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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Political Rift Erupts into Office Relocation for Edo State’s Deputy Governor

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BENIN CITY, Nigeria — Amid a bubbling political feud between Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, the Edo State Government has taken the unusual step of relocating the Deputy Governor’s office.

The new location is outside the main Government House, a move seen as a symbolic distancing in a relationship grown increasingly fraught.

The newly assigned office is located at No. 7 Dennis Osadebey Avenue, near the Government House, and was formerly the state Public Procurement Office.

It was initially commissioned on December 16, 2014, by a former Governor of the state, Senator Adams Oshiomhole.

The relocation comes amid escalating tensions that recently took a dramatic turn.

Deputy Governor Shaibu staged a walkout of a government-organized event after his aides were forcibly removed from the premises.

This incident occurred less than a day after a Department of State Services, DSS, operative blocked Shaibu’s access to Governor Obaseki during a church service marking the 32nd anniversary of the creation of Edo State.

Further intensifying the divide, Governor Obaseki has also disbanded the media crew attached to the Deputy Governor’s Office.

Obaseki, on Saturday, September 2, 2023, directed Shaibu to request media coverage of his activities from the Ministry of Communication and Orientation, a move considered by political analysts as an attempt to curtail Shaibu’s public outreach.

At the heart of this public discord is the jostling for succession.

Shaibu, an Edo North Senatorial District indigene, is reportedly eyeing the Governor’s seat as his next political move.

Governor Obaseki, however, is said to favor a successor from Esanland in Edo Central senatorial district, sidelining Shaibu and further fueling the conflict between them.

The ramifications of this political strife reach far beyond mere office relocation. It threatens the governance stability in Edo State and highlights the need for political unity, especially as both political figures are from the same party.

The relocation is a clear manifestation of the underlying tensions that have yet to be resolved, and it remains to be seen how this will affect governance and political alliances in the state moving forward.

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