A few days ago, one Osaro Omoruyi, wrote a piece with the titled: “Oba of Benin Must Thread Cautiously On Edo Election,” and posted it on the internet.
In the malicious piece, he made spirited efforts to rubbish the recent historic peace parley, hosted by the revered Benin Monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare ll, which was well attended by leaders of the two dominant political parties fielding candidates for the September 19, 2020 Edo State Governorship Election.
Omoruyi, in his shameless, audacious and abysmal display of disrespect for the Great Benin Throne, said many unprintable things about the Oba.
Here is an excerpt: “A father to all enmeshed himself in a political imbroglio between two Edo gladiators and took sides with one of the parties in a way illogical and comical manner.”
It is most unfortunate and highly regrettable, that in spite of the timely and sophisticated style Oba Ewuare ll employed to nip in the bud, the most disturbing and unprecedented spate of violence and lawlessness, being unleashed on the psyche of the electorate in Edo State by desperate political actors, the outcome of the historic meeting is being condemned by the likes of Omoruyi.
While the pragmatic and proactive move by the Oba of Benin is being applauded, along with its outcome by all peace-loving, highly responsible, dignified and well-meaning Nigerians across the globe, it beats us hollow that some agents of darkness are at work presently denigrating such a laudable effort.
We all will agree that before Oba Ewuare ll stepped in for the last time, the embers of hate and acrimony had reached an unacceptable level; the language of intolerance and violence indeed became norms; much more disturbing, was the palpable loss of confidence in the political class in Edo State.
It is a taboo for an Edo man or woman to disparage the personality of the Oba of Benin for any reason at all; the Oba is supreme as far as traditions are concerned.
Therefore, by his action, Osaro Omoruyi has committed a sacrilege and the gods and ancestors will definitely not be happy with him.
It is on record that Oba Ewuare ll has been an epitome of peace and tranquility, ever since he ascended the throne of his forefathers.
This Oba is undoubtedly a shining mascot for the people of Edo, because he has absolutely displayed his non-partisan stance, sincere and equal disposition to all his people.
It is to the gigantic credit of Oba Ewuare ll, that the nauseating and horrible issues of Community Development Associations (CDAs) and human trafficking have been dumped into the lake of irrelevance, a scintillating development that has attracted local and international applause.
Those who have seen the authentic video of the proceedings during the historic parley know the truth that Oba Ewuare ll spoke like a father to the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, based on the information available to him; and he never displayed any iota of animosity against any of his esteemed guests at the ceremony.
Even at different times during the hour-long or so session, the Oba, in his characteristic manner of displaying his charisma, introduced humors to illuminate the enviable and time-honored ancient palace chambers where the historic meeting was held, bringing smiles and laughter to everyone present.
It must be stated that there are perfectly doctored videos of the said event circulating in social media, for the purpose of scoring political points and sowing the seed of discord among the various sections of the state by dubious political actors.
The expectation of Edo people, both home and in the Diaspora is that political leaders should be building on a new bridge of harmony, tolerance, inclusiveness, accommodation and cultural renaissance as espoused by Oba Ewuare II.
Must the Oba permit his domain, built over several centuries ago, to be dumped inside the ocean of darkness and uncivilized antics by a few desperate politicians? The answer is no.
Holding on to such brazen effrontery, pedestrian argumentation and infantile rascality to ridicule and undermine a most genuine attempt to drag Edo State, nay Benin kingdom from the rubbish of unnecessary and politically motivated violence is most pathetic.
There is no doubt that, Omoruyi and his co-travelers in this wicked lane should be seen as enemies of peace in Edo State.
Make no mistake, Freedom of speech or expression is guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution, but, the type of vomit by Omoruyi and his sponsors is utterly dangerous.
It, no doubt, is the kind of contents that would come from the bowels of societal anarchists, nihilists and absolute misfits.
Today, Edo electorate mourn, for their peace and tranquility are being trampled to death by some uncivilized politicians and their unscrupulous agents.
Violence brings no good to the people; it retards development; contaminates social relations; stultifies creativity and scares away investors.
Must politicians contesting for power transform themselves into cockroaches in a sealed basket, to fight and feast on their carcasses, while the Great Oba Ewuare ll, watch akimbo? Must tension, arising from social and political differences be exacerbated? Certainly, no.
Certainly, hypocritical and political fanaticism, selfish sentiments and seekers of a reverse to the era of darkness must never be encouraged.
Democracy affords us all the opportunity to dialogue, debate and deliberate for peaceful resolution, rather than bitterness, violence and confrontation.
We must continue to believe in the merits of tolerance, constitutionality, respect for human rights, our traditional institutions; and good neighborliness, as political extremism is self-destructive.
Nothing should negate the norms of rational human interaction, contradict the tenet of civil society, devalue opportunity for peace, stability and political co-existence.
What Osaro Omoruyi and his masters have done (if sponsored), is a grave danger to the spirit of conflict resolution which the legendary Oba Ewuare ll has excellently tried to avert.
They are therefore like deranged societal spoilers on the loose, for trying to be trumpeters of disorder, parochialism and darkness.
As the 2020 Edo State Governorship Election draws nearer, we all must imbibe the general principles of political tolerance, ensure a terrain devoid of violence, but where the democratic poll is allowed to reign supreme in deciding who takes over the reins of power.
Above all, we must not allow malice to becloud our sense of judgement; remember Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address, six months to the end of American civil war: “With malice towards none, but charity for all.”