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Shift in Power Dynamics: Edo’s Governor Obaseki Overlooks Deputy Shaibu in Succession Plans

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BENIN CITY, Nigeria – Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has reportedly dismissed the idea of endorsing his Deputy, Philip Shaibu, as his preferred successor, according to sources close to the administration.

The reason, insiders say, is rooted in a regional balance of power.

Governor Obaseki appears reluctant to have his successor hail from Edo North senatorial district, the same district as his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, and Minister-designate, Abubakar Momoh.

Shaibu also hails from this district, specifically the Estako area.

Sources say Obaseki aims to redistribute the power in Edo State by ensuring his successor comes from either Edo Central or another part of the Edo North senatorial district.

The name of Asue Ighodalo has been put forward as a likely successor that the Governor would endorse.

But there are other factors at play besides the power balancing.

The source on Friday, August 4, 2023, claims that Governor Obaseki has reservations about Shaibu’s alignment with his 30-year development plans and visions.

An act that sparked this suspicion was Shaibu’s attendance at the inauguration party of Oshiomhole in Abuja, a move Shaibu made without Obaseki’s clearance.

One source revealed that Shaibu was recently prevented from entering the Governor’s office without prior notice.

This protocol, among others, has been put in place by Obaseki to establish certain boundaries.

Moreover, Shaibu’s role in revenue generation was recently stripped from his office, a move some interpret as a sign of Obaseki’s lack of faith in Shaibu’s leadership capabilities.

“Shaibu wants to force the Governor to support him at all costs,” the source stated, discussing a lawsuit filed by Shaibu seeking court protection over an alleged impeachment plot.

According to the source, this is a tactic aimed at drawing the Governor into an open confrontation and enabling Shaibu to remain in office, even after a potential defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Despite the tension, Shaibu has yet to formally declare his intention to run in the 2024 gubernatorial race.

Insiders suggest his failure to gain his boss’s endorsement has stalled his announcement.

When reached for comment, Shaibu’s aides declined to speak on the matter, with one simply stating, “Oga is going ahead to contest for the governorship.”

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