The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has said that his palace remains apolitical and would always pray for political office seekers that seek his blessing and support.
The monarch spoke on Wednesday, when he received a former state Governor and APC Governorship aspirant, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, and a frontline Labour Party Governorship aspirant, Mr Kenneth Imansuangbon.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that both aspirants were at the palace at different times to ask for the Oba’s royal blessings and support.
The monarch prayed for them and wished them well in their aspirations.
The arrival of the aspirants at the palace courtyard appeared carnival-like with each accompanied by different support groups and cultural dancers.
Speaking on Osunbor’s ambition, the highly revered monarch said that the capability of the former governor, who was sacked by the election petition tribunal, was not in doubt.
He promised him that a prayer team would be put in place so that he would be free from any harm and also achieve his heart desire.
Osunbor was Edo governor between May 2007 and November 2008 before he was removed and replaced with Sen. Adams Oshiomhole.
Earlier in a speech, he said that he was governor for a short period “so it is my desire to come back and complete my mission and also contribute in my own way to assist Your Royal Majesty in developing our state to an enviable level.
“I know it is in the interest of Your Royal Majesty that whoever is coming to govern the state should be somebody who has the interest of the state at heart and prepared to do what is required to elevate Edo to an enviable height.”
He recalled that within the short period of his stay in office, he exhibited excellence in governance.
He also recalled that he initiated a successful students’ bursary scheme and ensured that pensioners were paid their pension arrears without any of them owed by his government.
Speaking on his academic brilliance, he disclosed that he graduated with First Class in Law to become the first Nigerian to achieve the feat at the University of Nigeria.
The Omo N’Oba also prayed for Imansuangbon to have a hitch-free campaign, ahead of the poll in 2024.
Imansuangbon, popularly called Riceman, told the oba that he came to seek his blessing and support as he embarked on his campaign for the poll.
He said, “As my father, there is no way I can embark on my journey to the Government House without having the blessings of my father.
“My desire to govern Edo is to bring purpose and pattern to good governance.”
He promised the royal father that his administration would be just and firm
He gave assurance that he would welcome the wise counsel of the traditional institution on the best ways to move the state forward, when elected.
He also promised to provide adequate security for lives and property in the state through the creation of jobs for the teeming unemployed youths. (NAN)