The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Monday, stated that there was no plan to impeach his deputy, Philip Shaibu.
The governor, however, noted that the move by Shaibu seeking a court order to stop his purported impeachment was preemptive ahead of his alleged plan to defect to the All Progressives Congress.
The governor, while briefing journalists in Benin City during a visit by the Edo North leaders, 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, adding that he was on the verge of finalising moves to defect to the APC.
Obaseki said, “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.”
Obaseki said Shaibu never discussed his governorship ambition with him.
“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.”
Obaseki said he was not angry “but naturally I should be disappointed.”
Meanwhile, at the state Assenbly on Monday no mention was made of the alleged impeachment move against Shaibu.
The lawmakers adjourned the plenary till next Monday, August 14.
But an Edo North group, led by a former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Kabiru Adjoto, addressed journalists on Monday, accusing Shaibu of embarrassing the people of the zone.
Adjoto said the group could not keep quiet on the current political happenings in the state expressing disbelief over the imbroglio.
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 behaviour 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, immunisation, to mention but a few, which has earned him a 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 apologise to the governor of the state for this unfortunate incident.”
When contacted for reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to the deputy governor, Musa Ebomhiana, said he was on medical leave and could not comment on the matter.