Edo 2024: Elders slam LP supporters over insults on Oba of Benin


A group of elders in Edo State has strongly condemned what they called “unwarranted barrage of insults and abuses” being directed at the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare II, by supporters of the Labour Party and its gubernatorial candidate, Olumide Akpata.

The elders, who operate under the umbrella of the Edo Socio-Cultural Advancement and Good Governance Initiative, expressed shock and disappointment at what they described as a “childish, unwarranted and unacceptable behavior” of some Labour Party supporters across various social media platforms.

Saga Gist recalls that the 2023 presidential candidate of LP, Peter Obi and Akpata on Saturday paid a courtesy visit to the Oba’s palace shortly after inaugurating the party’s campaign office ahead of the September 21 governorship election.

During the visit, Akpata while seeking the support of the traditional ruler, repeatedly referred to himself as a “son of the palace” in both English and the local dialect.

But Oba Ewuare II later countered the claim.

According to a video clip making the rounds, the Oba swiftly dismissed his assertion, stating that he had asked one of his chiefs to verify Akpata’s claims, only to find that the candidate had no direct or distant links to the Palace.

The development did not go down well with some of the LP guber candidate’s supporters, with some of them verbally attacking the Oba on various social media channels.

However, in a press statement made available to DAILY POST on Tuesday, spokesman of the Elders’ group, Comrade Melvin Irabor, said the Oba was not out of place in correcting Akpata’s claim to be the “son of the palace.”

“Our Oba was not out of place in correcting the erroneous remarks and insinuations by the Labour Party candidate, Barr. Olumide Akpata, for claiming to be the ‘Son of the Palace’,” Irabor said.

He noted that they were inundated with a “barrage of abuses” on the revered Oba of Benin by Akpata’s supporters on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Irabor read out some of the “disappointing comments,” including one by a user who described the Oba as a “useless ruler,” and another who suggested that the Oba would have “warmly received” Akpata if he had brought “money full of ‘Ghana must go.'”

The group emphasized that the Oba of Benin, as the “mouthpiece of the gods and the revered royal father of the kingdom,” has a responsibility to stay apolitical and correct any candidate making “erroneous remarks and insinuations.”

“Every candidate contesting in this election has the support and blessings of our Oba. He is the father of all and he wishes every one of them well,” Irabor stated.

The elders warned the Labour Party supporters to desist from hurling insults on the Oba, stating that such actions would be considered an “affront on the palace.”

They called on all political parties to conduct their campaigns in a “democratic manner and keep the campaign issues-based.”

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