Public Apology: Go and Sin No More, Obaseki Tells Penitent Deputy

The frosty relationship between Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, and his hitherto estranged deputy, Philip Shaibu is about to be normalised with Thursday’s acceptance of the public apology tendered exactly a week ago by the remorseful deputy governor over what the governor described as his “aberrant behavior”.

In a personally signed statement titled “Re: Public Apology by the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu”, and dated September 28, 2023, Obaseki said in spite of the “severe personal discomfort” caused him by Shaibu’s “unwarranted provocations”, he was under obligation, as a person of faith, to accept his apology because “to err is human, to forgive divine”.

Shaibu had, while speaking in his new office after his investiture as the Grand Patron of the Catholic Men Organisation of Nigeria of the Catholic Archdioceses of Benin, profusely begged for his principal’s forgiveness, declaring that “I am missing my governor”.   

Accepting his apology, Governor Obaseki wrote: “I have noted the public apology made by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu. This apology followed an aberrant behaviour that contradicts what the people of Edo State stand for.  

“To name a few, the Deputy Governor needlessly filed unfounded petitions in the Nigerian courts restraining me, the State House of Assembly, and Security agencies from a non-existent impeachment process, followed by repeated breaches of protocol; unwarranted and unprovoked attacks in the media on my person and the state government. The media frenzy as a result of the above and more provided an impression of crises that have been precarious and distasteful to Edo people in the State and across the world.

“Although these unwarranted provocations caused me severe personal discomfort, as a person of faith, I am under obligation to accept this apology because as they say, to err is human, to forgive is divine”.

 “In good faith, I trust that the public apology as expressed by the Deputy Governor is genuine and followed by contrite steps to improve his conflict resolution skills. I also enjoin the Deputy Governor to guide his proxies to act in accordance with his piety.

 “It is my sincere hope and that of my other colleagues in government, and all well-meaning Edo people, that these rhetorics will be put to an end forthwith to enable this administration to finish strong and deliver the dividends of democracy to the greatest number of Edo people over this final twelve (12) months”.

In his public apology, a visibly penitent Shaibu had told journalists “I have always said that I am a loyal servant and nothing has changed. I took a vow to support my governor, and as you can see, the Catholic people are here.

“One thing about me is that if I have a vow with God, there is nothing that can change it. I can only wish that the relationship that we had before, I pray, and know that in the next few weeks, it will come back.  I am missing my governor and I pray that God will touch my governors and all our hearts, and even those that are trying to be in-between us. God would touch their hearts to know that I mean well.  

“If there is any mistake I have made as human, it is just human and not an act of wickedness because I am not wicked, and I have a clean heart. I use this medium to appeal to Mr. Governor that if there is any mistake I have made, or if there (is) anything that I have done that I don’t know of, he should please forgive me so that we can develop our state together”.

Noting that it is just one year to go to the end of the administration, Shaibu posited that their relationship had been the envy of the entire country because they see it as “impossible”. He therefore pleaded passionately with Governor Obaseki “If there is anything you feel I have done, please I am sorry, and I need us to work together to finish well and strong because that is my prayer for you”.  

A subdued Shaibu said he had obeyed his boss’ directive to relocate to his new office, and expressed his willingness to gladly carry out any responsibility given to him by the governor.

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