The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo has warned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its leadership against constituting another ‘godfather system’ in Edo State.
The first-class traditional ruler handed down the warning on Tuesday when the party paid him a thank-you visit in his palace in Edo State.
The PDP led by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike who was the Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council for the Edo governorship election appreciated the monarch for his efforts at ensuring peace before and during the September 19 governorship election in the state.
Others on the entourage were Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Seyi Makinde, Oyo State, Ahamdu Fintiri, Adamawa State, the host governor, Godwin Obaseki of Edo state and PDP South-South Vice Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih.
Godwin Obaseki, the PDP candidate emerged victorious, defeating all other candidates in the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Receiving the PDP delegation, the Oba of Benin said: “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.”
The Oba also admonished the winner of the election to be magnanimous in victory, stressing that the victory is about the development of the state and what will benefit the people of Edo State.
He called on all stakeholders to join hands to move the state forward.
“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 they 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 vanquished, no victor and that both sides should consider it a win-win for everybody.
I pleaded that the winner must accommodate the other persons”, the Oba noted.
Adding that “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 proud to be”.
Wike in his response, assured the Monarch that the PDP will stand by its promise made to the people before the elections to uphold peace and respect the wish of the people.
“Your Royal Majesty just like the governor of Sokoto state said when we came here to flag off the campaign of our brother Godwin Obaseki, 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”, Wike explained.
The Rivers State governor also appreciated the Oba for showing true leadership and accepting everybody under his umbrella.
“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 have also made commitment that you will pray that there will be peace and that you will pray that there will be free and fair election and there was free and fair election, and there was peace then we have no duty other than to come and also play our role to say thank you for gathering the entire people of Edo state to make sure that Edo State was peaceful and the election was free and fair and that is what we have come here to do today. 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 added.
On his part, Governor Obaseki promised to justify the confidence reposed in him by the palace and the good people of Edo State.
While expressing total regard for the traditional institution, Obaseki added that he would continue to consult with the monarch in delivering good governance.
“You have kindly received us today, I want to assure you that as the governor of Edo state I have heard your admonitions. 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 n 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”, Obaseki stated.