In an emotions laden speech yesterday, the revered Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has called on the two political parties jostling for the governorship position in Edo state, All Progressives Congress(APC) and People’s Democratic Power(PDP), to emulate the ex-President Jonathan, who congratulated President Muhammad Buhari immediately after losing the 2015 polls.
The monarch made the charge on Wednesday during a meeting he had with leading candidates and their chief supporters ahead of the September 19 governorship election in the state.The incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, now in PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, the APC flag bearer, former National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and also former Edo State governor, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, were all there, among others.
The traditional ruler lamented over the attitude of some politicians whose activities and utterances have made Edo to be in the news for the wrong reasons. In particular, he berated Adams Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki whose relationship hitherto was very cordial and thought to bring peace and progress in the state, but now extremely sour, tainting the image of Edo state. The king stressed unequivocally that the peace and unity of the state superseded every other interests.
Finally, while demanding assurances of peace from the politicians, before, during and after the election, Oba Ewuare II also admonished them to eschew hate speeches and thuggery which were capable of heightening tensions. He reemphasized the fact that the Benin throne remains nonpartisan, as always. At the end of the meeting, political leaders from the two divides spoke to assure the traditional ruler that peace would reign in the state.
John Daniel Obioma