Ahead of the Monday formal declaration by Hon Philip Shaibu to succeed his boss, Governor Godwin Obaseki, the Edo State Government has welcomed his bid within the context of the exercise of the deputy governor’s fundamental rights.
However, there was suspense on Sunday if Shaibu had formally invited or notified Obaseki for the event.
The commissioner for communication, Mr Chris Nehikhare who said he was not invited told GWG.ng that even if invited he would not attend
Shaibu had sent out invitations to some prominent stakeholders under the aegis of the Philip Shaibu Campaign Organisation in a letter dated November 23 personally signed by him.
The letter which was titled ‘Special Invitation,’ read, “On behalf of Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu Campaign Organisation, I invite you to honour me with your esteemed presence as I offer myself to serve as the Chief Servant (Governor) of Edo State.”
The event which is scheduled to be held on Monday, November 27, at the Eterno Hotels, by 8 a.m in Benin City follows brinkmanship between the deputy governor and the governor over the bid by Shaibu.
Governor Obaseki is reported to have endorsed the scheme to zone the ticket to Edo Central which has not held the office for a full term in the Fourth Republic. Shaibu is from Edo North, the zone of Obaseki’s predecessor, Senator Adams Oshiomhole who spent eight years as governor.
Shaibu’s persistence in his ambition led to a faceoff that culminated in him being relocated from the Government House and being shut out of Governor Obaseki’s circuit after he dragged the governor to court to stop what he claimed was a plot to impeach him.
The Obaseki Government reacting to the plan by Shaibu to formally declare for the govenrorship welcomed the bid by his deputy as within his fundamental rights to aspire.
Speaking through through the commissioner for communication, Mr Chris Nehikhare, the government said:
“He is free to contest now that the timetable is out. All that the government had been saying before was that it was too early to heat up the polity. But now that the time table is out, he is free to contest, our government does not stifle the ambitions of anyone.”
Asked if Shaibu had invited the governor for the declaration, Nehikhare claimed ignorance but said he, (Commissioner) had not been invited.
“He has not invited me but if he invites me, I will not attend.”