By Jethro Ibileke
The Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, has said that the tensed political atmosphere in Edo state has left much to be desired.
He disclosed this on Saturday in Benin, while playing host to Governor Mai-Mala-Buni of Yobe state and caretaker committee chairman of the All Progressives Congress, who led the party’s governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-iyamu, and the campaign entourage of the party on a courtesy visit to his palace.
It would be recalled that 17 members-elect of the APC have allegedly attempted to forcefully brake into the Anthony Enahoro House of Assembly complex, after invasion by police operatives from Abuja.
The members-elect were however resisted by supporters of Governor Godwin Obaseki and of PDP.
The incident sparked close to violent protest from supporters of both parties.
Addressing his visitors, Oba Ewuare’s said everyone is the situation saddens everyone.
According to him, “We are all aware how things have been going on in Edo state. Everybody is aware we have not been happy.
“I have always encouraged council of traditional rulers and chiefs to indulge in prayers and fasting for peace and tranquility in Edo state.
“As you begin your campaign, I want to appeal to you to go about it peacefully, before, during and after the election.”
The Monarch admonished candidates in the Edo state gubernatorial election scheduled for September 19, to embrace peace, shun violence and avoid campaigns of calumny in the built-up to the election.
He however called for prayers from all religious leaders, noting that nothing is more powerful than prayers.
He said; “The whole world is focusing on the election in Edo and Ondo. We need a lot of prayers.
“Prayer is powerful than guns. We want to appeal to everybody across all religious groups to pray for a peaceful election,” he said.
Oba Ewuare ll who emphasized that the palace is non partisan, added that he is not against any candidate.
“I have never been for or against anybody, but when the people choose, we will go to the chosen one and pray that he succeeds in office throughout his term.
“We see every candidate as our child. We can’t lean toward a particular candidate. It is a lot wiser to leave the outcome of such event to God.
Earlier in his speech, governor Mai-Mala-Buni of Yobe, said APC has resolved to renew its mandate and take Edo back.