Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu Embrace As Oba Of Benin Calls For Peace

The people of Edo State are hopeful for a peaceful governorship poll following a new twist in the electioneering events in the state.

In what many would not have expected to see before the September 19 poll, Governor Godwin Obaseki and his major rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, embraced each other for the first time in many months.

This follows weeks of heated tension in the state as a result of the activities of the two leading political parties in Edo – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Disturbed with the series of attacks and counter-attacks during campaign rallies in the last couple of weeks, the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, took a decisive step on Wednesday to end the trend of violence in the state.

The traditional ruler convened a peace meeting which had in attendance various leaders of the PDP and the APC in Edo at his palace in Benin City.

Notable among those in attendance are the PDP candidate, Obaseki; the APC flagbearer, Ize-Iyamu, former APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; his predecessor, John Oyegun, and the state Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, among other political actors in Edo.

Shortly after all the attendees were seated, Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu, and others went before the traditional ruler to pay homages to him.

Failed Interventions

The Oba of Benin began his remarks by recalling the good relationship between the incumbent governor and his predecessor – Oshiomhole.

He said he had known Obaseki since he (Ewuare II) was serving as an ambassador, adding that he was present at an event where the governor made a presentation before he was elected into office.

The traditional ruler wondered what went wrong that led to the situation in which Obaseki and Oshiomhole have found themselves.

According to him, the former APC national chairman once brought a notable businessman in the country to him who stood as a guarantor for the governor before he was elected into office.

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