The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II has expressed pain over the growing electoral violence in Edo State alledgedly stoked by the two major governorship candidates, Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The first class monarch expressed that the development was giving him sleepless nights, while asking them to cease fire and concentrate on issue base campaign as election takes place on September 19th.
He asked the candidates to caution their supporters to eschew violence, noting that this election was about being the worst in Edo’s electoral history.
The Oba of Benin said, “The warning is especially for the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Oba revealed at the peace meeting in his palace that traditional prayers are being offered for peace to reign, but the warring candidates should do their beat at cautioning the youths who always indulge in violence.
“I want to appeal to politicians to control the youths. I want the politicians to assure us that there will be peace. You do not kill yourselves over an office.
“I have had sleepless nights over this. My mind is burning up over this violence and shooting all over the state. Let the shooting stop and let there be peace and quiet in the state.”
The monarch warned that the election should not be a do-or-die affair, adding that nobody should kill himself because of election.
Oba told the candidates to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The two candidates must tow the line of peace just like Jonathan did when he willingly announced his acceptance of defeat in 2015.
“This singular act changed the prediction of international community that Nigeria will break up as a result of that election.
“We are begging you politicians, particularly the two political gladiators. You must all do your bit to calm down the tension in the state.”
Also at the meeting were two former national chairmen of the APC and ex-governors of the state, Adams Oshiomhole and John Odigie-Oyegun.
Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had on Sunday raised the alarm about politicians arming and deploying thugs in preparation for the upcoming election in the state, warning of a high possibility of violence and possible cross-attack by political opponents during the polls.
The Edo governorship election holds in about two weeks’ time, but there has been heightened tension in the state as the political players, especially in the APC and PDP have continued to engage themselves in verbal attacks.
The State House of Assembly has also been embroiled in crisis of late with different political camps trying to outdo one another.
Obaseki, who is seeking re-election, will face amongst other opponents, Ize-Iyamu, who has the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the support of APC stalwart, Bola Tinubu; and former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole
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