End of Confrontation in Edo State as 38-year-old New Deputy Gov is Sworn in

•Obaseki: New partner symbolises belief in power of youth

•My impeachment illegal, attack on democracy, says ex-deputy 

•CRPP condemns devt

Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

After several months of brickbats and muscle-flexing between Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, peace has finally returned to the state as 38-year-old Omobayo Marvellous Godwins, was yesterday sworn in as the new Deputy Governor.

Godwins was sworn in at the Festival Hall, Government House, Benin City, by the Edo State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Daniel Iyobosa Okungbowa.

His swearing-in followed the impeachment of Shaibu by the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA).

Obaseki, who witnessed the swearing-in ceremony, said the choice of Godwins was a belief in the power of youth to transform the state.

But Shaibu had swiftly responded to his impeachment, describing it as both illegal and a threat to the  democracy.

At the same time, the Conference of Registered Political Parties (CRPP), Edo State chapter, yesterday, expressed disappointment in the impeachment of Shaibu, noting that the development was not what Edo people bargained for.

The vote to impeach Shaibu was okayed by 18 out of 24 lawmakers following the consideration of the report of the seven-man panel set up by Justice Okungbowa.

The impeachment which was the first in state since 1999, ended the disagreement and infighting between Obaseki and Shaibu.

In attendance at the House sitting were 20 members including the Speaker, Blessing Agbebaku but 18 members voted for the impeachment while one member abstained.

The deputy governor’s impeachment commenced after the Clerk of the House read out Order 10-Presentation and consideration of  the seven-man panel report of allegation of gross misconducts against Shaibu, listed in Assembly’s items for consideration.

Shortly after, the Majority Leader of the House, Charity Aiguobarueghan, representing Ovia North East 1, moved that the report be considered, his motion was seconded by the Minority Leader, Eric Okaka, Owan East.

Consequently, the speaker assumed chairman of the committee of the whole House to consider the report, after the Majority and Minority Leaders moved and seconded a motion to that effect, respectively.

During the presentation of the report, Donald Okogbe, Akoko-Edo II, rose to object to part C of the report but his objection was overruled by the speaker.

The House, thereafter, resolved that the allegation of perjury against the deputy governor was not proved but held that the second allegation of disclosure of official secrets was proved against the deputy governor.

At this stage, the Majority and Minority  Leaders of the Assembly moved and seconded a motion, respectively, that the Speaker revert to his position as Speaker of the House.

The majority leader further moved that with regard to section 188 subsection 9 of the Constitution, the report be put to vote. At the end of the voting exercise, 18 members voted in support of the impeachment while one member abstained.

In his comment, the Speaker said more than two-third majority of the House voted and endorsed the impeachment.

“I hereby from my seat announce that the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, stands impeached,” he stressed.

The camaraderie between Obaseki and Shaibu degenerated after the latter indicated interest in the governorship and by implication, succeed his estranged principal.

Attempts to reconcile them failed, especially after Shaibu declined the condition for peace, which was standing down his governorship bid.

Indication that the duo might have crossed the Rubicon became clearer when the governor relocated the office of the deputy governor and moved him far away from him.

This was further compounded by the hostility often shown to each other at public functions.

But the had governor waited till after the party’s primary election to fully move against Shaibu, culminating in his eventual ouster by the state assembly, soon after the panel set up by the chief judge indicted him.

Immediately after he was removed from office, a new deputy was nominated and sworn in by the chief judge of the state.

Some of the dignitaries at the swearing-in included Obaseki, Speaker Agbebaku; Secretary to the Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq.; members of EDHA; and Chief of Staff to Edo the governor, Dr. Osaigbovo Iyoha.

Also present were Chairman, Edo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Anthony Aziegbemi; local governments chairmen, party leaders, permanent secretaries from various ministries, PDP leaders across the state, and traditional leaders from Akoko-Edo, among others.

Speaking, Obaseki, said the choice of Godwins would provide the needed impetus to rally round all interests and persuasions within the state to work more closely together in realising the vision for a viable, strong and prosperous state that would be the envy of all.

“At 38 years old, the new deputy governor is a symbol of our undying belief in the power of our youth to transform our dear State, bringing vigour and renewed energy to the drive to place young people at the centre of our politics and developmental agenda. He is a man for this season.

“It is with profound respect and humility that I address you this morning on this auspicious occasion of the swearing-in of Omobayo Marvellous as our new deputy governor, who will be working with me in these last few months of my administration as we make progress on our promise to finish strong for the benefit of our dear people.

“We have run a very interesting and eventful tenure since we took office in 2016 and gained your trust to continue on our mandate for another term in 2020, and at no point in this journey did I envisage that I will be having to work with two deputy governors before the end of my eight-year run in office. But as the Bible says in Proverb 16: 9: ‘You may make your plans, but it is God that directs your actions.’

“The legislative arm of government, in the past few weeks, carried out their constitutional role, providing checks and balances in our democracy, and today, we have arrived at this difficult but inevitable juncture.

“As there cannot be a vacuum in government, we have by consensus selected Omobayo Marvellous to take over the baton as the new deputy governor of our dear State.

“A thorough-bred young professional, his choice will provide the needed impetus to rally round all interests and persuasions within the State to work more closely together in realising our vision for a viable, strong and prosperous State that will be the envy of all.”

In his response, the new deputy governor thanked the governor for the opportunity to serve, pledging to work assiduously with the governor to finish well and strong.

Describing Obaseki as a youth-friendly governor, Omobayo said, “This appointment shows the governor seems to understand Akoko-Edo very well and the complexity there in.

“I thank the governor for today is a day of the Lord. If I am to draw the face of the Lord right now with a pen and drawing sheet, I will draw the face of Godwin Obaseki.

“I am not the best youth to come out from Edo State, this could only have been God. I understand my job description which is to actually complement the work of the governor. We have a consummate administrator like Governor Obaseki.

“I have studied his developmental plan over the years very sincerely. I have also looked at the master plan of this administration and will surely support him to finish well. I admire his style of administration and am sure to build on the existing structure in the plan as an engineer.”

His Royal Highness, the Imah of Somorika, Oba Sule Idaiye, in his remarks, thanked the governor for this position, noting that the decision to appoint someone from Akoko Edo as Deputy Governor was historic.

“In the history of Edo State, you have broken the record again with the choice of a deputy governor from Akoko-Edo. We are all celebrating today. This is the biggest position ever for the area.

“You are a magician. As to how you arrived at the 38-year-old Omobayo Marvellous Godwins is surprising. The Deputy Governor is a machine, loved by the people, pleasing to our people. We thank you for what you have done for our people. We thank you for this great thing you have done for our people.”

Shaibu: My Impeachment Illegal, Attack on Democracy

Impeached  deputy governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shaibu, has described his impeachment as illegal and a threat to the  democracy.

In a reaction through a  video shared on his X (Twitter) account, Shaibu rejected the impeachment.

According to him,  “It is with a heavy heart, yet a resolute spirit that I come before you to address the recent events that have unfolded within our dear state.

“I denounce, in the strongest terms, the illegal impeachment by the Edo State House of Assembly over trumped-up charges. This is not just an attack on me as an individual, but on the very democratic principles that we hold dear.

“It’s a dangerous descent into dictatorship, 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 governorship election 2024 under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,” he stated.

CRPP: Edo Didn’t Bargain for This

The Conference of Registered Political Parties (CRPP), Edo State chapter, has expressed disappointment in the impeachment of Shaibu, noting that the development was not what Edo people bargained for.

The CRPP laid Shaibu’s ordeal on the door step of the state Chief Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, for setting up the panel investigating the alleged perjury and breach of public trust levelled against the impeached deputy governor, adding that the haste at which the exercise was carried out showed bias.

Chairman of the group, Dr. Samson Faluyi, in a statement in Benin City, Edo State, noted that, “This is not what the Edo indigenes bargained for. The impeachment of the deputy governor is illegal and should not be allowed to stay.

“I blame the Chief Judge for this illegal impeachment. The process only lasted for three days, which showed that they had their mind made up on what to do. Imagine, the charade that was carried out in few days.”

When asked if Shaibu shot himself in the foot by not appearing at the panel, Isibor said, “If he appeared at the panel that showed he agreed with what they are doing, moreso, when the court has told the parties involved to come and show cause why Shaibu quest to halt his impeachment should not be granted.”

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