Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki’s aspirations to return to office for a second four year tenure has received a setback with the announcement of the resignation from the state executive council of Hon. Joseph Ikpea, the Commissioner for Minerals, Oil and Gas.
Hon. Ikpea, a former Council chairman who hails from Ewatto in Esan South East Local Government Area of the state, is a brother to Chief Leemon Ikpea, Chief Executive Officer of Lee Engineering Company, a player in the oil business whose wealth is pronounced.
His resignation barely 11 days to the gubernatorial poll in the state is viewed as a negative signal for the governor especially as it is generally assumed that Edo Central where he hails from is the strong hold of the PDP. He joins a long list of members of the governor’s staff, including the Chief of Staff, who have resigned from the cabinet not minding the threat that they faced while the journey lasted.
Hon. Ikpea, who may likely team up with the Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu governorship campaign team, reportedly disclosed that although politics is all about interest, trust and mutual respect, he had not enjoyed those qualities under the administration of Governor Obaseki.
He added that his loyalty lay firmly with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and that the governor never respected the leadership role, to which he appointed him.
It will be recalled that reports emanated from the government house that since his infamous defection to the PDP, the governor has continued to use threats, blackmail and bad treatment to coerce and compel his staff to also defect to the PDP leading many of them to resign. Many analysts say the governor’s re-election bid cannot survive the unprecedented level of defection his government has witnessed.