The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has been denied access to his old office at the Government House in Benin, the state capital.
Shaibu arrived at the Government House on Monday morning but met the gate leading to his office under lock and key.
He says he has yet to receive a formal letter from the governor’s office and that, according to him, is the proper channel to transmit a directive pertaining to the relocation to a new office.
“Up till now, I don’t have any official communication that I should relocate. The only people that have official communication are my civil servants. The civil servants have official communication but I don’t. As I am speaking to you now, I am standing by the gate,” he said while on a phone call to a yet-to-be-identified person.
The Edo State Governor has not reacted to the development, but sources close to him say Shaibu has relocated his office to a new location outside of the Government House and was not expected at the old office.
They also explained that there was no meeting scheduled for Monday so the Deputy Governor was not expected at the Government House.
If a meeting had been scheduled, they said arrangements would have been made and the Deputy Governor would have been allowed to attend.
Last week, a letter said to be from the office of the Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa, was reported to have been sent to the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor directing Shuaibu to relocate to a new office situated at No 7, Dennis Osadebey Avenue, GRA, Benin City.
However, sources close to Edo’s number two citizen claimed that the new office is abandoned and in dire need of rehabilitation.
The development is the latest in the tussle between Governor Obaseki and his deputy. While there have been speculations about plans to impeach Shaibu, the Edo Assembly has denied such.
Obaseki had also accused his deputy of plotting a coup against him. But at a recent gathering to mark the anniversary of the state’s creation, Shaibu described his principal as a brother, saying he remains loyal to him despite their political differences.
“As for the issues that are around town when I was away, I really would not want to talk. Issues that concern my governor are not things I like to speak about on camera. No, no, no! He is my elder brother and boss and I don’t think I should talk about anything. And if I have issues with him, I think it is better settled at home and not in the media. I am well brought up,” he said on the sidelines of a thanksgiving service in Benin to mark the 32nd anniversary of Edo State.
“I can tell you that from my Christian background if you make a vow with God that you want to do something, you must fulfill it. And the vow I have taken with God is that I will continue to support Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo State from the beginning to the end.
“But that does not stop anything that has to do with ambition. Ambition is personal and it does not affect loyalty. My loyalty to the governor remains absolute. I see that everybody is doing solidarity. I am also in solidarity with the governor. I am also declaring my unalloyed solidarity and loyalty to the governor and nothing more.”
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