Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki officially handed over a letter moving the deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, from his current office within the government house to a new office outside the government house premises on Monday.
Comrade 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 deputy governor’s office, 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 either redeployed without functioning ministries or asked to proceed on retirement leave.
Some notable state citizens from the political and religious circles had intervened three weeks ago, necessitating Shaibu’s withdrawal of his suit; the depreciating relationship relapsed when all civil servants in the deputy governor’s office were moved to the new office.
With the latest development of the issuance of the letter of relocation, observers are watching keenly what the next moves of the two gladiators will be.
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