The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Nedo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Ewuare II, has kicked against godfatherism in the politics of Edo State, warning that the state politicians must stop making Edo people a laughing stock to the rest of the country.
The monarch stated this in a statement on Thursday released by the Secretary to the Benin Traditional Council, Frank Irabor, while revealing his position on the upcoming governorship election in the state.
He also denied reports suggesting that his palace asked some aspirants to step down “for a particular candidate in the upcoming primaries of a certain political party”.
The statement warned against dragging the royal father into politics, insisted that the palace is werry of imposition of candidates.
“His Royal Majesty, Omo N‘Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpoiokpolo, the Oba of Benin has said times without number that the Palace of the Oba of Benin does not get involved in partisan politics.
“The three prayer points of the Oba of Benin in the democratic process have always been as follows; that God and our ancestors should give us a governor that will accord respect to traditional institutions, develop this state and provide food on the table for the masses.
The monarch expressed his discontent with godfatherism and presentation of a consensus candidate by a faction of party chieftains to govern the people of Edo.
“The Omo N’Oba strongly advises that in order to eschew recurrent socio political conflict that seems to constantly ravish the state, making Edo people a laughing stock to the rest of the country in how politicians manage the affairs of Edo people, our Edo political actors must eradicate the twin evil political vices of Godfatherism and CONSENSUS CANDIDATE.
“These two practices seem antithetical to the very fundamental basis of democracy. In other words this business of coercing aspirants to step down for another candidate for whatsoever reason is undemocratic It will not augur well for the development of democratic process in Nigeria.”
The oba said the palace is “very weary” of the imposition of candidates whom only certain individuals want, not the majority.
“Ghana Must Go politics should end in the State. Politicians should stop cashing in on the poor masses and exploiting them for their votes,” he added.
“As the various political parties go about the process of selecting their candidates through their respective party primaries, we urge all to exercise the highest standards of maturity and sportsmanship, as the desire to bring about the best for the people of Edo State cannot be compromised nor sacrificed on the altar of intolerance, rumour mongering and fake news.
“Rumour mongers are reminded that there is an ancestral curse on anyone who attempts to tarnish the image ol the Oba of Benin and the ancient throne of Benin Kingdom, which will normally be for their selfish ends.”