It was a historic moment Wednesday as the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II met with political parties and leaders where he sued for peace and urged them to emulate the action of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 when he lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.
First to meet with the monarch were gladiators of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and All Progressives Congress, APC, who Oba Ewuare II said was hitting up the polity.
Noting that elections were not a do-or-die affair, he said the politicians must note that they have only Edo state to call their own and thus must do everything to protect it from disintegration.
He said not only has the state been in the news for the wrong reasons but also that the governorship election has pitched the people against themselves.
He said “Today is a very historic day, in the history of Edo State and in the history of the ancient kingdom of Benin. I don’t think we had reasons to call this kind of meeting. I appreciate the respect you gentlemen have shown to the traditional institution. Edo politics have been in the news for quite some time now for all the wrong reasons, we have sleepless nights for quite some time now because these are all our people, these are people of the same stock, from the same body, there is nobody that is a stranger to each other. I have been worried; I have been worried right from the time the conflict started between Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the former governor, and the incumbent governor, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki.
“I want you to take your mind back to 2015. Before the final election results were announced, President Goodluck Jonathan picked up his telephone and called President Buhari. All the predictions, forecasts by the international community that Nigeria will break up, it is going to be on fire everything quenched just by that singular act. I actually admire President Jonathan for his humility, for the gentlemanly way he handled 2015.
“You are all political actors in Edo State knowing where you are coming from. You have been together, now you are not together, you confuse the press, you confuse the public, you are confusing everybody. Why are you all doing this? Is it just because of the office? It is for four years and at most another four years, why will you now want lives to be lost? Why do we hear that you are arming thugs? Why?”
The monarch extracted commitment to peace from the leaders including Governor Godwin Obaseki, his deputy Comrade Philip Shaibu, the candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Oshiomhole, and the South-South Vice Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih.
Former National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun lauded the initiative of the Oba.