Despite public declarations of reconciliation between Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, recent actions by the governor suggest an ongoing rift, raising doubts about the proclaimed forgiveness and restoration of their relationship.
The duo had been at odds over Shaibu’s aspirations for the governorship in the forthcoming election, resulting in a legal injunction obtained by Shaibu against Obaseki and others.
Although public apologies were tendered and forgiveness declared after interventions by party and religious leaders, signs of discord persist, according to a report by The News.
The report noted that Shaibu’s noticeable absence at key government events, including the swearing-in ceremonies of officials in Edo North senatorial district and sports activities, reflects the alleged continuing marginalization of the deputy governor within the government.
Reports suggest Shaibu has been excluded from critical government functions, including Bendel Insurance FC, which reportedly impacts the team’s fortunes.
A recent alleged incident of humiliation involves the supposed reassignment of a Toyota Landcruiser, purchased specifically for the deputy governor’s use, to the State House Speaker, Blessing Agbebaku.
An anonymous government source quoted in the report said:
“In the second tenure, the same vehicle allocated to the deputy governor about seven years ago is yet to be replaced.
“It was because of this that it became obvious when the governor handed the Speaker a Toyota Landcruiser and a Toyota Hilux instead of a Lexus sports utility vehicle that was approved for him.
“The Toyota Landcruiser was allegedly bought for the use of the deputy governor approximately three months ago as a replacement for the one given to him seven years ago.”
The source described the incident as unfortunate that the governor deliberately denied his deputy the vehicle, which was budgeted and bought in his name for a second tenure.