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I never referred the North as an unproductive population, says Edo deputy governor, Shaibu

By Kalu Nwokoro Idika

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The deputy governor of Edo State has denied the news making rounds that he referred the Northern population as unproductive during an exclusive interview he granted to the media.

In a statement made by Hon. Jimoh Ijegbai, Chief of Staff to the Office of the Deputy Governor of Edo State said the purported interview was concocted by deranged and retarded people who are out to fuel distrust.

Below is the full statement:

The attention of the office of the Edo State Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, has expressed shock over a misleading and completely false post in circulation all over the uncensored social media, alleging that he granted an interview where he referred to the North as an unproductive population and claimed that the Southern states are ready to breakaway from Nigeria if the region is not given the presidency in 2023.

We are shocked beyond belief that someone, with a deranged and retarded mentality, could contrive such a monstrous and totally fabricated Interview from the very pit of hell and proceeded to deliberately post this wicked and devilish piece of information on the social media, with the full knowledge of the dangerous potentials of mayhem which such provocative comments can unleash on an unsuspecting populace.

We shudder in realization of the fact that this falsehood is not only deviously intended to deepen and exacerbate the conflicts and challenges of insecurity already manifesting across the nation but to equally promote instability, distrust and suspicions amongst Nigerians in the desire of the sponsors of this evil agenda, to continue their nefarious strategy of perpetrating discord, violence and restiveness as the main instruments of attracting cheap Political points.

Let us state categorically and place it on Record unequivocally that the Edo State Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, did not at any point in time, grant any interview as described in the post currently in circulation in the social media, where he made the comments which the authors of the post credited to him.

The only interview granted by the Edo state Deputy Governor in connection with the Southern Governors meeting, held in Lagos State, on July 5, 2021, was to Channels Television and the popular programme ‘Politics Today’ anchored by Mr. Seun Okinbaloye.

The interview, titled: “2023 Elections, Southern Governors Position reflects our people’s wish, Says Shaibu” can be assessed on YouTube with the following links:
https://youtu.be/-Wxr1542Gdy OR Facebook:https//www.facebook.com/channelsforum.

An excerpt from that interview reads thus “….Don’t forget that the President is not going to be a President of only the Southern part of Nigeria but the president of the whole Nigeria. So, even as we demand that for fairness and equity it should come to the South, we must also put into consideration that the Northern part of Nigeria too should be part of this arrangement of zoning this position to the South.. ”

Again, writing on his verified Social media handles (specifically his Facebook handle), on the Southern Governors meeting in Lagos, Comrade Philip Shaibu posted thus and with supporting photographs:

“I participated in the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum meeting held in Lagos yesterday where I represented my Boss Governor Godwin Obaseki.

“It was worth the time and efforts as key resolutions were made at the meeting with the Governors of Southern Nigeria for the overall benefits of our People, region, and the Nation.

“We reviewed the country’s security situation, the ongoing constitutional amendments; and the recent passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill by the 9th National Assembly.

“On these issues, we reached the following resolutions:
Calls for State Police and end to selective prosecution
1. That all arrests and prosecutions must be made within the ambit of the law and fundamental human rights;
2. That we must look into the establishment of state police structures to address issues of insecurity across the nation;
3. That Wednesday, 1st September 2021 shall be set aside for the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in all Member States.

The Forum in unison also
1. Rejected the proposed 3% allocation for host communities that was passed by the Senate, and recommend the adoption of the 5% allocation that was passed by the House of Representatives;
2. Reject the proposed removal of the electronic transmission of results clause from the ongoing amendment to the electoral act; and
3. Resolved that the next President of Nigeria should come from the Southern part of the country in the interest of equity and fairness.

“As we work to consolidate our democracy, we will continue to remain united on these key issues that affect all our people.”

We therefore challenge those behind the dastardly publication to provide the Audio or Video evidence of their fabricated interview and the venue where such interaction took place, since the author(s) claim that their post is based on ‘a recent interview’.

Let’s us further state without any doubts whatsoever that all of these allegations against the Deputy Governor are arrant nonsense and a heap of rubbish and urge serious minded and responsible Nigerian to see them as such. There is no shred or atom of fact to substantiate the wild, reckless publication which was obviously written with disdain, borne out of frustration and desperation by those whose stock in trade is to create unrest and confusion within the country and in this instance, cause disaffection between Mr. President and the Deputy Governor of Edo State.

Let us also place on record here that we are aware of the identities of those responsible for this dangerously divisive publication and while we will refrain from exposing them at this juncture, we wish to warn those fanning the embers of secession and promoting the spirit of conflict and division that they have picked on the wrong man in the person of Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, to further their devilish objectives

It is obvious that they are ignorant of the fact that Comrade Philip Shaibu is a true democrat who believes firmly in the notion that Democracy is rooted in compromise and not conquest and it’s reward tolerance, not hatred. The Edo state Deputy Governor, having served at virtually all levels of the electoral pyramid; local government, Constituency, state and national, knows only too well that those who believe in true Democracy rarely wage war on one another and that no region in Nigeria can survive all alone.

Thus demeaning any region in terms of productive capacity shows the level of wickedness which mischief makers who are bent on destroying the very Destiny of the nation, will go to, including fabricating a dangerous, non existent interview.

It is also important to point out at this juncture that there is the collective concensus among Political leaders in the country (of which Comrade Philip Shaibu is a recognized member), that this nation must continue to exist as one indivisible entity which can’t and should not break up. This unspoken concensus has been in existence since our independence in 1960 and has guided our peace and Unity till this moment.

The validity of this unspoken concensus has therefore invalidate the desperation of the author (s) and their sponsors in their desperation to taint the excellent Democratic credentials of Comrade Philip Shaibu dark in the eyes of the World.

Unfortunately, the sponsors of this falsehood against the Edo State Deputy Governor have hit a brick wall and no individual or group of individuals should border to consider the lies that are currently being spun by enemies of Democracy in Nigeria.

Indeed, their case has been further rubbished by their stark ignorance of the facts that the Edo State Deputy Governor is a proud Nigerian, weaned and groomed in Northern Nigeria and is also an integral productive member of the Northern society where he attended his Secondary education and went to higher institution where he later rose to become President of the National Association of the Nigerian Students (NANS).

The same man, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, who had all his formal education in the North also worked in Northern Nigeria where he started his trade Union activism and was one of the foremost trade unionists fighting for the welfare of Nigerians workers across ethnic divides and most especially Northern workers, before his people called him to come home and take up the responsibility to represent them both in the State House of Assembly and later, at the National Assembly.

It is therefore quite preposterous to imagine that Comrade Philip Shaibu, an admirably detribalized Nigerian, whose defining passion is his believe in one Nigeria and who has unshakable confidence in the human resources capacity of the North, where he spent the better part of his life that made him into the man he has become today, would grant such a spurious interview.

We want to also use this medium to express an urgent need for the SSS, DSS, POLICE and other security agencies in the country, to quickly intervene and track down those behind the said fabricated publication in which the office, position, authority, personality and reputation of the Deputy Governor of Edo has been so impersonated, impugned upon and deployed for felonious purposes.

We once again dissociate His Excellency, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State from this fabricated post/publication and warn that any media House which publishes the said false interview either in print media, electronic or social media, should be ready to defend their actions and get provide their source to the appropriate authorities.

We also wish to caution the faceless personalities behind the false publication with the objective of tarnishing the hard earned reputation of the Edo State Deputy Governor, to not only desist from such actions henceforth or face legal action, but most importantly, to also keep their seccesionist tendencies away from the Edo State Deputy Governor, who is a firm believer in the tide of peaceful co-existence and Democracy and will resist any attempts by the enemies of Democracy by pushing back by their discordsnt winds of secession and promotion of ethnic hatred.

The Edo Deputy Governor will forever stand for the unity of the Nation as a law abiding citizen, a man of deep conviction in due process, equity and fairness and a decent, detribalized, principled Nigerian.

 

Signed

HON. JIMOH IJEGBAI
Chief of Staff Office of the Deputy Governor of Edo State.

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