Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has made serious allegations against his deputy, Philip Shaibu, asserting that Shaibu is aggressively pursuing his own succession as governor in the upcoming 2024 state governorship election.
Obaseki’s concerns about Shaibu’s unwavering desire to occupy the governorship position were articulated during his address to key members of the Peoples Democratic Party.
In a video posted by AIT on Friday, the governor highlighted the ongoing discord between himself and Shaibu.
Obaseki expressed that Shaibu’s determination to secure the governorship in the impending election has resulted in a situation where Shaibu is effectively running a parallel administration.
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The governor firmly emphasized that the state’s constitution designates him as the singular governor, disallowing the concept of a co-governorship.
“My primary focus has been to unify and fortify our party, which is why I supervised the local government election,” Obaseki affirmed. He went on to recount that Shaibu had never engaged him in a direct conversation about his gubernatorial aspirations. Instead, Shaibu indicated he was in the consultation phase.
Obaseki unveiled Shaibu’s claims of political leverage in Abuja, boasting connections within the national assembly and allegiance to the president. Shaibu supposedly conveyed his intent to resort to alternative means if the PDP nomination wasn’t forthcoming.
Delving into the rift’s origin, Obaseki recalled the nomination of commissioners. He revealed that a scheduled meeting to discuss nominees from the local government didn’t see Shaibu’s attendance. The consequence was the absence of a commissioner for Itsako.
Despite this, Obaseki maintained a willingness to accommodate Shaibu’s nominee whenever it was put forward.
Further elucidating the escalating tension, Obaseki recounted an incident after the House of Assembly was inaugurated. Shaibu, who had been absent in Abuja, contacted an APC leader to orchestrate an alliance between a faction of PDP members loyal to him and some APC members. The objective was to secure the speakership, a move that Obaseki found contradictory to their supposed collaboration.
Obaseki scrutinized Shaibu’s actions, questioning the extent of their unity and cooperation. The governor perceived Shaibu’s maneuverings as an indication of his desperation to seize power, even to the extent of potentially orchestrating a political upheaval against his own governor.
“I have repeatedly urged Shaibu to temper his governorship ambitions,” Obaseki disclosed, citing the imperative of focusing on pending tasks before the upcoming transition in the next year.