Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has narrated how he found out that his deputy, Philip Shaibu, was “working against him”.
According to Obaseki, Shaibu has become so desperate to succeed him, ahead of the Edo governorship election in 2024.
He spoke at a gathering with stakeholders in the state.
The governor said: “He (Shaibu) went to Abuja and was boasting that he has connections in Abuja, that he has people in the national assembly, that they are all with the president now, that they will take care of him. That if he cannot get the ticket in PDP, he knows what to do.
“I kept quiet and said I thought we were together. But what struck me, and I have never said this to anybody, is that after I proclaimed the house of assembly, we were now going to elect officers.
“He was in Abuja, he came back that day. I am the chief security officer of this state. I get any information I need. But I have that responsibility to keep quiet and use the information properly.
“My deputy called the leader in APC, telling that leader that during the elections on the next day, particularly speaker of the house of assembly, that he has five members who are loyal to him and that he would like the seven members of APC to work with his five members of PDP to produce the next speaker.
“As far as I am concerned, that was not working in our common interest. Why would the deputy governor seek to have another speakership candidate outside of what the governor wants? Are we working together?
“That was when I knew we had a problem. That the deputy governor has become so desperate to take over that he would do anything, including carrying out a coup, against his governor. How can you say you are loyal and you will do such a thing?”
Meanwhile, Shaibu has dismissed speculations of joining the All Progressives Congress (APC), following his rift with Obaseki.
The deputy governor said this in response to reports that he would be received in Abuja next week by the APC National Working Committee (NWC).
Shaibu, in a statement by his chief press secretary, Musa Ebomhiana, described the rumour as the handwork of mischief makers who are bent on destabilizing Edo state.
“Mischief makers bent on destabilizing our dear Edo State are still at work. They will stop at nothing to widen the gulf between Mr Governor, His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu.
“They have generated more lies from the pit of hell, saying that Shaibu has perfected plans to rejoin the APC next week. There is no iota of truth in this. The mischief makers claim that the APC NWC is set to receive me in Abuja. Is it the NWC of a party that receives a decampee into the party?.
“In view of this, I plead with these characters bent on driving a wedge between Comrade Shaibu and his boss, to put the Edo project and the people far above their own selfish interest,” the statement read in part.