A cross-section of senior Benin chiefs on Sunday rejected efforts by the sacked National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to drag them into partisan politics, urging the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu to try out his luck at the poll come September 19, 2020.
According to the chiefs, their traditional duties to Edo people, irrespective of the political parties they belong, restrain some of them from campaigning for any candidate, and would not be swayed by Oshiomhole’s genuflections and pleas.
“Edo people are very rational people, they know who to vote for on September 19. Some of us are pensioners and we know the candidate that will not delay our monthly pension. The civil servants, teachers and other government workers know the candidate that will prioritise their wellbeing and sustain the ongoing reforms in all sectors of the state,” one of the chiefs said.
The chiefs, who pleaded not to be mentioned, noted that some of them occupy very sensitive positions in the palace of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, hence would join the Benin monarch in prayers for a peaceful election in the state.
“Some of us came for this meeting with Oshiomhole to hear what message he has for us. But I felt embarrassed when he went down on his knees to start begging us to vote for the APC candidate. Oshiomhole said he made a mistake for campaigning for Obaseki in 2016. What is the guarantee that he is not making a worse mistake this time?
“We are not children, we can’t be manipulated by politicians. Oshiomhole had his time as governor for eight years, and all Benin people supported him. He should allow Edo people to choose their leader this time, without being hoodwinked,” one of them said.
He added that “the majority of Edo people will support the candidate that is committed to a peaceful and secure state devoid of warlords and killer gangs, to sustain the progress we have witnessed in all aspects of our lives in recent times.”