It is disheartening to wake up to the news of the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki locking out his deputy from the office. The first thought that comes to mind is if this a joke taken too far due to ignorance or an arrogance of power. Is this now a precedence or the brigandage of a man who lack the knowledge of the use of power?
As heard from the conversation of the Deputy Governor while he made some calls to a few relevant people at the locked gate, he clearly stated that there’s no official communication from the Governor to him concerning locking of the office and it is therefore a shock. Without any doubt, this is a disrespect for the office of the deputy Governor, a co-mandate, as protected by the laws of Nigeria and tenets of Democracy.
Whilst it is given that there’s been some bad energies between Obaseki and His Deputy, Philip Shaibu for sometimes, it is now clear that the Governor is beginning to play God and toiling with not only the peace of the state, the sanctity of democracy but he’s toiling with the realms of legality.
If anyone ever doubted the justification for the Deputy to approach the law court to protect the joint-mandate given to him and Obaseki by preventing his impeachment, the actions of the governor has now shown clearly that Shaibu had a good reason to do so, even though He’s withdrawn the case.
Many people often describe what is going on in Edo State Government house as a “fight” between the Governor and his Deputy. This is not a case of a fight as it takes two people to fight. By all evidence and recent happenings, it is the Governor bullying and harassing His Deputy with the power they both worked for. On the other hand, while enduring this humiliation, the Deputy has never failed to restate his commitment and loyalty to the Governor. This harassment and Shaming calls for a question on Character and political maturity.
Obaseki is working a tightrope that will trip him and also set a precedence for other Governors, if his excesses are not rebuked and contained quickly by relevant influences, parties and stakeholders.
If all Governors in Nigeria decide to run mad, there should be a level of decorum within the ambit of the law to protect the dignity of the office of the Deputy Governors as Shaibu is not Obaseki’s Deputy, but the Deputy Governor of Edo State.
Obaseki needs not be reminded that He did not become a Governor by only his votes and acceptance; He became a Governor on the strength of the votes garnered by His Deputy across his support bases and the state. The. Contributory political Strength of Shaibu is well documented and cannot be overemphasized.
Before the Governor sets the state on fire with such reckless acts, those with the duty to speak truth to powers should not sit and watch while the Office of the Deputy Governor, not Shaibu, is made an object of mockery. Posterity should be protected.
By Adeola Vaughn-Eromosele
A Patriot and Political Enthusiast.