Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has raised concerns about his deputy, Philip Shaibu, allegedly plotting to unseat him from his position.
During a conversation with stakeholders, captured in a video broadcasted by AIT on Friday, the governor expressed his belief that Shaibu has been actively pursuing aspirations to take over the governorship in the upcoming 2024 Edo gubernatorial election.
“He (Shaibu) went to Abuja and was boasting that he has connections in Abuja, that he has people in the national assembly, that they are all with the president now, that they will take care of him,” Obaseki said.
“That if he cannot get the ticket in PDP, he knows what to do.
I kept quiet and said I thought we were together. But what struck me, and I have never said this to anybody, is that after I proclaimed the house of assembly, we were now going to elect officers.
“He was in Abuja, he came back that day. I am the chief security officer of this state. I get any information I need. But I have that responsibility to keep quiet and use the information properly.
“My deputy called the leader in APC, telling that leader that during the elections on the next day, particularly the speaker of the house of assembly that he has five members who are loyal to him and that he would like the seven members of APC to work with his five members of PDP to produce the next speaker.
As far as I am concerned, that was not working in our common interest.
“Why would the deputy governor seek to have another speakership candidate outside of what the governor wants? Are we working together?
“That was when I knew we had a problem. That the deputy governor has become so desperate to take over that he would do anything, including carrying out a coup, against his governor.
“How can you say you are loyal and you will do such a thing?”
Obaseki said he has repeatedly told Shaibu to keep his governorship ambition in check because there is still a lot of work to be done before next year’s transition.
Recall that, On July 28, Shaibu approached a federal high court in Abuja with a suit to prevent an alleged impeachment plot against him.
In the suit, the inspector-general of police, state security service, governor of Edo, speaker of Edo state house of assembly, and chief judge of Edo state, were listed as first to fifth defendants, respectively.
The deputy governor asked the court to restrain the governor, the speaker of the state assembly, and the chief judge, from “initiating impeachment proceedings or sanctioning any impeachment” against him.
Shaibu accused the governor of preventing him from performing his constitutional duties.
Reacting to the suit, Obaseki alleged that the court action taken by Shaibu was a preemptive move ahead of his defection to the APC.
The Edo governor said there is no plan to impeach his deputy, while alleging that Shaibu has been actively engaging with members of the APC at the national and state levels to negotiate his way into the ruling party.
On August 4, the court restrained Obaseki, the speaker, and other parties in the suit from initiating impeachment moves against Shaibu.
On Thursday, the court restated that parties in a suit filed by Shaibu should maintain the status quo, pending the next hearing date.