In a surprising turn of events, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has announced that he is no longer undertaking the responsibility of paying the hospital bills for the players and officials of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) side, Sunshine Stars Football Club of Akure.
This decision comes in the wake of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s assurance to cover the medical expenses incurred by the football team after a harrowing attack.
The Sunshine Stars’ team fell victim to an armed robbery incident while en route to Benin for a scheduled NPFL match against Bendel Insurance. The attack resulted in a ball boy being shot, leaving players and officials traumatized and disoriented.
Deputy Governor Shaibu had initially visited the affected players, vowing to cover their hospital bills. However, Governor Obaseki stepped in and pledged the state government’s support for the injured players and officials, leading to Shaibu’s reconsideration.
In a statement released by Shaibu’s Chief Press Secretary, Ebomhiana Musa, on Sunday evening, it was stated: “Our attention has been drawn to the fact that His Excellency, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has directed that the medical bill of the injured Ball Boy and Kit Manager of Sunshine Stars FC of Akure be paid by Edo State government. Consequently, the state’s Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, has withdrawn his earlier promise to pay the medical bill.”
The statement emphasized that the offices of the Governor and Deputy Governor are unified and not in competition. This development adds a new layer to the already existing tensions between Obaseki and Shaibu, despite purported reconciliations. Notably, Shaibu has expressed his intention to run for the governorship of the state, with Obaseki stating that members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will determine his fate.