Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Nedo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Ewuare II on Thursday stated his position on political developments in Edo State. He is opposed to imposition (consensus candidate) and god-fatherism, a statement from Benin Palace said.
The statement, signed by Frank Irabor, Secretary to the Benin Traditional Council, said there was no truth in social media speculations that the royal father had prevailed on some governorship aspirants to step down for one of the aspirants in the upcoming shadow poll of a certain political party.
The rescheduled primary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will hold on June 23, a day after that of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The statement said the monarch’s prayer had always been that “God and our ancestors should give us a governor that will accord respect to traditional institution, develop this state and, provide food on the table for the masses.”
It reads: “HRM has said times without number that the palace of the Oba of Benin does not get involved in partisan politics…
“The Omo N’¹Oba strongly advises that in order to eschew recurrent socio-political conflict that seems to constantly ravish the state, making Edo people a laughing stock to the rest of the country on how politicians manage the affairs of Edo people, our Edo political actors must eradicate the twin evil of political vices of godfatherism and consensus candidacy. The two practices seem antithetical to the very fundamental basis of democracy.
“Let everybody take note that the palace is very weary of imposition of candidates, when only certain individuals want, but majority of the people do not want. ‘Ghana must go’ politics should end in the state. Politicians should stop cashing in on the poor masses and exploiting them for their votes.
“We believe all qualified aspirants in any elective office should be given a level-playing field, for democracy to develop to the next level in Nigeria. Political actors should mature up and learn not to wash their dirty linen in public.”
The Oba of Benin also admonished politicians, as they are preparing for their governorship primary elections, to exercise the highest standards of maturity and sportsmanship, stressing that the desire to bring about the best for the people of Edo State should not be compromised or sacrificed on the altar of intolerance, rumour mongering and fake news.
The monarch reminded rumour mongers that there is an ancestral curse on anyone who attempt to tarnish the image of the Oba of Benin and the ancient throne of Benin Kingdom, which would normally be for their selfish ends.”