The simmering crisis between Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, took a new twist on Sunday as the Department of State Services, DSS, denied him access to the governor.
The incident happened at the New Festival Hall of Government House, Benin, on Sunday, at a church service to mark the 32nd anniversary of the creation of Edo State.
Shaibu, who was one of the guests, stood up to greet Obaseki, but a DSS operative blocked him just a few metres away.
Obaseki, who was seated beside his wife, Betsy, and Charles Aniagwu, a Delta State Commissioner, looked away as Shaibu fruitlessly explained to the plain-cloth security operative, who stood his ground before he (Shaibu) later returned to his seat.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Andrew Okungbowa, said the DSS operative was only doing his job.
“Whatever happened at the church service was not at the behest of the governor, neither was he aware what the security aides were doing. In fact, the security aides were doing their job. Besides, the governor was not aware that the deputy was coming to greet him. The church is a public event, so the security aides had a duty to safeguard their principal,” he said.
The deputy governor spoke with journalists at the venue after the embarrassing incident, pledging absolute loyalty to the governor.
He also described Obaseki as his elder brother.