Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has officially put an end to the drama over the actual location of the office of his estranged deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, as the governor officially handed over a letter relocating the deputy governor from his present office within the Government House to a new office outside the Government House premises.
Shaibu had on Monday morning set the Internet on fire when he was videoed standing stranded by the entrance to his former office which was under lock, as the deputy governor was recorded making a call to an unknown individual, complaining that he was yet to receive any letter asking him to relocate.
In the video which went viral, Shaibu was heard telling the person on the other end that he was aware that the civil servants in his office were officially asked to relocate to the new office at No 7, Dennis Osadebey Avenue, but he never got any such directive.
To end the drama, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Osarodion Ogie, in a two-paragraph memo addressed to the deputy governor, stated that Governor Obaseki had directed that the deputy governor should relocate to the new office address.
The letter, dated September 15, 2023, was received by a Permanent Secretary in the office of the deputy governor, and acknowledged on Monday, September 18, 2023. The memo was circulated around media houses by 10.45 pm on Monday.
The memo, with the heading: “Relocation of Office Accommodation”, reads:
“I write to inform you that His Excellency, the Governor, has approved the relocation of your office accommodation to No 7, Dennis Osadebey Avenue, G.R.A., Benin City.
“You are therefore requested to ensure your compliance in line with Mr Governor’s approval, please.”
Shaibu, it would be recalled, fell out with his principal, Governor Obaseki, when the deputy governor earlier in August, instituted a suit in an Abuja Federal High Court, seeking the protection of the court from an alleged attempt by the governor to use the Edo State House of Assembly and others to impeach him.
The governor swiftly reacted to the suit by disbanding the media crew of the deputy governor, relocated his office from the main Government House and just as on more than two different occasions, security agents physically prevented Shaibu from accessing the governor at public events.
About three Permanent Secretaries, believed to be nominees of the embattled deputy governor were also either redeployed without functioning ministries or asked to proceed on retirement leave.
Some notable citizens of the state from the political and religious circles, had three weeks ago intervened, this necessitating Shaibu’s withdrawal of his suit, depreciating relationship relapsed when all civil servants in the office of the deputy governor were moved to the new office.
With the latest development of the issuance of the letter of relocation, observers are watching, keenly, what will be the next moves of the two gladiators.