Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has denied any knowledge of plans to impeach his deputy, Philip Shaibu. Speculation arose that Shaibu would be impeached for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities. Obaseki called Shaibu’s court order to stop the supposed impeachment a shock and disappointment. He accused Shaibu of planning to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and actively engaging with senior APC members in preparation for a gubernatorial run. Obaseki emphasized that he was not aware of any plot to impeach Shaibu and criticized the move as unfair and detrimental to their party.
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has denied knowledge of any plans to impeach his deputy, Philip Shaibu.
Governor Obaseki made this known in a statement issued on Monday amidst speculations that Philip Shaibu would be impeached soon for allegedly involving in some anti-party activities.
The deputy governor is said to have sought a court order in a bid to stop his purported impeachment – an action Governor Obaseki describes as a shock and disappointment to him and his party.
Governor Obaseki, in a statement, noted that Shaibu’s prayer to the court was preemptive ahead of his alleged plan to defect to the All Progressives Congress as the deputy governor nurtures a plan to run for governor of the state in the next general elections.
He alleged that the deputy governor had been actively engaging with senior actors both at the national and state level of the APC, negotiating his way into their party, according to reports.
Obaseki, who spoke to journalists in Benin City during a visit by the Edo North leaders, added that Shaibu never discussed his governorship ambition with him and that the deputy governor was already on the verge of finalizing moves to defect to the APC.
In his words, “Let me put it on record that I am not aware of any plot or any scheme to impeach the Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu. I have also checked, and there was no such plan.
“So, the court action taken, for me, is a thing of shock and disappointment. I am trying to reflect on the move made by somebody that I have given a broad latitude to do his work as deputy governor. So, for him to take this kind of action is shocking.”
“The last time we spoke of my successor after the House of Assembly election, I did say that we should be patient and that our task is to try and finish well and conclude all our projects we started. It’s only when we do this right that we will have the support of the people for my successor.
“I believe that this action by him is a preemptive move to get a court order, keep his ticket, and move to another party. I think it’s unfair for our party. We don’t need this sort of crisis. I have been getting calls all over the world, and it’s rather sad that somebody who is part of an administration will do this to the administration because of his personal ambition.”
Meanwhile, a close watch on the state Assembly on Monday revealed that no mention was made regarding the alleged move to impeach the deputy governor, Shaibu.
While lawmakers adjourned plenary till next Monday, August 14, an Edo North group, led by a former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Kabiru Adjoto, accused Shaibu of embarrassing the people of the zone.
Adjoto made this known while addressing journalists in Benin City on Monday.
He said, “We have watched in utter disbelief the self-contrived rift between our governor, Godwin Obaseki, and our son, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu. Afemai people are a very hard-working, patriotic, and loyal race.
“We recall that our two distinguished sons, who are former deputy governors, Reverend Peter Obadan and Mike Oghiadomhe, cooperated with their bosses and demonstrated the loyalty that the Afemai race is known for.
“We are surprised and embarrassed by the behavior of Deputy Governor Shaibu in his ill-advised mission to govern the state by all means.
“Mr. Godwin Obaseki has been magnanimous more than any governor in Nigeria and has saddled our son, the Deputy Governor, with the highest number of responsibilities, ranging from sports, internal revenue, boundary committee, immunization, to mention but a few, which has earned him the name ‘the busiest Deputy Governor in Nigeria’.
“The court action is not only speculative but baseless and highly embarrassing. We are coming out today to disassociate the Afemai people from this ill-conceived action and to also apologize to the governor of the state for this unfortunate incident.”
Meanwhile, journalists’ attempt to reach the deputy governor for a reaction proved futile as his Chief Press Secretary, Musa Ebomhiana, said he was on medical leave and could not comment on the matter.