June 11, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Obaseki rejects Deputy’s apology until he quits guber race, holds state Exco meeting in Lagos without Shaibu

EDO State Gov. Godwin Obaseki has set a condition for accepting the public apology tendered to him by his deputy Comrade Philip Shaibu, in their lingering face-off over Shaibu’s wish to run for governor.
The governor who returned from his vacation abroad over the weekend, said said to some of his confidants that he has no business with his deputy, until he proves absolute loyalty to him by dropping his ambition.
Shaibu had offered the public apology after the Benin Archdiocesan Catholic Men’s Organisation (CMO) visited with him, last week, obviously while Obaseki was out of the country.
Before arriving Nigeria from his foreign trip, the governor had reportedly instructed all members of Executive Council to assemble in Lagos for a two-day meeting with him.
He insisted that the Deputy Governor should not be invited or informed of the meeting, sources close to the inner workings of the state government revealed.
The meeting was termed “Exco retreat with Mr. Governor,” and arrangements were made for those invited to arrive Lagos last Saturday.
Members of the State House of Assembly had theirs a fortnight ago in Rwanda, according to our insiders.
Before the Lagos meeting, Obaseki is said to have told members of his “Kitchen Cabinet” that for him to forgive his deputy, the latter must publicly withdraw from the governorship race.
“Exco Seminar” in Lagos
It is also said that Obaseki added that if the deputy dares to participate in the forthcoming governorship primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), his (Shaibu’s) security vote will be stopped and he will be excluded from all government activities, including meetings of the Edo State Executive Council.
As a prelude to making good his threat, the State Executive Council meeting for this week took place in Lagos on Monday, Sept. 25 but Shaibu was not there.
Invitations were extended to all exco members with the exception of the Deputy Governor. Obviously in a bid to avoid public criticism, the governor told his handlers to fix an “Exco Seminar” a day before the meeting to enable third parties attend, so that it would not be considered a formal but emergency exco meeting.
Obaseki ready with successor
Chairman of the board of trustees of Alaghodaro (the state’s equivalent of the National Economic Summit Group) Asue Ighodalo, who is the governor’s anointed candidate for next year’s governorship election was invited to the Exco seminar in Lagos.
Recall, CentralNews had scooped that when Deputy Gov. Shaibu was locked out of his official wing of Government House Benin-City, the compound was hestily allocated to Alaghodaro.
“It is expected that the governor will unveil and introduce his preferred successor to all exco members in Lagos this week,” a source attending the seminar said.
Last week when the deputy governor was locked out from his office in Government House Benin-City, reportedly on the orders of the governor, Comrade Shaibu publicly apologize to the governor, who in the last one month has refused to communicate with him.
CentralNews also has it on impeccable authority that at least two very high-rankig political leaders in the state earlier took the beleaguered Shaibu to Obaseki and saw him physically kneel down to ask the governor for forgiveness of his political sins.