Benin Crown Prince Clears Air On Jonathan’s Endorsement Controversy
AFTER months of controversies over claims of endorsement or otherwise of President Goodluck Jonathan by the palace of Benin through the crown prince and some palace chiefs, the heir to the revered Benin Throne, Prince Eheneden Erediauwa yesterday frowned at the use of his visit to President Jonathan last year as political jingles to campaign for party votes ahead of the general elections.
Besides, palace chiefs led by the Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe insisted that the palace has no preferred candidate for the plum position rather “believes that all citizens participating in political activities or are in one political party or the other, are his subjects; and while loving all, as well as the non politicians.”
In press statement by the Benin Traditional Council (BTC) signed by the BTC Secretary, Frank Irabo on behalf of the Crown Prince, he pledged his fatherly role to always “pray to the Almighty God and his ancestors to give our great country and Edo State politicians who “accord the traditional institutions nationwide its pride of place in our constitution, including role for traditional rulers in the administrative dispensation of the country.”
The statement said prince Eheneden’s visit to President Jonathan was “predicated upon the earlier visit of Mr. President to the Oba’s palace when HRM Omo N’Oba did not receive Mr. President openly.
“It should be noted that on that visit, the Omo N’Oba did receive Mr. President in his private chamber due to the high regard the Omo N’Oba has for him,” but said “mischief makers still found it necessary to capitalize on it to spread unwholesome and unwarranted rumours against the revered royal person of the Omo N’Oba that HRM has a disaffection for Mr. President.”
The statement said that it was because of some of the misgivings and “comments from some quarters that Omo N’Oba did not like Mr. President and does not support his government that made the monarch to deem it fit to send “his eldest son, the Crown Prince of Benin to carry his message to Mr. President and to let him know that the Omo N’Oba supports and prays for him” and cautioned that: “The Crown Prince is not a card carrying members of any political party.”
Meanwhile, in a communique signed by six top ranking palace chiefs including Igbe, Edionwe Oliha (Oliha of Benin), E. Oviasogie (Eribo of Benin), Stanley O. Obamwonyi (Esere of Benin), E. Uzamere (Ine of Benin) and Osemwota Obamwonyi (Eguezigbon of Benin) respectively, read in part: “As a result of these claims and the resulting controversies and counterclaims, all the Oba Palace chiefs led by the Iyase of Benin, have met and duly resolved that the Omo N’Oba,Uku Akpolokpolo,Ovia of Benin, has never mandated any of his palace chiefs to speak or make any political statement(s) on his behalf, especially as concerning the choice of a political leader for favour in the forthcoming election
“In the circumstance, the general public is hereby reminded that the Omo N’Oba has always believed that all citizens participating in political activities or are in one political party or the other, are his subjects; and while loving all, as well as the non-politicians, the Omo N’Oba,at the same time prays to Almighty God and the ancestors to give our great country( and Edo State) politicians who will respect the traditional institution s generally.
“That politicians should empower and give employment to the teeming unemployed citizens and improve the country’s ( Edo State) economy to the extent that every citizen (or the common man) gets the proverbial three square meals a day”.
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