The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewaure II, has again warned politicians against setting Edo State on fire as residents prepare for the governorship election scheduled for September 19.
The monarch said at a peace meeting he initiated for critical stakeholders.
The warning is especially for the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The meeting, which held in Benin on Wednesday, was attended by the governorship candidates of the two political parties – APC and PDP, and two former governors of the state, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Adams Oshiomhole.
Oba Ewaure, while urging politicians to learn to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner, said that he was worried about the violence across the state over the election.
While noting that election was not a do or die affair, he advised politicians to note that they had only Edo to call their own state and must, thus, do everything to protect it from disintegration.
Stating that the election had pitted the people against themselves, the highly respected ruler expressed regret that that Edo State has been projected in a negative manner following the recent developments.
The monarch said:
We are doing our bit internally; traditional prayers are being offered so that there will be peace during the election.
I want to appeal to politicians to control the youths. I want the politicians to assure us that there will be peace. You do not kill yourselves over an office.
This is the worst scenario of all the politics that we have seen in Edo. Edo politics have been in the news for quite sometime now for all the wrong reasons.
I have had sleepless nights over this. My mind is burning up over this violence and shooting all over the state. Let the shooting stop and let there be peace and quiet in the state.
Don’t kill yourselves over an office. Don’t kill yourselves over votes. Let us have the working relationship that President Muhammadu Buhari had with Goodluck Jonathan; It is not a do or die affair.
The two candidates must tow the line of peace just like Jonathan did when he willingly announced his acceptance of defeat in 2015.
This singular act changed the prediction of international community that Nigeria will break up as a result of that election.
We are begging you politicians, particularly the two political gladiators. You must all do your bit to calm down the tension in the state.
The monarch maintained that the traditional institution remained non-partisan, and warned the palace chiefs against making any political statement.
I have already sacrificed my franchise over this because if I do cast my vote in favour of a particular candidate, I would have already taken side.
If any of the chiefs makes any statement, they are only taking your money and cannot do anything beyond what the palace wants. They are not speaking for me or the palace; they are only speaking for themselves.