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Genesis of problem between me and my deputy — Gov Obaseki opens up
Politics

Genesis of problem between me and my deputy — Gov Obaseki opens up

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has opened up on the brewing crisis between him and the Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu. Speaking at meeting with the elders and leaders of

  • PublishedAugust 12, 2023

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has opened up on the brewing crisis between him and the Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu.

Speaking at meeting with the elders and leaders of the party from Etsako, in Edo North weekend, Governor Obaseki said his deputy’s actions amounted to a coup and an attempt to forcefully remove him from office
Excerpts:

Will you say that you are shocked by the unfolding drama between you and your deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu?
If I tell you that what happened in the last few weeks have not been a shock to me, I will be lying, because I never expected that we will find ourselves in this sort of situation again. You have heard my deputy say many times that he escorted me to PDP, and you know that we have had challenges in terms of integrating into the PDP platform like you will have in any marriage. But since we started, because of my background, I said look, you have to learn to give people responsibility.

Because what is important is to build institutions, not individuals as individuals will come and go but institutions will remain. That is why in anything we are doing, I call the deputy governor, call the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) saying this is what I am doing just in case of tomorrow. When I’m not able to do something, I say please go and do this. When I’m going on vacation, I say I hand over power to you.

The first time, he called me when I was on vacation and said “what do I do sir? I said “you are in charge, make your mistakes, when I come I will correct it. Because, I’m an individual, God forbid if I didn’t come back from that journey, will Edo not continue. This power is not my own, God put me there.

Why did you give that broad latitude to your deputy when in most states across the country the reverse is the case?

The way we operated was as it should be. That is to say government must continue, everybody must know what we are doing, everybody must know what each person is doing. And you can only do that if there is absolute trust, that the person will not go back and say or do something else. That is how we ran Edo, through all the crisis we have had in the last seven years. But you cannot continue to live in crisis, you must at some point look for peace.

At what point did you think the relationship between you and your deputy governor got sour?

I think it came to a head with the Chairmanship of Akoko Edo. We first had a problem with Owan East, then Akoko Edo, where the people from Akoko Edo said, this is the person we want for chairmanship, but the deputy governor said this is the person that we will give you.

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But I said give the people what they want. I called round, who is the person who can help us put this LG together and run this LG, they said it is this person. When the party chairman asked me, I said give the people what they want. That is democracy.

I did that, and before now, the constitution makes me the Governor of Edo State, and I know the powers of a Governor. The constitution does not provide for a co-governor, does it? It provides for a deputy governor who does and carries out the responsibility the governor gives to him. The constitution does not give him the power of the governor.

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