The Palace of the Oba of Benin has cautioned politicians in Edo State not to turn the state into a war zone because of gubernatorial ambition. Recall that suspected thugs loyal to the ruling party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and those of the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, had had a violent confrontation in front of the palace gate on Saturday July 25 when a delegation of the leadership of the PDP led by the governor, Godwin Obaseki paid a courtesy call on the Oba.
In a statement on Wednesday titled “Appeal For Peace in Edo State”, the Benin Traditional Council, BTC, reiterated and emphasized its earlier position that “the Benin Throne is not partisan”. Signed by its secretary, Frank Irabor, the BTC said it “observed with dismay the unruly behavior” of some youths outside the gate of the Palace when the state governor and some other PDP governors visited His Majesty, the Oba of Benin, stating that the meeting was cordial and ended well.
According to the BTC, “We were therefore surprised to hear later that there was an incident outside the Palace, directly in front of Oredo local government secretariat”. It stated that “His Majesty condemns this unruly behaviour that occurred in front of the Palace “.
The BTC further expressed the Oba’s commitment to peace and tranquility in the state “and peaceful upcoming gubernatorial election” and enjoined all well-meaning indigenes of the state to join the Oba in continuous prayers towards this end.
Since the ugly incident, there had been buck-passing between the APC and the PDP over who started the fight, which left many persons hospitalized from gun shot wounds, while several cars were also destroyed.