...Demand for Governor of Esan Extraction in Osadebey Avenue
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...I’ll Consult Before Getting Back on Request....Omo N’Oba
A delegation of Esan Traditional Rulers and leaders of Esan Okpa Initiative (EOI), a socio-cultural non partisan Pan Esan group, have requested the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare 11 to intervene in the ensuing political contest in Edo State to ensure that a Governor of Esan extraction emerges to succeed Governor Godwin Obaseki whose term expires on November 11th, 2024.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation led by the Onojie of Uromi, His Royal Highness Anselm Edenojie 11, the President, Esan Okpa Initiative, Rt Hon Mathew Egbadon thanked the Omo N'Oba for the warm reception accorded the delegation, felicitating with the Benin monarch over his recent appointment as Chancellor of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
According to Egbadon, who’s a pioneer Speaker, Edo State House
Of Assembly, the quest for a Governor of Esan extraction is hinged on justice, equity and fairness, arguing that since the advent of Edo State in 1991, an Esan son, Prof Oserheimen Osunbor has only been Governor for 18 months.
Also lamenting the political exclusion of Esanland from top positions in the state, he recalled that Edo State was created in 1991 on a tripod comprising Edo North, Edo Central and Edo South to make for cordial relationship amongst a people who share common ancestry. According to him,
“We would like to seize this opportunity to formally apprise Your Majesty, of the yearning and desire of Esan people to produce the next Governor of Edo State, at the end of the tenure of the present administration in 2024.
“We know that this is a matter primarily within the remit of politicians and political parties to decide on. We have started engaging the various political leaders across the political divide in the state, on the need to have a Governor of Esan extraction at Osadebey Avenue, come 2024. This will be in the interest of equity, fairness and justice which Edo people are known for.
“To dispel the deliberate misinformation being bandied by some mischievous people, we need to state clearly and unequivocally, that there is no ethnic insularity to this yearning. Edo people are one- Edo Okpa Makhin. We believe that all parts of Edo State have bountiful talents and sound minds, that can work in unison for the greater good and development of Edo State for the benefit of all. Esan people have never nursed any divisive, narrow minded or supremacist agenda, and shall eternally remain in friendship and brotherhood love with all other Edo people across the State.
“Since the creation of our State in 1991, the statistics shows that we have only had an Edo Governor of Esan extraction for a period of about 18 months, in the person of Prof Oserheimen Osunbor. Cumulatively, our kith and kin in Edo South would have occupied the office for about 17 years by the end of the tenure of the present administration in 2024. While our kith and kin in Edo North have effectively occupied the seat for 8 years already.
“We are happy to report to Your Royal Majesty, that a considerable number of the political leaders and influential personalities we have consulted in the State, have supported our yearning and desire for an Edo Governor of Esan extraction, come 2024. We will continue to engage a wide variety of political and other opinion moulders, in our State to buy into and support this yearning in the interest of the unity of the Edo people.
“Though you are not a politician, we solicit Your Royal Majesty’s support and blessing for this yearning and desire of Esan people. We give full assurance that we shall encourage and support our best Esan sons and daughters, if necessary, to contest the elections for the office of the Governor on the platforms of the various major political parties, come 2024.
“We thank Your Majesty for receiving our delegation. We shall continue to accord our respect and unalloyed loyalty to Your Majesty and the revered throne of our common ancestors. We request Your Majesty to grant us the opportunity to return in the nearest future, to express our deep appreciation to Your Majesty and account for the realization of this desirable cause,” Egbadon, who’s also a lawyer stated.
Continuing in effusive thanks, he declares:
“We wish to thank Your Royal Majesty for the honour and privilege accorded us to visit the Palace and pay our homage to Your Majesty. We are so glad for the warm reception to the sacred seat of our common origin. All of us of the Edo Nation holds this Palace in the highest esteem, and yearn to be here – any time – of course, at your Majesty's pleasure and convenience.
“History teaches us that Your Majesty is not just a symbol of the historical unity of the Edo people, but is also, significant traditionally, and serves as the pivot for the accomplishment of the vision of a greater and inclusive Edo Nation.
“Your Royal Majesty, please, indulge us to take factual notice of, and thank you, for the remarkable strides you have made since ascending the throne of your forebears. Indeed, Your Majesty has been a source of inspiration to Edo people for the peace and prosperity that have reigned in your kingdom, and by extension Edo State in general, since your enthronement as the Oba of Benin.
“We also acknowledge some of the stellar achievements Your Majesty recorded in the recent past. These include, Your Majesty’s (a). Relentless war against all forms of criminalities, including the ban on land grabbers across the Benin kingdom. (b). Upholding the rich cultural heritage of the kingdom by championing the rightful return of some of the ancient Benin artifacts looted from the Palace by the British and other colonialists. (c). Being at the vanguard of campaign and action against human trafficking, a menace that has brought odium to Edo State. (d). Establishment of the Oba Ewuare Foundation to support skills acquisition, to mention but a few.
“We heartily applaud Your Majesty on the recognition by the Federal Government of Nigeria with the award of the National Honour of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) in September 2022.
“We also use this opportunity to congratulate Your Majesty on your recent appointment as Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). We may remark that it is an important milestone, as NOUN has the largest number of learners – about 120,000 students population – cutting across the various distance teaching and learning Centres nationwide. These momentous attainments can only indicate the good fortune ahead, for us to celebrate with Your Majesty,” the address concluded.
While thanking the Esan traditional rulers and leaders for their visit, the Oba of Benin promised to look into the issue raised. Stressing that the matter brought before him was akin to security matter which are not discussed in public, he said that he would consult widely with relevant stakeholders to ensure fairness and equity before getting back on the issue.
The Esan Okpa Initiative last month kickstarted consultations with influential personalities in both the Edo North and Edo South Senatorial Zones with the aim of eliciting their support for a Governor of Esan extraction by next year.
Onojie of Uromi, His Royal Highness Anselm Edenojie 11 and other Esan Traditional Rulers
Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Ewuare 11
Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Ewuare 11 with Esan Traditional Rulers and Leaders of Esan Okpa Initiative.
President, Esan Okpa Initiative, Rt Hon Mathew Egbadon with other leaders of his group