Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has dismissed rumours of a plan to impeach his deputy, Rt Hon. Philip Shaibu.
During a press briefing in Benin City, the governor explained that Shaibu’s move to seek a court order to halt his supposed impeachment was preemptive, ahead of his anticipated shift to the All Progressives Congress (APC) party.
Addressing reporters during a visit by Edo North leaders, Obaseki revealed that Shaibu had been actively engaging with influential figures at both the national and state levels of the APC. He stated that Shaibu was on the brink of finalizing his transition to the APC.
Nevertheless, Obaseki pointed out that Shaibu’s legal action to stop his alleged impeachment was unexpected and disappointing. Obaseki emphasized that he had provided Shaibu with significant latitude to carry out his duties as deputy governor and was taken aback by the court action.
Obaseki further clarified the events of the past few weeks, suggesting that Shaibu’s actions were part of his plan to conclude a trajectory he had embarked upon. Obaseki reminded those from Akoko-Edo about the prior dispute over local government chairman candidates. He acknowledged the local leaders’ opposition to the APC leader’s son being recommended as the local government chairman and supported their viewpoint.
“It’s clear what has happened in the last few weeks. It is a preemptive move for him to conclude what he has started. Those of you from Akoko-Edo can recall that when we were discussing the issue of your local government chairman and that of Owan, there was a lot of resistance from you on the candidates he wanted to impose on you. I listened to your entreaties and thought that what you were recommending was fair. How can he be recommending the son of an APC leader in that local government? You resisted and I saw reason and acceded to your request.” Obaseki noted.
However, Obaseki highlighted that shortly after acquiescing to their request, he learned that Shaibu had travelled to Abuja and was seen associating with the opposition party. The governor disclosed that he had heard reports for several months that Shaibu had been consulting with members of another party due to uncertainties surrounding the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) giving him the governorship ticket for the 2024 election.
“The next day, I saw on social media that he was in Abuja with the opposition party. I have heard for months now that he has been in closed consultation with friends from another party because he was not sure that you, the leaders of PDP, will give him the ticket as governor in 2024” he revealed
Amid these developments, leaders from the Edo North Senatorial District distanced themselves from Shaibu’s gubernatorial aspirations. They cautioned the deputy governor against exacerbating the state’s crisis.
Also, Governor Obaseki reiterated that he was not privy to any plot to impeach Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu. He described Shaibu’s legal action as shocking, considering the trust and freedom he had extended to his deputy. Obaseki’s account of events sought to provide clarity on the situation while shedding light on the political dynamics at play.