Renovation works are currently ongoing at the Public Procurement Office of the Edo State government with a new signboard mounted at the entrance of the building showing ‘Office of the Deputy Governor’.
The new office is different from the known office of the State’s deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, located directly behind Governor Godwin Obaseki’s office inside the Denis Osadebey Avenue seat of power, GRA, Benin City.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY gathered that the renovation work is expected to be delivered by Monday, September 4.
One of the workers handling the renovation work, who confirmed the development, said, “I work for the company handling the renovation of this building. Our job is to deliver the project on Monday as agreed. I do not know how the signboard got to the entrance of the building, and I don’t have an idea of what the building will be used for.”
The new development has raised speculation that the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, may soon be relocated from the Government House to a new office located at No. 7, Osadebey Avenue, few metres away from the seat of power.
The move apparently is not unconnected with the rift between the Edo State Governor, Obaseki, and his deputy, Shaibu.
However, speaking on the development, the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, said: “If there is a government signboard saying so, then it must be so.”
But, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Deputy Governor, Musa Ebomhiana, when contacted, denied knowledge of any plan to relocate the office of the deputy governor outside the Government House.
“Until we are formally informed that the office of the deputy governor is now outside Government House, then we will react appropriately. But for now, I believe it’s still in the realms of rumour.
“As a responsible government, there are certain things that should be done normally. I cannot go and resume there because I saw a signboard there. If there is anything like that, they should write him (Shaibu) officially because it is a joint ticket”, he said.