Tension in Edo, Obaseki locks deputy out of govt house

Obaseki and Shaibu

* Shaibu insists governor lacks power to relocate his office

By Jethro Ibileke

There is palpable tension in the Edo State Government House, as the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, was locked out of his office located in the Dennis Osadebe Avenue Government House.

It was gathered that when Shaibu arrived with his aides, the gate to the main entrance leading to the storey building was locked with chains and heavy padlocks.

It was further gathered that frantic calls made by the embattled deputy governor to reach the Governor failed.

Sources revealed that Shaibu had some discussions with the state Commissioner of Police and the State Director of State Security Services,  DSS alerting them of how he was locked out from his office.

The sources further revealed that Shaibu summoned the Government House Camp Commandant, SP Ibrahim Babatunde, and asked him why he was locked out of his office.

Babatunde was said to have told the deputy governor that it was a directive from above adding that the CSO of Government House, Williams Wabba, would be in a better position to explain.

Shaibu was said to have put calls to Wabba Williams promising to come, but never came all through the waiting of Shaibu.

Shaibu who was said to have waited for about an hour however left with his aide.

Meanwhile, the Edo deputy governor has dared his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, as he refused to move to the new office assigned to him by the state government.

It would be recalled that the Office of the Deputy Governor was, few weeks ago, relocated to a new location within the GRA, in Benin City.

The staff of the Deputy Governor’s Office have already moved to the new office site.

Shaibu has however insists that the relocation was only for civil servants within his office, noting that the governor lacks the power to relocate his office outside the Government House.

A source close to the deputy governor who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Shaibu has vowed to fight the governor with everything he has got, insisting that as a deputy, he contested on a joint ticket with the governor and holds equal rights as an elected official.

The source added that the deputy governor has threatened to make the State ungovernable for the governor and may stir crisis in the State if nothing is immediately done to salvage the situation.

“The deputy governor has vowed not to leave his office in Government House within the Dennis Osadebey Avenue, in the GRA axis, of Benin City, to a new location no matter what the governor does. He insisted that the governor lacks the power to relocate his office outside the Government House as they ran on a joint ticket and have equal rights.

“He has dared the governor to do his worse as no one will stop him from accessing his office. We just pray that this doesn’t escalate further because the deputy governor is threatening to make the State ungovernable for his principal,” the source alleged.

The relationship between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu went sour following a court injunction obtained by Shaibu from an Abuja High Court, stopping Obaseki from impeaching him.

Shaibu however withdrew the case, following intervention by some prominent citizens in the state, including religious leaders who brokered peace between the two camps.