•I was locked out at Govt House –Shaibu
•You’ve no office there –Obaseki
From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The feud between Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his deputy and the attendant drama, may not end soon as Phillip Shaibu was reportedly denied access to his office at the Government House in Benin, yesterday, after being locked out.
Shaibu arrived at the Government House in the morning but found the gate leading to his office under lock and key. He said he had not received an official letter from the office of the governor on the relocation of his 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 with you now, I am standing by the gate,” he said while on a phone call to a yet-to-be-identified person.
On September 3, the governor had ordered that Shaibu’s office should be relocated out of the Government House, a move seen by observers as a sign of deteriorating relationship between the two despite all peace efforts by various stakeholders.
The governor had, through a memo issued by the Office of the Head of Service, asked Shaibu to relocate his office from Government House to No.7, Osadebey Avenue, a few metres from Government House.
Consequently, civil servants staff of the deputy governor’s office started relocating to the new office last week.
But yesterday morning, the deputy governor got to his office in the Government House to find that the gate to the office and the main entrance leading to the storey building was locked with chains and padlocks.
“Shaibu and his aides waited for about an hour and left. He was said to have made frantic calls trying to reach the governor but to no avail,” it was gathered.
Besides, the deputy governor was said to have had some discussions with the commissioner of police and the Director of State Services (DSS) to tell them how he was locked out of his office.
He also reportedly summoned the Government House Camp Commandant, Ibrahim Babatunde, to ascertain why he was locked out of his office. The commandant was said to have replied that it was a directive from above, adding that the CSO of Government House, Williams Wabba, would be in a better position to explain.
Unrelenting, Shaibu made calls to Wabba, who promised to come, but never did all through the over 30 minutes he waited.
But an official of the government who declined to be named, told Daily Sun that “Shaibu does not have office in Government House. He has relocated from Government House. His office is at No.7, Osadebey Avenue. He came to make trouble here, he was never locked out of his office. He can only come here if he is summoned by the governor.”
The face-off followed a suit filed at an Abuja Federal High Court by Shaibu to restrain Obaseki and others from impeaching him.
The suit triggered altercations between the duo until two weeks ago when Shaibu announced withdrawal of the suit from court, following intervention of prominent personalities, including traditional rulers and religious leaders.