Edo crisis takes a new turn as govt slashes budgetary allocation to deputy governor’s office

The rift between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, may have taken another dimension as  N345 million was allocated to the Office of the Deputy Governor in the 2024 Budget as against the N19bn allocated to the Office of the State Governor.

An analysis of the budget which the governor signed into law on December 15, 2023, showed that the Office of the Secretary to the State Government got N8bn far higher than the N345m allocated to the deputy governor’s office.

The document also showed that while the House of Assembly got N13bn, the Office of the Head of Service got N968m.

A source close to the House of Assembly said the slash in the allocation to the deputy governor’s office was connected to his ambition to succeed his boss as governor of the state.

It was gathered that some lawmakers believed to be loyal to the deputy governor opposed the decision of the members of the assembly to pass the budget as presented by the governor.

Lawmakers in that category were said to have described it as an “unfair appropriation” but that they were overwhelmed other members.

An insider claimed that the budget has divided the lawmakers, but a principal member of the House of Assembly said there was no division in the House.

PUNCH reports that Shaibu had last week said his office had not received any allocation in the last six months owing to the tension between him and his principal.

The deputy governor, who stated this at the unveiling of the Correspondent Office in Benin on Tuesday, said he had been running the office and doing other activities through goodwill and contributions from friends.

He said, “You know there is tension between the governor and me. And for six months, there has been no allocation to my office. So, whatever I am doing is contributions from friends and my goodwill; and I am still standing very strong.”

(Punch)

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