At least five Peoples Democratic Party governors late Tuesday paid a visit to the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, for the role the monarch played in the peaceful September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
The governors were Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Godwin Obaseki, the host governor.
Also in the entourage were Dan Orbih, the PDP National Vice-Chairman of PDP, South-South and Anthony Aziegbemi, the state Chairman of PDP.
Mr Wike, who was the Chairman of PDP National Campaign Council for Edo governorship election, expressed appreciation to the Oba of Benin, for his timely intervention and prayers which contributed to the peaceful conduct of the election in the state, in which Governor Obaseki was re-elected on the platform of the PDP.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the revered monarch on September 2 called the two top candidates in the election, Mr Obaseki (PDP) and Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress to undertake a peace agreement to douse the rising electoral tension before the election.
This was followed by the signing of a peace accord by the two candidates and others at an event organised by the Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee.
Mr Wike said the peace meeting convened by the monarch and his fervent prayers for peace contributed immensely to the successful conduct of the governorship election.
“We made a promise to you and the palace that by the special grace of God if Godwin Obaseki emerges as the winner, we will come back here and thank the Oba and the palace chiefs. On the 19th of September, election was held and then on the 20th of September, Godwin Obaseki was declared as the winner of that election. As it is our tradition in PDP, we will always respect the traditional institution and whatever promise we have made, we will always fulfil that promise.
“And so today, we have come on behalf of the Peoples Democratic Party, other governors would have been here but because of other engagements I have to come with Oyo, Adamawa, Sokoto ad Rivers and of course including your own son, Edo State, to come and thank you and thank the palace leaders,” Mr Wike said.
Also, Mr Obaseki expressed appreciation to Oba Ewuare II for the warm reception and assured that his administration will serve the interest of the Edo people who gave him the mandate for a second term as governor.
“I want to assure you that as the governor of Edo State I have heard your admonishments, I want to promise that I will rededicate myself in my next tenure to the full service of Edo state and the people of Edo State. We will always rely on your wise counsel, we will always rely on you to pray for us and ensure that we the required peace so that we can do all the good things that God desires of us to do for our people,” Mr Obaseki said.
In his response, the Oba of Benin thanked the PDP governors for the honour accorded him. He congratulated Mr Obaseki on his election victory.
He commended the political parties and their candidates who participated in the election for respecting the Benin Traditional Institution by honouring the peace meeting.
The Benin monarch urged Mr Obaseki to be magnanimous in victory.
The Oba of Benin said, “I appeal to the governor to let bygone be bygone, all are gone now and I have told him that he should stretch out the olive branch for all sides to work with him. All hands should be on deck to work for Edo State and Edo people everywhere they may be.
“I said the whole world is watching Edo State and I said, don’t worry it is not what they think will happen that will happen. Come the election, there will be peace and I begged my ancestors and that if it is only that we can achieve, I will thank our God.”
He also charged Mr Obaseki not to allow the emergence of another political ‘godfather’, one of the allegations the governor made against his estranged political mentor, former APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
“I remember I said in one of my comments that I don’t like this idea of godfatherism, that it is becoming too much. I want to on this occasion plead with the PDP that you also as you have always been talking about the concept of godfatherism, you will uphold it and don’t let unscrupulous members of your party try to now come out and start to use your party by proxy or remote control to control our governor and end up being the hidden godfathers, we don’t want hidden godfathers.”