Edo State deputy governor, Philip Shaibu was yesterday locked out of his office at Government House in Benin, the state capital, as the rift between him and his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki deepened.
Obaseki and Shaibu are at loggerheads over the 2024 succession arrangement. While Shaibu is insisting on running for the election and succeeding Obaseki at the end of his tenure next year, Obaseki is opposed to his ambition.
As the crisis raged on, Shaibu had accused Obaseki of plotting his impeachment and headed for the court to halt the alleged impeachment move.
He later withdrew the suit following the intervention of some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains and stakeholders in the state.
But the rift continued as the office of the deputy governor was moved to an uncompleted building outside Government House. His media team was also disbanded after an altercation between him and some aides of Governor Obaseki.
Yesterday, Shaibu arrived at the Government House but met the gate leading to his office under lock and key. Shaibu and his aides waited on the road for about an hour and left after frantic efforts to reach Obaseki failed.
Speaking on the development, the deputy governor said he was not ordered to move out of his office at the Government House, stressing that only civil servants were directed to relocate.
He said, “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 to you now, I am standing by the gate,” Shaibu said while on a phone call to a yet-to-be-identified person.”
A source close to the deputy governor said Shaibu also met with the Government House Camp Commandant, SP Ibrahim Babatunde, to get explanation on why he was locked out of his office.
But SP Babatunde reportedly told him that it was a directive from above and that the Chief Security Officer of Government House, Williams Wabba, will be in a better position to explain the incident.
The deputy governor was said to have called Wabba who promised to come but did not do so for several hours, forcing the deputy governor to leave.
But one of Obaseki’s aides, who spoke off the record, said Shaibu was not locked out of office, as his office was no longer in the Government House.