Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has hailed the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, for decrying violence in the on-going campaigns, adding that his royal intervention had cooled the Edo political temperature.
But the APC maintained the revered Oba’s pep talk only underscored its stand all along: violence has no place in the civilized electioneering of selling programmes and ideas, adding that a popular party and candidate have no cause to resort to violence.
A statement by Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon, the National Vice Chairman of the Edo Governorship Campaigns said, “Yet again, we the Edo, should all be proud that in Oba Ewuare, we have a wise, polished, accomplished, visionary and leader, who can counsel his subjects with royal firmness, from the patrician to the pauper; and earn the respect of them all.”
The APC prayed for a long, long reign, more wisdom, and booming health for the foremost Edo monarch.
“As long as our revered Oba lives, we know Edo will never go to seeds. That is why we pray, and will continue to pray, for his long, long reign.”
The campaign, however, noted that from the Oba’s interaction, it was clear where the violence was coming from, adding that it hoped the other side would take the Oba’s wise counsel, drop their violence and thuggery and embrace peaceful electioneering, where both sides can freely sell their ideas.
“We have said it before and we are saying it again: we condemn any iota of violence on the campaign stump. We, the Edo APC, absolutely don’t need it. Our candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is popular. His programmes, presented as the Simple Agenda, resonate with the masses of Edo people. To crown it all, our APC is a mass movement, entrenched throughout the length and breadth of Edo State. Why,” the statement queried, “should we then visit violence on our own people?”
Counselling the Edo PDP and Governor Godwin Obaseki, the APC asked them to turn a new leaf, adding that there is life after elections.
“We advise Governor Obaseki to solemnly ponder the Oba’s advice to think of think after office, since he wouldn’t be governor forever,” the release stated. “We also call on Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, to honour his pledge to the Oba to tell his armed thugs to ‘take it easy.’ That done,” it added, “we can go out and freely campaign to the Edo people on ideas and programmes.”
The Edo APC reminded the PDP that September 19 was around the corner, adding that too much time, lives and limbs had already been wasted on violence.
“Let’s all go out and sell our ideas. Violence helps nobody. Let the party with better and superior programmes win — and from what we have done on the campaign trail so far,” it added, “the better side will be us on September 19. On that day, Pastor Ize-Iyamu will sweep the polls — not because of the rippling muscles of gun-toting thugs but because of the cutting edge of his ideas.”