In a display of unwavering allegiance, Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, has reaffirmed his commitment to Governor Godwin Obaseki amidst recent periods of tension. Shaibu underlined the significance of loyalty beyond personal aspirations, underscoring the robustness of their relationship.
Speaking at the 32nd anniversary celebration of Edo State held at the New Festival Hall within the Government House in Benin City, Edo State, Shaibu described the governor as akin to an elder brother. This gesture comes after several weeks of disagreement between the governor and his deputy. The deputy had taken legal action by obtaining an injunction from a Federal High Court in Abuja to halt alleged plots by the governor and state assembly to impeach him.
He stated, “My unwavering loyalty to the governor remains steadfast. I observe that many are expressing their solidarity, and I am equally standing in solidarity with the governor. I reiterate my undivided loyalty to the governor and nothing else.”
“Regarding the recent matters that have been circulating while I was away, particularly concerning the governor, I prefer not to delve into them. He holds the position of my elder brother and superior, and it’s my belief that such matters should be resolved privately rather than through the media. I adhere to the values I was raised with.”
“I can confidently affirm that based on my Christian principles, when you make a commitment before God, it is your duty to fulfill it. I made a commitment to support Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo State from the outset until the conclusion of his term. However, this commitment doesn’t hinder personal ambitions. Ambition is a personal pursuit and does not compromise loyalty. My unwavering loyalty to the governor stands strong. As others express their solidarity, I too stand in solidarity with the governor. I unequivocally affirm my unwavering solidarity and loyalty to the governor, and nothing more.”
In response, Governor Obaseki expressed astonishment at his deputy’s actions and accused him of attempting a power grab. It’s noteworthy that Obaseki had previously accused Shaibu of harboring intentions to succeed him at any cost, preceding the upcoming state governorship election set for 2024.
Addressing the stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party on August 11, Obaseki noted, “The constitution designates me as the governor of Edo State and does not entertain the concept of co-governorship.”
“My primary focus has been to unify and strengthen our party, which is why I took charge of overseeing the local government election. He has never approached me to discuss his candidacy. He only mentioned that he is consulting.”
Earlier, it was reported that Shaibu had approached the court to secure protection from purported attempts by Obaseki to initiate his impeachment and removal from office.