By Adekunle Sulaimon
There was a drama in Edo State Government House as security personnel restrained the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, from assessing the Governor, Godwin Obaseki at a public function on Sunday.
In the viral photos on social media platforms, Obaseki was seen sitting with his wife while the security aide stood in front of him to stop the access at the Interdenominational Thanksgiving Church Service to mark Edo’s 32nd year anniversary, held at the Festival Hall, Government House.
This is not unconnected to the recent fallout between Shaibu and his principal over his rumoured 2024 governorship ambition following his return from vacation in the United States.
Speaking after the denial, Shaibu pledged his loyalty to Obaseki, adding that his loyalty has nothing to do with his ambition to become the governor of the state.
He further described the governor as his elder brother.
The deputy governor said, “My loyalty to the governor remains absolute. I see that everybody is in solidarity. I am also in solidarity with the governor. I am also declaring my unalloyed loyalty to the governor and nothing more.”
“As for the issues that are around town when I was away, I really would not want to talk about them, especially about the governor. He is my elder brother and boss and I don’t think I should talk about anything.
“I can tell you that from my Christian background if you make a vow with God that you want to do something, you must fulfil 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.
Meanwhile, reacting to the incident, the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sylvester Okungbowa, defended his principal, saying, “Whatever happened at the Church service was not at the behest of the Governor, neither was he aware what the security aides were doing; in fact, the security aides were doing their job.
“Besides, the governor was not aware that the deputy was coming to greet him.
“The Church is a public event, so the security aides had a duty to safeguard their principal,” he added.