As the Edo State governorship election inches closer, the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, has called on the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Godwin Obaseki, and his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Osagie Ize-lyamu, to caution their supporters and eschew violence.
Also charging the former national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, to toe the path of peace, the monarch urged all political actors to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan, who conceded defeat, even as an incumbent, in the 2015 general ballot.
Oba Ewuare II said this yesterday at his palace in Benin City during a meeting with the candidates of the two major political parties towards the peaceful election in the state.
Expressing worry over the violence rocking the APC and PDP campaigns, the monarch said the purpose of the meeting was to strongly appeal to politicians to call their supporters, particularly those fuelling crises in the state ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
“I want to ask the political actors in Edo State, why are you all doing this? The office is four years; why do you want lives to be lost? Why are you arming thugs? At the end of the day, the thugs will keep those guns with them.”
“Tell your boys to a ceasefire. Enough is enough. Life will be hereafter election. Even if you don’t win, God has something better for you.”
Urging them to emulate Jonathan, he noted that the former president had called his rival, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015 and congratulated his election, even before the result was announced, which doused tension in the country.
According to him, it is better for the major political parties’ candidates to engage in a political debate to reel out their manifestoes to the electorate than fight.
The monarch expressed disappointment that the cordial relationship that once existed between Oshiomhole and Obaseki turned to conflict.
Ize-Iyamu assured the monarch that he would address his followers to maintain peace before, during, and after the election.
However, former national chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun expressed shock over the political crisis in APC.
Chairman of PDP Campaign Council, Chief Dan Orbih, commended the monarch for calling for the peace meeting and expressed optimism that all issues raised by the palace would be addressed.