As the father of all, the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, last week, lived up to his place of honour, when he invited political actors from the two main parties to a truce meeting ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
The two leading political parties, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) have been at each other’s throat for a while, in what has heightened the spectre of violence in the state, preparatory to the election.
While the candidates of both parties, Godwin Obaseki and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, had not sufficiently addressed the violence often left in the trail of their campaigns, the development had also created genuine concerns amongst the people, particularly the insinuation that the degree of violence could create apathy during the poll.
This was why the Oba of Benin seized the initiative by inviting the gladiators on both sides of the divide and urged them to eschew violence in the overall interest of the people of Edo, whose heritage must be guarded jealously.
The Oba stood up to the occasion and appealed to both sides to see the bigger picture. Given his place in the system, it appears his intervention meant a lot to many, at least, from the feedback. It is only hoped that the message is clear enough to both parties and that going forward, Edo has seen the last of its violent political rivals.