The simmering crisis between Edo State Governor Godwin
Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, took a new twist on Sunday as the
Department of State Services, DSS, denied him access to the governor.
The incident happened at the New Festival Hall of Government
House, Benin, on Sunday, at a church service to mark the 32nd anniversary of
the creation of Edo State.
Shaibu, who was one of the guests, stood up to greet
Obaseki, but a DSS operative blocked him just a few metres away.
Obaseki, who was seated beside his wife, Betsy, and Charles
Aniagwu, a Delta State Commissioner, looked away as Shaibu fruitlessly
explained to the plain-cloth security operative, who stood his ground before he
(Shaibu) later returned to his seat.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Andrew
Okungbowa, said the DSS operative was only doing his job.
“Whatever happened at the church service was not at the
behest of the governor, neither was he aware what the security aides were
doing. In fact, the security aides were doing their job. Besides, the governor
was not aware that the deputy was coming to greet him. The church is a public
event, so the security aides had a duty to safeguard their principal,” he said.
The deputy governor spoke with journalists at the venue
after the embarrassing incident, pledging absolute loyalty to the governor.
He also described Obaseki as his elder brother.
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