The Oba of Benin, Omo N’ Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare N’Ogidgan 11, yesterday thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsing and presenting his party flag to the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) candidate in the Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu, insisting that the Benin Palace remains neutral in the politics of the state.
The highly revered Oba stated this when he received the APC’s candidate and the governors elected under the platform of APC, who visited him in his Palace in Benin City, the Edo state capital, during the flag off of the party’s governorship campaign in the state yesterday.
Oba Ewuare who, along with his Palace chiefs, prayed and gave Ize-Iyamu the traditional blessing said that even though he was elated over the endorsement of the APC’s candidate by the President, he explained that the Palace of the Oba of Benin does not get involved in partisan politics.
He strongly advised that in order to avoid recurrent socio-political conflict that seems to regularly ravish the state, making the state a laughing stock to the rest of the country on how politicians manage their affairs, Edo political actors should eradicate the twin evil of political violence.
Oba Ewuare 11 prayed for peace during and after the state governorship election slated for September 19, advising all stakeholders to play by the rules. Earlier while speaking, Ize-Iyamu said he was in the Palace, in line with the Benin tradition and culture to inform the Oba that the APC’s leaders were in his domain, Benin City, for the flag off of the party’s governorship election and requested for his blessing and prayer.
Speaking later at the well attended rally held at Uniben Sports Complex, Mai Mala Buni, the governor of Yobe State and Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) National Caretaker Committee advised supporters of the party to shun violence during campaigns and the September 19 Edo State governorship election.
He said, “You should not be involved in violence during the campaign and election because for us victory is sure.
“You should ensure that you go out and vote for APC, your vote will count,” On his part, the chairman, APC campaign Council and Kano State governor, Abdullah Umar Ganduje, said with the crowd witnessed during the campaign flag-off, APC will win the September 19 Governorship Election.
He said with the simple agenda of the party candidate, victory is already assured.
He commended the state chapter of the party for the successful swearing-in of the 14 members-elects of the State Assembly.
Former governor of the state and immediate past national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, said Ize-Iyamu is coming to reengineer the development of the state. He said, “When Ize-Iyamu becomes the governor, he would bring back government’s property privatised by Governor Godwin Obaseki, especially the Edo Central Hospital for both the rich and the poor,”.
Other dignitaries at the event were Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Dapo Abiodun, Rotimi Akeredolu, Hope Uzodima, Isiaka Oyetola, Abubakar Sani Bello, Nasir el-Rufai of Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Imo, Osun, Niger and Kaduna states.
Also present were Rotimi Amaechi, Timprey Silva, Ministers of Transportation and Minister of State for Petroleum respectively, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo- Agege.