By AKEEM OGUNTAYO – Benin City
As the battle for the soul of Edo State continues, the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who is gunning for a second term is doing everything possible to keep his political structure to enable him emerge victorious at the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary elections billed for June 2020, THE WITNESS reports.
The governor, who has been in political fisticuffs with his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, is said to have threatened his commissioners who intend resigning their offices of impending arrests.
According to our source, “the governor summoned all his commissioners to an emergency meeting at his Benin residence on Sunday night and warned them of the dire consequences that will follow if any of them decides to resign.”
THE WITNESS reliably gathered that five influential commissioners had concluded plans to dump the administration of Governor Obaseki due to internal squabbles. THE WITNESS learnt that the commissioners are mainly from Edo North, the stronghold of national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. “The planned resignation may not be unconnected with the power-play by some “cabal” in the Obaseki-led government who have reportedly shut out every other person in the scheme of things.
A government source who craved for anonymity said, “It’s true the governor met with his commissioners on Sunday. After the meeting, some of the commissioners who had initially concluded plans to resign their respective positions had to soft-pedal for fear of arrests and probably play along with the governor pending when the coast will be clear for them to do so. But some are hellbent on leaving no matter what happens at the end.”
Recall, Governor Obaseki’s chief of staff, Taiwo Akerele resigned his appointment on Saturday morning on personal differences with the governor whom he said was sidelining him in running the state. But less than 48 hours after he resigned, no fewer than 25 operatives of State Security Services (SSS) reportedly invaded his residence in Benin City on Sunday evening.
The operatives were said to have arrested Akerele’s personal assistant, Jaspa Olowojoba, whom they reportedly used to search Akerele’s house located off 1st Ugbor Road in Benin City, even as the whereabouts of Akerele were unknown as of press time.