There was drama on Friday evening as Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, excused himself from a debate organised by BBC News Pidgin for governorship candidates in the state.
Peoples Democratic Party’s Obaseki spoke at the start of the meeting, but said he had to attend another meeting, and suggested that his deputy, Phillip Shaibu continue in his stead.
All Progressives Congress’ Osagie Ize-Iyamu, refused the arrangement as he said Shaibu was not a governorship candidate, and the debate was for candidates vying for the top seat in the state.
Obaseki said in Pidgin English, “First, I wan’ thank una say una invite me come this programme, make we debate among ourselves, make we fit talk wetin we wan do for the people of Edo State.
“But make I first start by apologising. You see, as I dey now, I no dey Benin. I had to travel on emergency this evening come somewhere, and the meeting dey very important. But abi tell una, so my deputy dey on ground. E no get anything wey I dey do wey im no know.
“So, I say out of respect, make I first do this opening round, I will rush go the meeting, and hopefully my deputy go continue.”
Reacting, Ize-Iyamu said, “Abeg make I talk small for wetin Governor Obaseki talk. This debate na for governorship candidates, no be wetin den dey delegate. If he no go fit stay, he no go fit stay.
“But say he wan’ comot make im deputy go come dey follow us debate, I no get hand for that one. If he no get ready, make im no say he no wan’ debate with us.
“But if he wants to debate, he has to stay but me no go sit down with im deputy. If na deputy own, I go call my deputy make im come talk with im deputy. No be me and im deputy dey debate, na governorship debate.”
The debate continued without both Obaseki and Shaibu, but the governor returned towards its end.