Opportunistic politicians fuelling my conflict with Obaseki— Shaibu

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has said the conflict between him and the governor, Governor Godwin Obaseki, was fuelled by opportunistic politicians.

Shaibu said this on Saturday while refuting the claims of allegedly plotting a coup against Obaseki.

He said there is no disagreement between him and his boss, noting that the reports suggesting otherwise are the imagination of the fifth columnist.

This reaction is coming 24 hours after Obaseki openly discussed the conflict with his deputy.

Recall that Obaseki had accused Shaibu of working against his interest, while he described the situation as a “coup” against him.

He leveled the accusation in Jattu, during a meeting with elders and leaders representing Etsako West, East, and Central Local Government Areas within the state.

However, during a meeting with his assistants, Shaibu refuted the claims, labelling them as unfounded.

He asserted that these accusations are ill-intentioned efforts by individuals he referred to as opportunistic politicians, who are determined to misguide the governor.

He said the intention of those responsible for these accusations is to harm his reputation and create conflicts between him and the governor.

Shaibu explained that political jobbers sold the coup dummy to the governor whom he regards as his ‘elder brother’ to incite more crises for personal gain.

He said it is preposterous to contemplate a coup against a man who has given him so much latitude to operate.

While he reiterated his unwavering loyalty to Governor Obaseki and the Peoples Democratic Party, Shaibu said it is a privilege to serve as Obaseki’s deputy for the last seven years.

“Governor Obaseki and I are committed to the continued development of Edo State. We are united in our determination to build a prosperous and inclusive society.

“I call on all well-meaning individuals to reject these divisive narratives and join in the quest to transform Edo State into a model of sustainable development and good governance.

“Edo State PDP politicians should embrace peace and seek unity to fight the common enemy,” one of his aides who was at the meeting quoted him as saying.

“Any insinuation that he harbours ulterior motives or seeks to undermine the governor’s leadership is nothing short of a fabrication.

“I have consistently advocated for policies and initiatives that align with this administration’s goals and aspirations. It is disheartening to see such baseless allegations being propagated, as they only serve to distract the administration from its primary objective of serving the people of Edo State,” he added.

The deputy governor urged the media and the public to approach these allegations with scepticism.

He reaffirmed his commitment to the democratic principle, saying, he remains an unrepentant democrat who believes in the democratic process and respects the mandate given to Governor Obaseki and himself by the people of Edo State.

He said the allegation that he would consider a ‘coup’ to overthrow a democratically elected government is not only absurd but also highly offensive.

The frosty relationship between the duo came to the limelight following Shaibu’s suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, where he sought to prevent an alleged impeachment plot.”

The strained relationship between the pair became public knowledge after Shaibu initiated legal action at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

In an ex parte motion filed on July 28, Shaibu requested the court’s intervention to prevent an alleged plot to impeach him.

According to the court documents, the first to fifth defendants were listed as the Inspector-General of Police, state security service, governor of Edo, Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, and Chief Judge of Edo State, respectively.

The deputy governor urged the court to stop the governor, the Speaker of the state assembly, and the Chief Judge from either starting impeachment proceedings or authorising any impeachment action against him.