The Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, and his rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has opted for peace, embracing each other after many many months of running battle.
Prior to the meeting of the politicians on Wednesday at the palace of the Oba of Benin, the polity in Edo State has been tensed, resulting from the activities of the two leading political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This led to the Oba of Benin, taking a bold step to invite the bigwigs in an attempt to de-escalate tension and minimise spate of violence in the State during campaign activities.
The peace meeting had the presence of various leaders of the PDP and the APC in Edo at his palace.
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, John Odigie Oyegun, Governor Godwin Obaseki, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Philip Shaibu, were among notable figures at the meeting.
The governor, Obaseki and his main opponent, Ize-Iyamu paid homage to the monarch shortly after arrival.
The Oba asked all parties to sheath their swords and demanded words of assurance that peace would be maintained before, during, and after the election.
The monarch made reference to former President, Goodluck Jonathan, who conceded defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 general elections even while results were still being collated.
The Oba said: “To me, we 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.”
Responding, the Governor assured the traditional ruler that they would embrace peace 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 said.
While Ize-Iyamu 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 provocation they might talk about.”
After their various speeches, Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu came together and embraced each other, so as to send signals to their supporters and portray the assurances made to His Royal Majesty.