Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has responded to an apology from his deputy, Philip Shaibu, over a confrontation between them.
There has been a clash between Messrs. Obaseki and Shaibu after the deputy governor asked a court to stop an alleged plot by the governor to remove him from office.
Obaseki had denied the allegation and subsequently accused Shaibu of rigging the youth council election in Edo State due to his (Shaibu’s) interest in contesting the 2024 gubernatorial election in the state.
The dispute between the two appeared to have complicated in August when the governor fired Shaibu’s aides after the deputy governor staged a walkout during a colloquium in the state.
The lieutenant governor had organized the strike after his media advisors and security personnel were denied entry to the colloquium organized by the state government to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Midwest referendum in the state.
The governor, in the heat of the dispute, moved the lieutenant governor’s office out of the Government House.
In a new twist last week, Shaibu, the embattled deputy governor, publicly apologized to the governor for the clash.
“I use this medium to appeal to Mr. Governor, if there is anything I don’t know I have done, please forgive me so that we can develop our state together,” Mr. Shaibu said while addressing journalists in Benin, the state. capital.
“We only have one year left. We have been the envy of the entire country. So, Mr. Governor, if there is anything you think I have done, please I am sorry. “I need us to work together to finish strong and strong,” added the lieutenant governor.
In a statement on Thursday, Obaseki said he had noted his deputy’s “public apology,” stressing that the apology followed “aberrant behavior that contradicts” what the people of the state stand for.
The governor recalled how Shaibu “unnecessarily filed baseless petitions in Nigerian courts” to prevent him (Obaseki), the state assembly and security agencies from launching a “non-existent” impeachment process against the deputy governor.
He accused the lieutenant governor of repeatedly violating protocol and carrying out unjustified and unprovoked attacks in the media against him and the state government.
“The media frenzy as a result of the above and more, gave an impression of crisis that has been precarious and unpleasant for Edo people in the state and around the world,” Obaseki said.
The governor, however, said he had decided to forgive the lieutenant governor for his actions following the apology.
“Although these unjustified provocations caused me severe personal discomfort, as a person of faith, I have an obligation to accept this apology because as they say, ‘to err is human, to forgive is divine.’
“In good faith, I trust that the public apology expressed by the lieutenant governor is genuine and will be followed by repentance measures to improve his conflict resolution skills,” he said.
Obaseki urged the deputy governor to guide his “representatives” to act in accordance with his “piety.”
The governor expressed hope that the dispute between him and his deputy would end “immediately” so that his administration would finish strong and deliver dividends of democracy to the people of the state in the coming year.