The Boy Who Cried Wolf: Philip Shaibu and Power of Paranoia – Sunny Osagie

The Boy Who Cried Wolf: Philip Shaibu and the Power of Paranoia, by Sunny Osagie


In the realm of governance and leadership, one would expect an appreciable level of wisdom, maturity and selflessness. These values often steer a leader’s hand in the pursuit of the common good, which is the ultimate goal of political office. Yet in Edo State, Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, appears to have turned away from these principles, embodying instead, an unsettling combination of entitlement, immaturity and senseless paranoia.

Or else, how do you explain his puerile gimmick of seeking remedy when there is no ailment?

Of attempting to foment trouble where none exists? His recent rush to the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking a restraining order to stop an imaginary impeachment, is emblematic of his infantile understanding of power dynamics and political strategy. It is akin to the tale of the boy who cried wolf, calling for attention, fabricating danger where none exists, all in the bid to hug the spotlight.

These issues transcend political theatre; they strike at the heart of leadership itself. Leadership requires humility, vision, understanding and empathy, especially at times like these, where citizens are battling hard for survival. It requires the ability to see beyond oneself and one’s ambitions and to put the people first. These qualities appear to be notably absent in Mr. Shaibu.

The good governance of a state relies on leaders who not only understand the mechanics of politics but who also possess the character to guide their decisions with wisdom and integrity.

Philip Shaibu’s actions and behaviour suggest a man led more by self-interest and fear than by an earnest desire to serve. Why should he be insisting in these harsh economic climes to succeed the governor by all means necessary? How can that be his preoccupation in today’s Nigeria? Moreover, what makes him feel entitled to this position more than any other person or administrative region in the state?

In an era where political turmoil and distrust are rampant, the people of Edo State deserve leaders who embody the principles of fairness, respect for the rule of law, and responsibility.

They deserve leaders who are guided by a genuine concern for the welfare of all, not the whims of entitlement and arrogance.

In the story that inspired the title of this opinion, the cries of the petulant boy eventually led to a loss of trust, a fracture in the social contract between the crier and the community. Mr. Shaibu would do well to heed the lesson in that tale. His cries, his actions, and his very approach to leadership are all sounding alarms to the Edo people who are listening to the echoes of his paranoia and entitlement.

When the time comes, we will prove to him, like we have proved to so many, that we want leaders who understand that governance is not child’s play, and it is certainly not a birthright.

It is a solemn duty, and those who seek to fulfil it must prove themselves worthy of the trust it entails. Philip Shaibu’s recent actions have cast serious doubt on his ability to do so.

*Sunny Osagie writes from Benin City.

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