Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said his deputy, Philip Shaibu, is desperate to become the next governor of the state and will explore every possible means to achieve his desperate ambition, including ousting him through a coup.
Obaseki said this during a meeting with elders and leaders from the Etsako West, East and Central local government areas of the state in Jattu, Etsako West, as part of campaigns for the September 2, 2023, local government election.
“My deputy governor has become so desperate to take over and he is ready to do anything, including carrying out a coup d’etat, to ensure he kicks me out and becomes the governor of Edo State,” the governor said.
Obaseki, who expressed shock and disappointment over the recent actions of his deputy, said, “What struck me was his action after the proclamation of the Edo State House of Assembly and preparing to elect officers in the House. He was in Abuja and came back that day.
“I am the chief security officer of the state, I get any information I need but keep quiet about it and use that information quietly. My deputy called a leader in the APC telling him that during the election of the Speaker of the House of Assembly the next day, he had five loyal members and that he would like the seven members of the APC in the House to work with him to produce the Speaker.”
He added, “I called the PDP members to my house to familiarise myself with them following this information. Shaibu tried to barge in. I said you can’t come into my house. It’s my private house, not even the Government House. You have to have courtesy, but now it’s my prerogative to allow you in or out.
“After hearing what he did, I didn’t allow him to come in. The next day, we went to the House and he came and we elected our Speaker. What he did is not working in the interest of the party. How can he have a different candidate aside from what the governor wants?”
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the deputy governor, Musa Ebomhiana, said he could not comment on the matter.
But the governor further said he was open to his deputy and allowed him to take charge in his absence.
He said, “In anything I am doing, I am open to the SSG and my deputy and give them responsibility. When I went on vacation I handed over power to my deputy. He called me while on vacation on some issues but I told him that he is in charge, urging him to go ahead and make mistakes. When I am back, we will correct it together.”
Obaseki also blamed his deputy for mismanaging politics in Edo North which he said caused the party not to elect any member from the area into the House of Assembly.
He said, “Today, PDP doesn’t have one member in the House of Assembly from Etsako, and this has never happened before. In my background, if you are given responsibility and you fail, we change you immediately but I didn’t do that.
Noting that the deputy governor never discussed his governorship ambition with him, Obaseki said, “I took an interest in the local government elections so that we can consolidate and unify our party. Issues were out during the nomination and everywhere I went there were already camps for the deputy governor. but I told him I have not finished my term as governor, he should allow me to finish but he has never come to me to tell me he wants to contest.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Labour Party in Edo State, Kelly Ogbaloi, on Friday said the party would welcome the embattled deputy governor if he decided to defect from the PDP.
Ogbaloi said, “If Philip Shaibu is coming to our party he will not be coming as deputy governor but as an individual like any other person. The doors are open to anybody who wants to come in to contest the election.”