Shaibu Restricted From Entering Office In Edo Govt House

The ongoing feud between Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and his deputy, Rt. Hon Philip Shaibu, escalated on Monday when Shaibu was refused entry to his government house office, citing directives from above.

The confrontation involving the deputy governor and government house security personnel generated tension, prompting security officials to refuse entry to anyone unable to adequately identify themselves.

The altercation started at about 8:00 AM when Shaibu, accompanied by his personal aides and security detail, drove into the government house and discovered the entrance gate to his office locked.

An eyewitness with the deputy governor said ‘The gate to the office of the Deputy Governor and the main entrance leading to the story building was locked with chains and heavy padlocks.’

‘Shaibu and his aides waited for about an hour and left.’

Reports have it that Shaibu, in a bid to contact the Governor, made several urgent phone calls without success. Consequently, he engaged in conversations with the State Commissioner of Police and the State Director of the Department of State Security Services (DSS), briefing them on his office access issue.

It was also noted that he called on Ibrahim Babatunde, the Superintendent of Police holding the position of Government House Camp Commandant, and inquired as to why his office had been locked.

Read also: Deputy Gov’s Office Relocated As Obaseki, Shaibu Rift Deepens

It was stated that Babatunde relayed to the deputy governor that the directive to lock his office had been handed down from higher authorities and suggested that Williams Wabba, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the Government House, might be able to offer a more comprehensive explanation.

While the deputy governor and those accompanying him were on the government house premises, it was still unknown whether Williams had acknowledged his attempts at communication.

However, an online report currently making waves, purportedly shared by those aligned with Governor Obaseki, claims that Shaibu attempted to enter the governor’s office, even after being informed that the governor was not present.

The report said that all entreaties by the security operatives to him to ‘kindy go back and call the governor if he wanted to see his principal were rebuffed. Instead, he kept pushing the gate, causing a scene.’

An aide to Obaseki who pled anonymity noted that the deputy governor only came to the government house to cause problems.

‘He only came to make trouble. There is nothing like him being locked out of his office, his office has been relocated over two weeks ago and he himself carried the story about that. He has an office and he relocated there and sent the story out so you people should ask him why did he come to government house today to make trouble? He was forcing himself into an office that is not his own. He came here to make trouble. His office is there, if he had gone there and he was locked out then it will be an issue, he came to government house purposely to come and cause trouble’

It’s worth remembering that as the altercation grew stronger between the two, Obaseki moved the office of the deputy governor outside government to No 7 Dennis Osadebey Avenue and the civil servants in the office of the deputy governor last week officially relocated to the new building that once provided quarters for the Edo State Procurement Agency.

The dispute between the two came into public view about two months ago when Shaibu initiated legal action by filing a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja. This legal action aimed to prevent what he alleged was a plan to obstruct his functions as the deputy governor, including exclusion from executive council meetings and the potential threat of impeachment.

However, just last week, Shaibu released a statement in which he announced the withdrawal of the lawsuit. This decision came about due to the intervention of traditional and religious leaders, with special mention of the Catholic Archbishop of Benin, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze.

Africa Today News, New York

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