Every 1st of December is special to Honourable Philip Shaibu. He spares little or nothing to celebrate the day, considering his spectacular profile as one of the best politically-exposed persons in Edo State today . Even if he chooses not to mark it, his coterie of associates, friends and well wishers would prefer to roll out the drums to celebrate the life of a young political turk and generalissimo whose stature bestrides Edo North in particular and Edo State in general , like that of a colossus.
This year’s birthday celebration would certainly be different from the rest in view of the fact that the celebrant is ordained having secured re- election as the Deputy Governor of Edo State, in a landslide victory along with his principal, Gov Godwin Obaseki, in the September 19th, 2020, Edo guber poll.
Over the years, Hon Phillip Shaibu has shown exceptional courage and commitment to the cause of uplifting the society, a cause to which he remains steadfastly unshaken, though some say he’s militant in his approach and pursuit.
The University of Jos in Plateau State in the North Central zone of the country, one of the hotbeds of student radicalism, served as the building blocks for his later years of political activism. He shot into national limelight as Welfare Secretary of the University’s Students’ Union Government(SUG) and later became the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS) in 2000.
Brimming with high octane doses of activism, Honourable Shaibu’s first attempt at breaking into political limelight suffered a temporal setback in 2003 when he lost out at the polls as candidate of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) for the Edo State House of Assembly seat to represent Etsako West Constituency 2.
In 2007, he bounced back into reckoning and, as they say, the rest is history. With two successful tenures in the 4th and 5th Edo State House of Assembly, representing Etsako West Constituency II, he held various sensitive positions including Minority Whip, Majority Leader and chaired the all-important house committee on Rules, Business and Ethics. He was for about a year a member of the House of Representatives representing Etsako Federal Constituency when he was drafted to pair with his principal, Gov Godwin Obaseki, in the 2016 Edo governorship race, as Deputy Governor candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The birthday celebration of this enigma would certainly upstage any other event on December 1. Friends, family members, associates and well wishers would set the state agog with their congratulatory and goodwill messages to celebrate the life of a comrade, a warrior, a compassionate and astute politician. Hon Phillip Shaibu is, indeed, a man of many parts, conquests and holdings. His life trajectory fits perfectly into the description of the brave and fearless warrior who, as vividly described in the popular Yoruba folklore: Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irumole’ by famous author D. O. Fagunwa, went to the land of the ‘dead’ and came back unscathed.
As the drums roll out in celebration of an acclaimed political bridge builder and enigma, it is apt to let his numerous admirers know that the best way to honour him is by rallying round with all the support and solidarity he needs to take Edo North to the next level.
The Owan clan and the PDP political families in Owan East and Owan West Local Government Areas of Edo State are fully committed to firmly holding the ladder for Hon Phillip Shaibu to climb to greater heights.
Senator Yisa Braimoh is the PDP National Leader in Owan West and East Local Government Areas in Edo North district of Edo State.