NANS to Shaibu: Retrace your steps on Obaseki, Oshiomhole feud

The leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called for an amicable resolution of the political rivalry between the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki, allegedly fuelled by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu.

The student body is worried that the lingering crisis between the duo, especially the roles played by the Deputy Governor, is sparking anger among the comrades in the country, which if not resolved would negatively affect future aspirations of others in the struggle.

Public Relations Officer of NANS, Comrade Adeyemi Azeez, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the NANS President, Comrade Danielson Bamidele Akpan, has agreed to wade into the crisis, believing that resolving their political differences is possible since they are both Comrades.

He recalled that Edo State has been enmeshed in political disagreements between Shaibu and Governor Godwin Obaseki, on the one hand, and Oshiomhole who is also a former governor and some other political figures in the state on the other hand.

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“Philp Shaibu must be called to order, this is what all well-meaning Comrades should tell him. He cannot be busy putting clogs in the wheels of Progress.”

The same Philip mismanaged the goodwill shown him by students that led to a faction of his Presidency in NANS before he was picked by Oshiomhole.

Azeez said if the Governor and his deputy are afraid of the Ambode Debacle, the experience should tell them the outcome of a House divided against itself.

While calling on the deputy governor to sheathe his sword, the PRO noted that though the conflict had been a straight fight between Governor Godwin Obaseki and Oshiomhole, the involvement of the deputy governor, who himself is more or less a son to the former governor of the state, only helped to escalate the feud.

He said: “NANS feels obliged to intervene, firstly because of the negative signal the wrangling has sent to the public that helping someone, especially a comrade to stand strong equals waiting for his or her spite and insults when able to stand firmly.

“Secondly, Edo State is a state of Interest, as it has produced over of 3 of it’s President and 2 or more of it’s Senate Presidents, Vice President etc.

“We believe that the crisis should not be allowed to fester, so as not to negatively affect the development of the state that is already facing a high level of human trafficking and other social vices,” Azeez said.

He said the NANS leadership was conscious of the fact that the political crisis in the Edo state was capable of derailing the provision of needed democratic dividend that could translate into Investments, provision of more jobs, skills development opportunities, classrooms, provision of quality teaching and learning environment for teachers and students, welfare of students among others.

Adeyemi said the action of the deputy governor of Edo State, is projecting comradeship in the bad light, saying the original intention of Oshiomhole to raise his Comrade son, Shaibu and bring him to political limelight should not be sacrificed on the altar of political miasma.

He recalled that Oshiomhole staunchly supported Shaibu to become a member National Assembly, representing Etsako Federal Constituency, even against his own biological son between 2015-March 2016, after serving as the Majority Leader of the Edo State House of Assembly from February 22, 2010-June 21, 2015

He noted that in the same vein, Shaibu was unanimously announced as the running mate to Governor Godwin Obaseki at the last 2016 Edo State gubernatorial election and the duo eventually won and was sworn in on November 12, 2016.

Oshiomhole has been unhappy over the crisis that engulfed his party in the state because the deputy governor Philip Shaibu and other persons from his local government betrayed him despite having done so much to help them grow politically.

He had specifically accused Shaibu of the mastermind of attacks in Iyahmo, his hometown during the convocation in Edo University, which for us is a sacrilege whosoever was responsible.

Shaibu, however, had noted that he and others were helping Oshiomhole to sustain the struggle to eliminate godfatherism in Edo state, adding that political differences with the governor had not changed his father-son relationship with the party leader.

However, the NANS PRO said to the best of his recollection, in the face of the disagreements, Oshiomhole had expressed his readiness to stand on the part of peace and unity and “we hope that this should be reciprocated by Shaibu”.

The PRO, while urging Shaibu to desist from attacks and “verbal war” with Oshiomhole, insisted that the deputy governor should retrace his steps and embrace the olive branch extended by Adams Oshiomhole for peace to reign in the state.

“What would he have achieved, if he were to fall from the exalted seat of deputy Governor, for not heeding advice.”

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