Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has condemned “godfatherism”, saying “consensus candidate” must stop in the politics of Edo State.
He said the two are “political vices” and they are against the fundamental basis of democracy.
There has been political horse trading and tension in the state over the reported moves by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole to see that Governor Godwin Obaseki does not win a second term.
This has been traced to disagreements between the governor and the chairman. The chairman is widely known to have backed his candidature before he became governor.
Recently, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a governorship aspirant, is reported to be backed by Oshiomhole.
The Oba denied reports suggesting that he has palace prevailed on some aspirants to step down “for a particular candidate in the upcoming primaries of a certain political party”.
A statement from the palace reads: “The palace totally denounces this evil speculation and condemns those that originated it.
“His Royal Majesty, Omo N‘Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpoiokpolo, the Oba of Benin has said times without number that the Palace of the Oba of Benin does not get involved in partisan politics. The three prayer points of the Oba of Benin in the democratic process have always been as follows; that God and our ancestors should give us a governor that will accord respect to traditional institutions, develop this state and provide food on the table for the masses.
“The Omo N’Oba strongly advises that in order to eschew recurrent socio political conflict that seems to constantly ravish the state, making Edo people a laughing stock to the rest of the country in how politicians manage the affairs of Edo people, our Edo political actors must eradicate the twin evil political vices of Godfatherism and CONSENSUS CANDIDATE.
“These two practices seem antithetical to the very fundamental basis of democracy. In other words, this business of coercing aspirants to step down for another candidate for whatsoever reason is undemocratic It will not augur well for the development of democratic process in Nigeria.
“Ghana Must Go politics should end in the State. Politicians should stop cashing in on the poor masses and exploiting them for their votes.
“As the various political parties go about the process of selecting their candidates through their respective party primaries, we urge all to exercise the highest standards of maturity and sportsmanship, as the desire to bring about the best for the people of Edo State cannot be compromised nor sacrificed on the altar of intolerance, rumour mongering and fake news.
“Rumour mongers are reminded that there is an ancestral curse on anyone who attempts to tarnish the image of the Oba of Benin and the ancient throne of Benin Kingdom, which will normally be for their selfish ends.”