#EdoDecides: The Oba of Benin preaches peace but will Obaseki and Oshiomhole listen?

Edo State 2020

It’s 16 days to the Edo Governorship election and Nigerians have mixed feelings on how it will turn out, considering the recent spate of violence during off-season elections in Nigeria; Kogi and Bayelsa.

The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II Wednesday, admonished politicians in the state, particularly the governorship candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Godwin Obaseki, and the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, over spate of pre-election violence and confrontational utterances already tearing the state apart ahead of the September 19 election.

Any election in Nigeria usually comes with a lot of political plays and tension. One could sit in a theatre and spend three months watching the whole thing. It is the same thing with Edo, with the ‘federal might’ and ‘incumbent might’ drama playing out once again. From Obaseki’s defection to the PDP to Oshiomhole’s show of strength. The Oba’s call for a peaceful election comes better late than never. It has also been alleged that both Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu have been chiefly influenced by godfathers whose political ideas pose a threat to a peaceful election and the people of Edo.

At the meeting, the monarch talked about the rumours claiming some politicians are hiring and arming thugs for the election, warning them to desist from violence. He also expressed worry about what the guns would be used for after the election, insisting that an election isn’t a do-or-die affair.

 

On Tuesday, it was reported that the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, narrowly escaped death on Tuesday after a fatal convoy accident with the party tagging it an assassination attempt which could further raise tension in the state. The incident is believed to be what prompted the Oba to invite both Obaseki of PDP and Ize-Iyamu of APC for a truce.

But what have they said after the peace-keeping visit?

Following the peace-keeping mission of the Oba, both Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu shared on Twitter how they will do better and ensure to keep the peace during the elections and after.

While the election is only days away, we can only hope that the Oba’s message will not just fall on deaf ears and that the lives of the people in Edo will be prioritised over whatever political ambitions these political actors may have.

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