Tensions flared to new heights as a dramatic scene unfolded during a church service commemorating Edo State’s 32nd anniversary. The longstanding feud between Governor Godwin Obaseki and Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu took a startling turn when the Department of State Services (DSS) obstructed Shaibu from reaching Obaseki.
The commemorative event, hosted at the New Festival Hall of Government House in Benin, witnessed a shocking confrontation. As Deputy Governor Shaibu rose to greet Governor Obaseki, a vigilant DSS operative intervened, stopping Shaibu just mere meters away from the governor.
Seated alongside his wife, Betsy, and Charles Aniagwu, a prominent Commissioner from Delta State, Obaseki seemed to deliberately look away as Shaibu engaged in a tense exchange with the plain-clothed security personnel. The standoff left attendees stunned as the deputy governor eventually retreated to his seat.
In the aftermath of the incident, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Obaseki, Andrew Okungbowa, issued a statement clarifying the situation. He indicated that the DSS operative’s actions were in line with his duty to ensure the governor’s security. Okungbowa emphasized that the governor was unaware of Shaibu’s intention to approach him during the church service, reiterating that the security personnel were simply fulfilling their mandate to protect their principal.
Despite the public embarrassment and the dramatic showdown, Deputy Governor Shaibu reiterated his unwavering loyalty to Governor Obaseki, pledging to stand by his side despite the undeniable tension between the two political figures. The incident not only highlighted the escalating discord between the governor and his deputy but also underscored the intense political atmosphere in Edo State.