Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State may have come to a point of sinking in the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State. The governor’s naïve political leadership is precipitating dispute between him and the Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu, as well as causing loss of reputable principals at the State House.
Political configuration of the state party and government tend to show that the governor has failed to provide leadership and equitable political machinery for mediation, arbitration and resolution of conflicts among members of his power bloc in the state. Swinging the pendulum of favour towards a particular state and political actor has not only deepen the cracks in Obaseki’s camp but has also been depleting his political fold.
Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has been at loggerhead with the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kabiru Adjoto. The duo had engaged in supremacy and power sharing battle. Deputy Speaker Shaibu had in provocation exposed that Speaker Adjoto imported coronavirus into Edo State on his return from overseas travel. This was after the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had announced the detection of the first coronavirus confirmed positive case in Edo State without revealing the carrier. This did not go down well with the Speaker. In other states, political actors in high positions made the announcement of testing positive to coronavirus personally.
Governor Obaseki appeared to have chosen to take side with the Speaker of the State House of Assembly and deploying the powers of the state to suppress the deputy governor.
Obaseki, accordingly, removed Deputy Governor Shaibu as chairman of Edo State COVID-19 Task Force. The governor was also alleged to have at a meeting scolded the deputy governor, accusing him of instigating the crisis against the Edo State APC leadership and APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Obaseki is gradually sinking into political swamp as principal officers in Government House are beginning to resign their appointments and probably abandoning him for the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The Chief of Staff to Obaseki, Taiwo Akerele, and the Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the Governor, Kabiru Adjoto, have resigned their appointments. Kabiru Adjoto was identified to come from Edo North.
It would appear that Obaseki’s camp is gradually being sliced into pieces through dysfunctional internal machination of his failure to provide balanced leadership capable of promoting the interests of all members of his bloc.