu, Slams PDP Over Call for Resignation

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Tensions escalated on Tuesday between the Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with the opposition party labeling the call for Philip Shaibu’s resignation from the PDP as unwarranted and unfounded.

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Shaibu, a former deputy governor of the state who was impeached on April 8 but retained his membership in the PDP, stirred controversy on Sunday in Benin by describing his party’s governorship candidate for the September 21 election, Asue Ighodalo, as an outsider. He further declared his support for APC candidate Senator Monday Okpebholo, whom he hailed as a local candidate needed to govern Edo State.

Reacting to Shaibu’s stance on Monday, Rev. Olu Martin, the PDP’s Deputy Director of Media, demanded Shaibu’s resignation from the party, arguing that Shaibu cannot remain in the PDP while undermining the candidacy of Ighodalo, whom Shaibu termed an outsider.

In a surprising twist on Tuesday, the APC defended Shaibu, who was previously a member of the party alongside his former boss, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who was elected in 2016 under the APC banner. Orobosa Omo-Ojo, the APC’s Publicity Director in the state, issued a statement in Benin rebutting the PDP’s call for Shaibu’s resignation.

“The All Progressives Congress wishes to call on Nigerians and particularly the people of Edo State to disregard the baseless demand for the resignation of former deputy governor Philip Shaibu from the sinking Peoples Democratic Party,” Omo-Ojo stated.

“It is clear that the PDP has yet to grasp the upheaval that has taken place within their party. Nearly all politically relevant figures have departed, leaving behind only those poised to oversee its demise,” he continued.

Rather than pressuring Shaibu to resign, Omo-Ojo suggested that the PDP should focus on the leadership of Governor Obaseki, whom he accused of steering the party towards political irrelevance in Edo State.

“Philip Shaibu is a stalwart, a true representative of the community, and a political force in the state, much like our APC candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo,” Omo-Ojo affirmed.

He further advised the PDP to redirect its efforts towards informing the people of Edo State about the policies and intentions of Asue Ighodalo and his running mate, given their lengthy tenure in the state without significant developmental achievements.

The APC’s statement concluded with a call for the Edo State Government to establish an independent panel to investigate recent allegations of examination question leaks, which have marred the state’s education system under the “Edo Best” program since 2020.

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