From Tony Osauzo, Benin

The feud between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, has taken a toll on religious worship as the weekly Tuesday Mass that normally holds at the Government House Chapel at the instance of Shaibu has been forced to relocate from the Government House to the new office of Shaibu outside Government House.

Consequently, the mass held in the open field of the new deputy governor’s office along Commercial Avenue and was attended by Shaibu and his wife, civil servants attached to his office, some aides and political associates.

An official in the Government House Chapel said they received a directive from the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Obaseki on Religious Matters last Monday “to come and remove our things from the chapel including the station of the cross, the pulpit and other items.

“I told him I will inform the deputy governor for a directive on where to relocate the items and we went to remove them the following day. I was shocked when I started hearing that I went to do a video. They ordered us to remove our things which we did,” he said.

Sources said the chapel was undergoing renovation but it confirmed that the facility was renovated and repainted recently.

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In his homily at the open air mass the deputy governor’s new office, Rev Fr Emmanuel Egejuru, said joy, humility, gratefulness and obedience are characteristics expected from leaders exemplified by King David in the bible.

Meanwhile, the state government has denied the relocation of the chapel.

The Special Adviser to Obaseki on Media Projects, Crusoe Osagie, in a statement, said the video in circulation was fabricated by mischief makers.

“It is imperative to state categorically that the Government House chapel is very much in operation and attending to the spiritual needs of the occupants of the Government House.

“It is necessary to stress that the Governor and his wife are ardent Christians and it is therefore illogical that they will shut down the Chapel in the Government House.

“We urge members of the public to disregard the rumour as it bears no iota of truth. The government will continue to promote religious freedom and harmony within the state.”