Edo Governor Obaseki Allegedly Gives Deputy Shaibu Ultimatum: Drop Governorship Ambition or Face Exclusion
In a recent turn of events in Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki is said to have issued an ultimatum to his deputy, Philip Shaibu.
The alleged ultimatum requires Shaibu to publicly abandon his ambition to run for the 2024 state governorship election or face exclusion from all government activities, including state Executive Council meetings.
Political Discord Between Governor and Deputy
The governor, hailing from Edo South Senatorial district, and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, from Edo North, have reportedly found themselves at odds over the latter’s gubernatorial aspirations.
Obaseki is said to be in favor of Asue Ighodalo, a lawyer from Edo Central and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Alaghodaro, an annual investment drive by the state government.
Deputy Shaibu’s Firm Stand
Despite the pressure, Deputy Governor Shaibu has remained resolute in his intention to participate in the upcoming governorship election.
Exclusion and Retreat in Lagos
According to reports by The Nation, Governor Obaseki conducted the state’s weekly executive council meeting/retreat in Lagos without the presence of Deputy Shaibu.
It is alleged that the governor intentionally sent his deputy to Abuja during this time to keep him away from the crucial meeting.
The two-day retreat, designed for newly-appointed Edo commissioners and other high-ranking government officials, was themed “Exco Retreat with Mr. Governor.”
This annual event serves as a platform for strategic planning, where government programs are discussed and agendas are set for the upcoming year.
Warning to Deputy Shaibu
During the retreat, Governor Obaseki reportedly delivered a stern message to his cabinet members.
He warned that if Deputy Shaibu dared to participate in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries, his security vote would be halted, and he would be excluded from government activities.
Covert Actions to Exclude Deputy
Sources suggest that Obaseki sent Deputy Shaibu to represent him at two events in Abuja while holding the executive council meeting in Lagos.
The decision to withhold information about the change in meeting day and location was deliberate.
This covert approach aimed to ensure that even if Shaibu returned to Benin City from his Abuja assignments, he would not be able to attend the Lagos meeting.
It is believed that Governor Obaseki’s actions are tied to his desire for Deputy Shaibu to meet specific conditions for reconciliation.
One of these conditions reportedly includes a public renouncement of his governorship ambition to align with Obaseki’s choice of Asue Ighodalo as his successor.
The unfolding political drama in Edo State underscores the tensions and divisions within the ruling party and sets the stage for a complex gubernatorial race in 2024.