July 21, 2024

Imperatives of Oba Ewuare II Charge to Edo Governorship Aspirants Not to Emulate Politicians who Disrespect Monarchs


Oba Ewuare II

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By Editorial Board

About fortnight ago, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, tasked politicians in Edo State and across Nigeria not to emulate politicians who disrespect monarchs, but those who always accord traditional institutions due respect.

That way according to the monarch, they will attract and enjoy the blessings and protection of the ancestors.

The revered monarch gave his advise when one of the governorship aspirant on the platform of Labour Party (LP) in Edo State, Kenneth Imansuagbon, paid a visit to the palace for royal blessings for his political gubernatorial aspiration ahead of the September 21, 2024 governorship election in the state.

Oba Ewuare II prayed for Imansuagbon and admonished him to respect the traditional institution in the state to ensure the progress of Edo State.

The call to politicians by the paramount ruler comes when other well meaning political leaders are lending their voices to the need for constitutional roles for traditional rulers in Nigeria.

Recently, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, reiterated the need to create constitutional role for traditional rulers. Fagbemi spoke during the turning-of-the-sod ceremony of the Bar building project of the Ibadan branch of the Nigerian Bar Association on September 22, 2023 in Ibadan.

He said it was necessary because traditional institutions remained the most accessible and closest to the citizens.

According to him, “…the traditional rulers play important roles in communicating government policies and programmes to members of the community, and also help in the provision of succour during crises.”

It is the opinion of Midwest Herald that, the traditional rulers play better role in maintaining peaceful co-existence in their various communities, in most cases, more than unpopular politicians who deploy divisive means to stay in office.

There closeness to the grassroots, makes it possible for them to conveniently prevent violence in their domain.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, has equally added his voice to empowering the position of traditional rulers. He has also promised to ensure that their role is guaranteed in Nigeria’s constitution.

In same manner, the Senate President Godswill Akpabio supports a constitutional role in governance for traditional rulers. The Senate president believes that, they can effectively tackle issues of safety and security in their various domains. Akpabio argues that if traditional rulers are constitutionally engaged in governance at the grassroots, the myriad of security challenges facing the country will be reduced.

The call on politicians to respect traditional rulers by Oba Ewuare II may not be unconnected with the myriads of tantrums between the palace and Governor Godwin Obaseki since the latter’s assumption to power in Edo State. The little thread of relationship snapped over who should control, warehouse and or own the Benin Court Arts which were looted after the British soldiers sacked Oba Ovoranmwen and burnt his palace.

It has taken Oba Ewuare II series of diplomatic missions – home and abroad to gain the upper hand in a needless and wasteful fight between Obaseki and the palace of Benins. former President Mohammadu Buhari eventually brought the matter to a respectable close when he approved and gazetted the ownership, control and dealings in favour of the Oba of Benin.

Sadly, Edo State lost the rare opportunity of restoring her glorious position as the stable of West African Heritage History that, the returned Artifacts would have possibly brought along to Benin City. The various museums across Europe and America have now developed cold feet as a result of the bile words used by agents of government and those that were in support of the palace.

On the economic side, the Benin Royal Museum which has been the dream child of Oba Ewuare II, since when he was the Crown Prince, and the much touted Edo Museum of West African Arts, EMOWAAA (now mysteriously Museum of West African Arts, MOWAA), have remained pipedreams. While the only sign of a Royal Museum is a signpost on the site of the project, the MOWAA project has since started, but with a possibility of assuming a reference point in ‘White Elephant Project’.

Other actions and inactions of Edo State Government have also been suspected to be affront to the authority of Oba Ewuare II. A particular case is the ongoing litigation over the constitution of Edo State Local Government Traditional Rulers Councils.

Rightly, a section of the people saw Obaseki’s decision to create the parallel councils, and taking over of the remittances of constitutional allocations to the traditional rulers from the various Local Government Councils, as a means to cannibalize the authority of Oba Ewuare II, with the Enegies (Dukes and Chiefs of the Oba) – particularly those drawn from Edo South Seven Local Government Areas.

Today, the Benin Dukes have dragged Governor Obaseki to Benin High Court on accusation of “violating the age long tradition of Benin people.”

Conclusively, the lack of respect and mutual relationship between the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the Benin Palace is working against the general and cultural interest of Edo State.

It is in this light, that Midwest Herald is supporting the call by His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Ewuare II to politicians seeking support to be voted as governor next year, to respect the traditional rulers, because it will guarantee the rapid development of Edo State.

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