Embattled deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, caved in to superior authority yesterday, as he begged his principal, Governor Godwin Obakeki, for forgiveness over their political differences.
Shaibu, who disclosed this shortly after his investiture by Catholic Men Organisation Nigeria, Edo State, at his GRA residence in Benin City, asked Governor Obaseki to forgive and forget.
Speaking with journalists, he announced that he has relocated to his new office in accordance with the governor’s directive, adding however that there is still some work remaining to be done in his new office located at No 7 Osadebey’s Avenue.
On Monday, Shaibu was locked out of his office on the instructions of Governor Obaseki, a development that further deepened the crisis between the governor and his deputy.
When asked if he has resumed in his new office, the embattled deputy said, “We have resumed but there is still a lot of work to be done there. There is no problem about it. The governor has asked us to go there. Like I have always tried to prove, I am a loyal servant and nothing has changed.
“I took a personal vow to support my governor and you can see my Catholic people are here. When I take a vow with God nothing can change it, and I wish that the relationship that we have and I pray in the next few days and weeks it will come back.
“I’m missing my governor and by the grace of God, God will touch the governor’s heart and touch all of us and even those that are between us. I mean well; if there is any mistake I have made as human, it is not out of wickedness because I know I’m not wicked. I have a very clean heart.
“I want to use this medium to appeal to Mr Governor that if there is anything I don’t know that I have done, please forgive me, so that we can develop our state together. My Governor, I’m sorry and I need us to work together,” he pleaded.
Meanwhile, the chief press secretary (CPS) to Governor Obaseki, Andrew Okungbowa, has refuted a viral online report suggesting that the office of the deputy governor in Government House has been allocated as Alaghodaro Secretariat.
Alaghodaro is an investment drive initiative of the Edo State government under the chairmanship of Asuen Ighodalo, the chairman of the Board of Sterling Bank.
He is speculated to be the preferred successor to Godwin Obaseki in 2024.
The viral online had published that the one storey building has been re-allocated contrary to Governor Obaseki’s claim of renovating the deputy governor’s office.
The said report quoted a leaked memo dated September 18, 2023, in which “the Edo Governor asked the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie, to “immediately” allocate the deputy governor’s office building to the trustees of Alaghodaro summit as their secretariat”.
But in a swift reaction, the CPS to Governor Obaseki described the report as untrue.
When contacted, he said, “The deputy governor is just trying to create unnecessary diversion and that is why we don’t want to engage him. You people should understand that has been a drama king since July. Does the governor not have the Executive power to allocate offices to anything he wants? He is the governor.
“This is all about politics and we don’t have time for politics for now, our concern is governance. However, there is no truth to all that. It is just an attempt to continue to ferment trouble in the state. There is no element of truth in it and you can come and verify for yourself.”