26th September, 2023
By Jethro Ibileke
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has reportedly given a stringent condition before he could accept the public apology recently tendered by his Deputy, Philip Shaibu over the existing rift between them.
Recall that Shaibu had publicly apologized to the Governor over their face-off that culminated in his being driven out of his office on the order of the Governor.
Obaseki who returned from his annual vacation abroad over the weekend, was quoted as saying that he would have no business with the embattled deputy governor until he proves absolute loyalty to him by publicly renouncing his gubernatorial ambition
While still away, he was said to have instructed all members of Exco to assemble in Lagos for a two-day meeting termed “Exco retreat with Mr Governor”.
The deputy governor was neither informed nor invited to the meeting held between Saturday and Sunday last week.
The sources further confirmed that the State Executive Council meeting for this week took place in Lagos today, Monday the 25th.
The invitation for the meeting was extended to all Exco members with the exception of the Deputy Governor.
It was further gathered that Obaseki threatened to withdraw Shaibu’s security vote and also exclude him from all government activities, including Exco meetings if he dares to participate in the forthcoming primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
To avoid public criticism, the Governor was said to have told his handlers to fix an Exco seminar a day before the meeting to enable third parties to attend, so that it would not be considered a formal but emergency Exco meeting.
Also invited to the meeting was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Alaghodaro, Asue Ighodalo, who is the Governor’s anointed candidate for next year’s governorship election.
“It is expected that the Governor will unveil and introduce his successor to all Exco members in Lagos this week,” a source who attended the seminar was quoted to have said.
Effort to get official confirmation on the Exco meeting held in Lagos failed, as no aide of the Governor was willing to comment.
Meanwhile, the Governor had also held similar meeting with the 24 members of the State House of Assembly a fortnight ago in far away Rwanda.
A source at the Assembly who did not want to be named confirmed the Rwanda retreat to our correspondent.