Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his major challenger, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on Wednesday, embraced each other for the first time in many months, suggesting that they may now be disposed to the pursuit of peace in their electioneering and during the poll on September 19.
They and some other key actors were both summoned for a peace meeting by the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, in his palace where he expressed his concerns about the rash of violence and tension in the State allegedly sponsored by some of the political leaders.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had in recent times been locked in a supremacy battle for control of gvernance in the State.ĺ
The immediate past Governor of the State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, his predecessor, John Oyegun, the PDP candidate, Obaseki, the APC flagbearer, Ize-Iyamu, the State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu and running mate to Ize-Iyamu, Mallam Hani Audu, among other political actors, attended the meeting.
Obaseki and his main challenger, Ize-Iyamu, went before the monarch to pay homage shortly after all the attendees were seated.
Oba Ewuare urged all political actors in the State to sheathe their swords.
He placed a demand on the political actors to commit themselves to assurances that peace would be maintained before, during, and after the election.
He urged the political office seekers to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan who conceded defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 general elections even before the results were announced.
According to him, “To me, they (the political actors in Edo) are all one family, and what cannot be resolved when you are all family? Family can quarrel but there must be a resolution. Today, that is what I want us to achieve; there must be a resolution.”
Governor Obaseki of the PDP and his main challenger, Oze-Iyamu of the APC, promised the Royal Majesty that they would make peace their watchword going forward.
“I want to assure you, Your Majesty, that in my role as the Chief Security Officer of the state, I am doing all I can, all within my possible best to maintain peace and safety in Edo State,” Obaseki told the Oba of Benin.
Ize-Iyamu, on his part, said, “Every campaign we do henceforth, we are going to spend some time to also talk to all of them (party supporters) about the need to keep to the peace, no matter what provocations they might talk about.”
The PDP and APC candidates, at this point, embraced each other, to the admiration of Oba Ewuare, after commiting to peaceful electioneering and conduct of the poll on September 19.