Philip Shaibu: Impeachment a Threat to Democracy

Philip Shaibu, the impeached Deputy Governor of Edo State, has condemned his removal from office as a grave threat to Nigeria’s democracy, decrying it as a “flagrant abuse of power” orchestrated by the Edo State House of Assembly.
In a statement following his impeachment, Shaibu asserted that the move was not merely an attack on his person but a direct assault on the fundamental principles of democracy.
He characterized the impeachment as a perilous slide towards dictatorship and a profound challenge to the democratic values upheld by the nation.
Expressing his dismay over the events leading to his removal, Shaibu attributed the impeachment to his aspiration to contest the 2024 governorship election in Edo State under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He emphasized that such political ambitions are constitutionally guaranteed rights afforded to all Nigerian citizens.
“This is not just an attack on me as an individual but on the democracy that we hold dear,” he said.
“It is a dangerous descent into dictatorship and a threat to the foundation of our democracy. Let it be clear that this impeachment was hatched because of my ambition to contest the Edo State 2024 governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. An ambition that is a legal right to all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The impeachment of Shaibu by the Edo State Assembly on Monday culminated in a protracted political feud between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, spanning several months.
The decision to impeach Shaibu came following the adoption of a report by a committee tasked with investigating allegations of misconduct leveled against him.
The committee’s findings, which implicated Shaibu in the sharing of state secrets, served as the basis for his impeachment, according to the Edo State Assembly.
Shaibu’s removal from office has ignited discussions about the state of democracy in Nigeria and the autonomy of state institutions in upholding democratic norms.
Critics argue that the impeachment represents a troubling trend of political power play and underscores the need for robust safeguards to protect democratic principles.
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