By Ogochukwu Isioma
Following the unreserved apology by Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu to his boss and elder brother, Governor Godwin Obaseki, the All Afemai Initiative Group (AAIG), a socio-political pressure group, has said that the virtues of peace building, being the common denominator for democratic progress, should now take precedence in all conduct of Mr. Governor and his Deputy. The group is made up of members from the six Local Government Areas in Edo North.
Arising from an enlarged meeting of the group, members of the AAIG joined voices and appealed with other persons of goodwill in the religious and secular world to appeal to the Executive Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to give peace a chance following the public apology from his Deputy amidst the political differences between the two political helmsmen.
In a communiqué issued by the group and signed by twenty (20) leaders and members across the six (6) Edo North Local Government Areas, AAIG said members are saddened over the escalation of the rift between the Governor and his Deputy who were elected on the sacred mandate to deliver dividends on the popular mantra of the MEGA (Make Edo Great Again).
AAIG bemoaned the deliberate attempt by political mischief makers, fifth columnists with selfish and personal interest and members of the opposition attempt to wittle down the huge political capacity of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, with a negative interest focused at capturing the state in the upcoming 2024 Governorship election.
According to the group, this situation if left unchecked, may spell doom for the ruling PDP, not only at the state level but also the newly constituted local Government Councils at the grassroots.
AAIG noted: “The Social Media has been awash with viral videos which we have been forced to watch, making caricature and trivial and otherwise high office of the Governor of the state and that of the Deputy. The public space in the state is now filled with narratives of situations tending towards the self-annihilation or self-immolation of our party, the People Democratic Party and the state as an entity.
“The position of the Governor and his Deputy are constitutional and complementary. The inseparable role of the duo is very unambiguous. This is to encourage unity of vision in the mission of delivery of expected democratic dividends to the masses who look up to them. We must therefore encourage an atmosphere devoid of the recent hostilities and other divisive tendencies.”
Noting that the group is highly perturbed by the sad development and negative trend, AAIG told Governor Obaseki that the political differences between him and his Deputy is being consciously and extensively exercebated by certain individuals, with selfish aim of personal gratification and self-centeredness.
“These individuals are mostly not interested in the democratic progress of our state and the “finish well” Agenda of our Governor and his Deputy. We are using this medium to sound a lesson to these people that, our Party the PDP shall retain Edo State, they should liberate themselves from their destructive enterprise and annihilative inclinations which in the end will do no one any good but themselves,” the group noted.
On the relocation of Office of the Deputy Governor out of the confine of the Government House, AAIG called on Governor Obaseki to revisit the decision, noting, “when two brothers fight themselves to death, strangers do inherit their possessions.”
The All Afemai Initiative Group, however, appealed to Governor Obaseki to accept the recent apology from his Deputy, especially as Shaibu made the apology public to the Governor to tamper justice with mercy to enable a “finish well” of the MEGA Agenda project in Edo State and a continuation of this Agenda by the next administration come 2024.
“We are resolute as we have been in the past decades in Edo democratic space to support again the Brotherhood and fraternity which has been the Panacea for the make Edo Great again (MEGA) between His Excellency, Mr Godwin Obaseki, the Governor and His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor. To us and our teeming followers in this Senatorial district, it is the best way to finish well and concretize an enduring legacy that has span almost seven (7) years in the saddle of Edo leadership,” the communiqué concluded.