The dispute between Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Philip Shaibu reached new heights on Sunday at a church service to commemorate the state’s 32nd anniversary.
While Obaseki was seated at the Festival Hall, Edo Government House, Shaibu attempted to meet him to exchange pleasantries but was immediately accosted by security aides.
Obaseki’s chief press secretary Andrew Okungbowa said the governor did not order his aides to block Shaibu from meeting him.
“Whatever happened at the Church service was not at the behest of the Governor, neither was he aware what the security aides were going; in fact the security aides were doing their job. Besides, the governor was not aware that the deputy was coming to greet him.
“The church is a public event, so the security aides had a duty to safeguard their principal,” he said.
Addressing journalists shortly after the ceremony, Shaibu reaffirmed his loyalty to his boss whom he described as his elder brother.
Shaibu said whatever disagreement he might have with his boss was strictly a family affair.
“Issues that concern my governor are not what I discuss on camera. He (Obaseki) is my elder brother and boss. If I have any issues with him, I think it is better to settle at home, not in the media. Family problems are better resolved in a family way,” he said.
“I am well brought up, and from my Christian background, when you take a vow (with God), you must fulfil it. The vow I have taken with God is that I will continue to support Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo State from the beginning to the end.
“But that doesn’t stop any other thing that has to do with ambition. Ambition is personal. Ambition does not affect loyalty. My loyalty to the governor remains absolute. I am also in solidarity with the governor and declaring my unalloyed loyalty to the governor and nothing more.”
Shaibu and Obaseki fell out after the former met with the latter’s political foe Adams Oshiomhole over his ambition to become governor at the end of Obaseki’s tenure.