I Won’t Drag Power With Obaseki — Omobayo Godwins

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The new Deputy Governor of Edo State, Omobayo Godwins, has pledged his unalloyed loyalty to Governor Godwin Obaseki in the few months they will work together before the end of the governor’s eight-year double terms on November 12, 2016.

The 37-year-old, who was sworn in on Monday after the state assembly impeached Philip Shaibu as Edo deputy governor, was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.

Godwins said he is learning on the job and won’t hesitate to do all that his principal instructs him to do.

When asked if he is satisfied that the role of a deputy governor has been relegated to a “spare tire”, Godwins said, “It’s okay with me. Life is a process. At 37+, I am already a deputy governor, it has improved my political outlook and I am not in a rush to drag with my governor. Whatever he say I should is what I will do. He knows my strength. So, I will dwell on my strength when it comes to adding value. Politically, I am learning on the job.”

The new deputy governor was unambiguous that his becoming deputy governor, months to the expiration of the eight-year tenure of Obaseki, was part of the political permutations for Ighodalo to defeat his closest contenders like LP’s Olumide Akpata and Monday Okpebholo of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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Godwins boasted that he has robust grassroot support from his base in Akoko Edo, one of the local governments in the Edo North Senatorial District, to boost the chances of Ighodalo, who hails from Ewohimi in the Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo Central Senatorial District.

On Shaibu’s impeachment, he said, “That is politics for you. Your job first of all is to be loyal.”

Meanwhile, Shaibu has rejected his impeachment by the lawmakers, describing it as a threat to democracy.

“This is not just an attack on me as an individual but on the democracy that we hold dear,” he said

“It is a dangerous descent into dictatorship and a threat to the foundation of our democracy. Let it be clear that this impeachment was hatched because of my ambition to contest the Edo State 2024 governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. An ambition that is a legal right to all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Shaibu was Obaseki’s deputy from November 12, 2016 till April 8, 2024 when he was unceremoniously removed following a protracted rift between the two former political allies.

For about one year, Obaseki and Shaibu had been engaged in counter-accusations as their once-smooth relationship completely broke down. The governor had claimed that Shaibu was planning a “coup” to unseat him while the labour leader also accused his principal of instigating the state assembly to impeach him.

Shaibu, who contested the PDP governorship primary, had declared himself a winner in a parallel election after the party announced businessman Ighodalo the party’s flag bearer.

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