A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo North, Chief John Asekhauno, has condemned the reported harassment of the state Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, by Governor Godwin Obaseki and his aides at a recent state function.
According to Vanguard, he alleged that the move is simply setting the stage for impeaching Shaibu.
Chief Asekhauno, in a statement on Wednesday, expressed deep concerns at the incidents, describing it as an affront on democracy, assault on political legitimacy, and a grave violation of the rights of an elected official.
Narrating the ugly event that took place at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub and Soundstage, the venue of the 60th anniversary of the Midwest Referendum celebration on Airport Road, Benin City, Chief Asekhauno noted that against the narrative pushed out by the state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Osa Nehikhare, that the deputy governor does not like attending state functions, Comrade Shaibu had actually ushered in his counterpart from Delta State and was already seated in the hall, an hour before the arrival of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The Chieftain who claimed to be an eye witness revealed that it was upon the realization that none of his media aides was within sight that the deputy governor sought to find out where they were so they could capture special moments for his office at the event, then he went to ask after his aides.
He noted that on getting to the entrance of the venue, he was surprised that all his media aides were outside as the security personnel to the governor wouldn’t allow them access into the hall because they claimed they were not accredited to be part of the media crew covering the event.
“I suspect that all the efforts by Philip Shaibu to get his media aides into the hall, which the security details of the governor rebuffed, may have been the reason he stormed out of the venue as he felt he was not needed there. So, the narrative by the Commissioner that the deputy governor does not like attending state functions is an attempt to malign him, and the stoppage of his media aides may have been orchestrated to get the Deputy Governor to react to gather impeachment offenses against him”, he stated.
Recalling the incident of Sunday, August 27, where in a viral photograph, a security detail of Obaseki was seen at an interdenominational service at the Festival Hall of the Government House, preventing the deputy governor from greeting his principal, the PDP chieftain said that “such actions not only degrade the dignity of those involved but also cast a negative shadow on the efforts towards building a united Edo State, and I think the good people of Edo state deserve leaders who prioritize the welfare of the citizens over personal animosity.”
Chief Asekhauno urged Governor Obaseki to adhere to the principles of democratic governance and lead by example.
He emphasized that political differences should be resolved through constructive dialogue, not by resorting to power plays or harassment.
The PDP Chieftain called on all stakeholders to work towards fostering an inclusive and collaborative political environment for the benefit of all Edo residents.
He further demanded a thorough investigation into the alleged incident to ensure that those responsible for the harassment face appropriate consequences. He stressed the need for accountability and transparency in governance, urging the state’s leadership to focus on fulfilling their campaign promises instead of engaging in political hostilities.
The PDP chieftain appealed to all political actors in Edo State to prioritize unity, development, and good governance above personal or party interests.
“It is time for our leaders to rise above pettiness and work towards the common goal of making Edo State a model of progress and prosperity.”