July 14thGovernorship race: Let’s uphold the sanctity of the Bini traditional system- Edo Unity League (EUL) tells Esogban of Benin.
We read with amazing disbelief the narratives credited to Chief D.U. Edebiri- the Esogban of Benin on issues related to the July 14thGovernorship race in Edo State published in Vanguard Newspaper of Saturday 24thMarch 2012; because of the likelihood of the reading public to mistake his (Chief Edebiri) personal views or rationalizations as the official statement or endorsement of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by the Benin nation. Disbelief because, Chief Edebiri has been known in the past to be a pan Benin who has dedicated his intellect, resilience and upright accomplishments for the struggle to re-enact the greatness of Benin nation. These attributes can be further attested by his very legendary books and publications. It is common knowledge that most ruling governments in Nigeria that seeks re-election goes extreme miles in compromising eminent persons and institutions in a bid to be re-installed as Governor. This is why astute politicians of Bini extraction are not surprised at Chief Edebiri's apology for Oshiomhole. However, we think it was apt to call other 'Edebiris' to order in the best interest of Benin nation. Yes, the Binis are at a crossroad, but it was only appropriate to appreciate the character and potentials of Binis in the race and endorse the most credible Bini for the post of Governor, or at best play a completely NEUTRAL position rather than taking side with a non-Bini against a Bini intelligentsia in the person of Gen. Charles Airhiavbere rtd. We risk setting a precarious precedent!
Let it be known that whereas everyone is at liberty to pronounce support in favor of their preferred candidates in the build-up to the July 14 election Governorship election in Edo State, however, persons entrusted with traditional or otherwise revered public office should restrain themselves from pronouncements that can provoke demonstrations by aggrieved Binis whom are yet to situate the germane aspi rations of Benin nation in the Oshiomhole's administration in view of alleged marginalization of the Binis in the scheme of things, which are at variance with the support that the Governor got from his Edo South constituency in the 2007 election.
“The people have spoken in unmistakable terms. They have got their own candidate. Their candidate is Aliyu Adams Oshiomhole” is one of the statements credited to Chief D.U. Edebiri which can be likened to the proverbial 'selling of one's birthright for a pot of portage'. Of a fact, the Benin chief should understand that the appointment of his son as Senior Special Assistant to the Governor does not translate to dividend of democracy for Edo south people; whereas issues like the non-redress of appropriated Edo oil wells in favor of Ondo and Delta states (an act perfected under the Babangida administration) is still agitating the minds of credible Binis, because it dwindles the oil and gas revenue potentials of Edo state; the systemic demolition of Benin Moats and Walls by Edo state Government through contractors handling various projects around Benin moats is an emerging threat that should occupy the minds of all worthy Benin traditional chiefs; the seeming deprivation of Edo south political and civil appointees, as well as local contractors under the current administration is a sad commentary that should agitate Bini people; the redundancy in Benin festival and tourism under the current administration should endear an urgent convention of the Binis. These and many more issues are worrying our people, be they young and old.
We call on Chief D.U. Edebiri to avail himself of ideas that will advance the interests of Edo south people, rather than offering himself as an undeserved instrument of cultural propaganda against Gen. Charles Arhiavbere (rtd) or any other Bini aspirant for any reason. We are surprised that Adams Oshiomhole who had boasted many months ago that his infrastructural projects will speak for him in his struggle to be Governor, could suddenly resort to the recruitment of all manner of people to solicit merited and unmerited endorsements for him. Last week, his desperation for a 2nd term in office came to a crescendo when he went ahead to organize the labour rally, despite an injunction granted by a court of competent jurisdiction against the event.
We will not relent in our struggle to strengthen our traditional values until all is well with our people and institutions.