By Gabriel Enogholease and Ozioruva Aliu
THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors led by its chairman, Governor Aminu Tambuwal Tuesday late evening paid an unscheduled visit to the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II where they commended the monarch on the role he played to ensure a peaceful election.
Others in the entourage were the chairman of the PDP Campaign Council for Edo governorship election, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa state, Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, South-South Vice Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.
Oba Ewuare in his charge urged the governors to ensure that they act what they have been preaching about the ills of godfatherism even as he advised Governor Obaseki to ensure he acts as governor of the whole of Edo state.
He said; “I thank our ancestors for hearing our prayers, thank God for ensuring that peace reigned. 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 killed 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 a winner takes all or do or die affair and I did say that at the end of the day, it should be no victor any vanquish and that both sides should consider it win-win for everybody. I pleaded that the winner must accommodate the other persons.
“I appeal to the governor to let bygone be bygone, all are gone now and I have 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.
“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 and that if it is only that we are able to achieve, I will thank our God.
“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 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”
Wike on his part said they were in the palace to fulfil the promise they made that they would return to thank the Oba if their candidate wins.
He said: “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 ad 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”
On his part, Obaseki said he would abide by the advice of the monarch “I want to assure you that as the governor of Edo state I have heard your admonishments 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 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”