Governor Godwin Obaseki has said that the recent personal attacks by the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, against his deputy, Philip Shaibu, are unfortunate and totally uncalled for. The Edo State Governor expressed his displeasure at the development in a statement on Monday.
Obaseki said if Wike was one who wants to show respect and courtesy to his colleague-governors, he would have reached out to him to express his concerns about Shaibu’s views, rather than embark on an unwarranted public onslaught. The rift between Governor Wike and the Edo State deputy governor stemmed from a comment made by the latter suggesting that many supporters of Obaseki who defected with the governor from All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are not happy and do not feel accepted into the new party.
Shaibu asked the national leadership of the PDP to “integrate” his supporters and those of his principal into the party, threatening that there are possibilities of an exodus. In reaction to these comments, Wike tongue-lashed Shaibu, calling him an ingrate. The Rivers State Governor asked the national chairman of the PDP to constitute a disciplinary committee against the deputy governor of Edo State, stressing that if this is not done, he (Wike) will invoke the sanctions of the party and will make sure they must discipline Shaibu.
Defending his deputy governor, Obaseki in his lengthy statement said Shaibu “was a former National President of the National Association of Nigerian Student (NANS) and his comment is representative of the essence of the nation’s youth population, who are inclined to openly speak up and question the status quo. Obaseki wondered how Governor Wike can aspire to lead Nigerian youths if he cannot understand and adequately respond to their style and character.
“His Excellency, Governor Wike should have taken a cue from the manner in which the National Chairman of our party, Sen. Dr Iyorchia Ayu, responded to my deputy’s remarks, as a conscientious leader who is able to show empathy and consideration,” the Edo Governor stated.