On Monday, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki formally handed over a letter transferring Comrade Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor, from his present office inside the government house to a new office outside the government house grounds.
Comrade Shaibu had on Monday morning set the Internet on fire when he was caught on camera standing stranded by the locked entrance to his former office as the deputy governor was heard complaining on the phone to an unidentified person about not having received any letter asking him to move.
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.