The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has sought the intervention of the Federal High Court in Abuja to prevent his impeachment purportedly being plotted by his principal and governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki.
Shaibu’s suit has exposed the cracks in his relationship with Obaseki after both of them left the APC for PDP in 2020 to contest re-election following Obaseki’s disqualification by the APC over questionable academic credentials.
Although both of them owe their political prominence and emergence as the most senior government officials in the state to former governor Adams Oshiomhole; the 2020 governorship contest saw them take aim at the Edo North politician. Philip Shaibu, who hails from Oshiomhole’s region in the state, led the onslaught and attempted to tarnish his image and records by putting him down as a ‘godfather’.
The new rift between Shaibu and Obaseki has shocked many while some attribute it to betrayal from the governor, similar to what he did to his predecessor who facilitated his emergence despite lacking political experience and network.
Shaibu is said to be nursing an ambition to succeed Obaseki as governor, an ambition the governor is unwilling to support. The friction reached a head when, weeks back, Shaibu made a public overture to Oshiomhole by attending his inauguration party as a member of the National Assembly. Upon return to Edo State, Obaseki convened a meeting involving all PDP members of the State Assembly without notifying his deputy.
When he got wind of the meeting, Shaibu drove to the location but was humiliated at the gate by DSS operatives who denied him entrance on the grounds that he was not listed as one of the invitees to the meeting. Sensing that the DSS operatives were acting on the instructions of the governor, Shaibu reached out to his allies in the State Assembly who affirmed that a possible impeachment was discussed among other legislative leadership issues.
Shaibu’s legal suit is believed to be one of many tactics he plans to deploy in fighting the impeachment in what could be a drawn-out conflict with his boss ahead of the 2024 race in Edo.