By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
The Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, has tasked the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Godwin Obaseki and the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to ask their followers to ceasefire and stop the shooting in the state.
He gave the order during a peace pact meeting with both governorship candidates in the forthcoming governorship election in the state in his palace.
The monarch said he decided to summon the peace pact meeting following the reported cases of violence in the state and that has made it to be in the news for the bad reason.
He said the politicians should emulate the immediate past President of the country, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who conceded defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 Presidential election that eventually put a lie to the prediction from the international community that the country was going to disintegrate after the election.
He said it is better for the major political governorship candidates in the forthcoming election to engage in a political debate to reel out their manifestoes to the electorate rather than fighting each other.
He said the both parties must talk to their supporters to sheath their swords before, during and after the election to show to the entire world that they can conduct themselves, and have a peaceful election in the state.
He said this election is almost becoming the worst in the annal of the state following the incessant violence that has characterized the ongoing campaigns in the state.
He said the two major political gladiators in the election must talk to their followers to shun violence and embrace peace before, during and after the election while the governorship candidates must make a commitment towards that.
The Oba however gave the candidates and some of their top members in their entourage opportunity to make some words of commitments.
On the part of Governor Godwin Obaseki, governorship candidate of the PDP, he said as the chief security officer of the state, he has already sworn to an oath to protect the lives and property of the people of the state and that he will not do anything short of that.
For the governorship candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, he assured the monarch that he would address his followers to maintain peace before, during and after the election adding that he will not go against his instructions.
Also speaking, former national chairman of the APC, chief John Odigie Oyegun expressed shock on how the whole political crisis in APC degenerated to the present state and promised to work for peace of the state.
For Adams Oshiomhole, the immediate past national chairman of the APC, he said he was never known for violence adding that he was the two times governor of the state and that he didn’t get that through the means of violence and that he will not start it when he is campaigning for someone else and moreso not at his old age.
For Chief Dan Orbih of the PDP, he commended the monarch for calling for the peace pact and assured that he will abide by his instructions.
On the soured relationship that has existed between Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki, Ewuare II said that he was very disappointed that the cordial relationship that once existed between the current governor, Godwin Obaseki and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole was strained.
He narrated how Oshiomhole tried to seek his comments on the candidacy of Obaseki while trying to market him but he refused to comment even when Alinko Dangote also tried to wade him