Obaseki-Shaibu feud gets messier as governor sacks deputy’s media aides
The feud between Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, appears to have gotten messier with the governor sacking all the deputy governor’s media aides.
In the beginning
Mr Shaibu had, earlier on Monday, staged a walk-out during a colloquium in the state after his media aides and security details were denied entry.
The colloquium was organised by the state government to mark the 60th anniversary of the Midwest Referendum at Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub and Soundstage in the state.
A video clip posted by Arise TV showed how Mr Shaibu’s aides were blocked from entering the venue.
In the clip, Mr Shaibu was seen walking into the venue in the company of the aides when they were stopped at an entrance by officials of the Edo State Government, who insisted that only the deputy would be allowed entry.
“They must go with me,” Mr Shaibu was heard telling the officials.
The event was ongoing at the time of the brawl at the entrance.
“Just hold on, let me get instruction,” one of the officials was heard telling the deputy governor.
The official was seen beckoning an unidentified chief security officer, before being filmed trying to make a phone call.
Apparently angered by the delay to allow them entry, Mr Shaibu led his aides to stage the walkout.
In a statement on Monday, Chris Nehikhare, the commissioner for information in Edo State said the state government has “disbanded” the media crew of the deputy governor apparently because of the walk-out.
Mr Nehikhare said the government has directed that Mr Shaibu should henceforth request the Ministry of Communication and Orientation for media coverage of activities of his office.
The commissioner claimed that the deputy governor’s media crew attempted “to force their way into” the event venue where Governor Obaseki and other invited dignitaries were already seated.
“This act was contrary to the accreditation protocol that had been established for media coverage of the event,” he said.
He said the “orchestrated and stage-managed walkout and disruption” was “highly regrettable.”
There has been a face-off between Messrs Obaseki and Shaibu after the deputy governor asked a court to stop an alleged plot by the governor to remove him from office.
Mr Obaseki has since denied the allegation and, subsequently accused Mr Shaibu of manipulating the youth council election in Edo State because of his (Shaibu’s) interest to contest for the 2024 governorship election in the state.
The governor and his deputy had been political allies for several years.
In their days in the All Progressives Congress (APC), during the intense political fights between Mr Obaseki and his erstwhile benefactor, Adams Oshiomhole, Mr Shaibu stood solidly behind Governor Obaseki.
Mr Oshiomhole, who was the APC national chairman then, blocked Mr Obaseki from getting the APC governorship ticket for his reelection bid, forcing him to move to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Shaibu moved with the governor to the PDP, and both of them got a joint ticket and defeated the APC governorship candidate, Ize-Iyamu Osagie, to win the election.
But following the worsening feud between them, Governor Obaseki, earlier this month, toldMr Shaibu, that the “emilokan spirit” was unacceptable in the state’s politics and would not work in the 2024 governorship election in the state.
Emilokan, a Yoruba word that means “it is my turn,” was made popularby President Bola Tinubu during his campaign for the 2023 election.
The ideology behind the expression as used then by Mr Tinubu was that he had worked for President Muhammadu Buhari to become the first opposition leader to be elected Nigerian president, and therefore it was his (Tinubu’s) turn to be president after Mr Buhari.
By bringing up the emilokan, Governor Obaseki was apparently telling Mr Shaibu not to feel that he is entitled to succeed him because he (Shaibu) had worked and supported him (Obaseki) during his political battles.
Credit to: premiumtimesng.com