The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Akpolokpolo Ewuare II, has appealed to the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), not to allow members of the party become godfathers to Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The Oba made the appeal on Tuesday when PDP Governors led by its Chairman, Governor Aminu Tambuwal paid a thank you visit to the monarch following the victory of the party in the gubernatorial election in the state.
“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 you 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” the Oba said.
“If you will recall when I invited the distinguished political actors of all the political parties particularly the two most active political actors, I also said why were they being called gladiators as if they were in the coliseum in Rome? I asked if they had been to the coliseum where the kill themselves at all cost, where the winner is the only one that is alive to claim victory and all the others dead? I said this is not the coliseum, this is not winner takes all or do or die affair and I did say that at the end of the day, it should be no Victor no vanquish, and that both side should consider it win win for everybody. I pleaded that the winner must accommodate the other persons.
“I appealed to the governor to let bygone be bygone, all are gone now and I 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. This is where everybody will be proud to belong to.
“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 that come election, there will be peace and I begged my ancestors that if it is only that we are able to achieve, I will thank our God”, he stated.
Earlier in his remarks, Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike said they were in the Oba’s palace in fulfillment of the promise they made before the polls that they will come back to thank him after the 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 and Rivers and of course including your own son, Edo State to come and thank you and thank the palace leaders.
“You made a promise to us that as a traditional ruler, and as far as everybody is concerned you are apolitical and so that you will not canvass for votes for anybody but what you preach is that there should be peace, there should be free and fair election Your Royal Majesty, we have seen with our eyes indeed there was a free and fair election, indeed the election was peaceful you said you will pray to our ancestors that in Edo, there shouldn’t be bloodshed and that is why the election was very free, was not violent and a leader has emerged we felt it will be very bad on our part if we have made that commitment before and you and didn’t come back. We are not a party that will promise and fail, when we promise, we will deliver and to take your son now that he is back for everybody to unite together for the development of Edo state” he said.
Others in the entourage were the National Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council for the Edo State election, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, South-South National Vice Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih and host Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.