Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, is a man who has a long standing good relationship with the media.
He has for more than a decade hosted his friends in the media every 20th of December on account of this cordial relationship which he recalls at every given opportunity started many years ago when he was a student union activist.
The story Rt. Hon. Shaibu never tires of talking about was that at a certain period during the military era when he was a very vibrant and active member of the student union movement he, like many of his colleagues, had a brush with jackboot. They were all rounded up and thrown inside the gulag.
After some time there was a public outcry and the military authorities were forced to let the young activists out of incarceration to live their normal lives. Unfortunately, Philip’s case became exceptional as he was left to probably rot inside the prison walls. It seemed no one remembered him or that the military had a sinister motive to keep him in chains for a long time.
It took the inquisitive nature of a reporter whom Philip said raised a voice that he was still in prison before he was let off the hook. This acted as a memorable turning point in the life story of Philip which he deemed worthy of celebrating with his media friends in Edo State every year and which he has kept to for more than a decade.
The day of feasting, hobnobbing with media men became a permanent date that media men operating in Edo State have engraved in their mind. As early as 6.00am on the appointed day Philip’s residence is a beehive of activities as gaily dressed workers of the different media houses storm the place, some with their children, to participate in having a jolly good time with their amiable chief host and members of his family.
Initially, those normally in attendance at Philip’s yearly get together with the media men were reporters(members of the editorial unit of media establishments). However, gradually over the years different shades of people have joined the fray ranging from security personnels attached to the likeable politician, some of his office cleaners, messengers etc. Just name it.
What can be described as the absurd happened at the last get together which held on December 21st, 2020. The ‘outsiders’ quite outnumbered the media men such that a colleague swore that some of those who claim to represent Edo North during the roll call of those present are actually urchins operating in some of the motor parks in Auchi area.
Going by this latest twist, I will suggest that Philip Shaibu should rebrand the concept of the get together to officially accommodate such new found self-acclaimed ‘media attachee’ groups.
PS – If you have a different opinion please feel free to make your contribution.