Chief John Asekhauno, a prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Edo North, has condemned the reported harassment of the state Deputy Governor, Hon. Philip Shaibu, at recent state functions by Governor Godwin Obaseki and his aides, alleging that the move is simply setting the stage for Shaibu’s impeachment.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Chief Asekhauno voiced profound worry over the episodes, calling them an affront to democracy, an assault on political legitimacy, and a significant breach of an elected official’s rights.
Chief Asekhauno recounted the ugly incident that occurred at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub and Soundstage, the venue of the 60th anniversary of the Midwest Referendum celebration on Airport Road, Benin City, noting that, contrary to the narrative promoted by the state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Osa Nehikhare, that the deputy governor does not like attending state functions, Comrade Shaibu had actually ushered in his Delta State counterpart.
According to the Chieftain, who claimed to be an eyewitness, the deputy governor wanted to find out where his media aides were so that they might record memorable moments for his office during the occasion, and then he proceeded to ask after his aides.
When he arrived at the site, he was astonished to find all of his media aides outside since the governor’s security personnel refused to let them in because they claimed they were not accredited to be part of the media crew covering the event.
“I suspect that Philip Shaibu’s efforts to get his media aides into the hall, which the governor’s security details rebuffed, were the reason he stormed out of the venue because he felt he wasn’t needed there.” So, the Commissioner’s story that the deputy governor dislikes attending state ceremonies is an attempt to tarnish him, and the shutdown of his media aides may have been staged to induce the Deputy Governor to react in order to gather impeachment offences against him’, he said.
Recalling the incident on Sunday, August 27th, in which a security detail of Governor Obaseki was seen in a viral photograph at an interdenominational service at the Festival Hall of the Government House, preventing the deputy governor from greeting his principal, the PDP chieftain stated that “such actions not only degrade the dignity of those involved, but also cast a negative shadow on the efforts towards building a united Edo State, and I believe the good people of Edo State believe
Chief Asekhauno asked Governor Obaseki to follow democratic government ideals and set a good example.
He emphasised that political disagreements should be settled via constructive discourse rather than through power plays or harassment.
The PDP Chieftain urged all stakeholders to work together to create an inclusive and collaborative political climate for all Edo citizens.
He also demanded that an extensive inquiry into the claimed incident be conducted to guarantee that those guilty for the harassment receive appropriate penalties. He emphasised the importance of accountability and openness in governance, asking the state’s leadership to focus on implementing campaign promises rather than indulging in political squabbles.
The PDP leader urged all political actors in Edo State to put unity, development, and good governance ahead of personal or party considerations.
“It is past time for our leaders to rise above pettiness and work towards the common goal of making Edo State a model of progress and prosperity.”