The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, was visibly furious the other day. He was pissed up and took a candid swipe at the political class.
He pointedly accused them of deceit and dishonesty. He was charged. Without mincing words, he accused them of “always abandoning the electorate after elections.” He practically took them to the cleaners, all without seeming exception.
The occasion was auspicious, the venue was right and the monarch spoke for the right reason. Oba stated this when the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, visited him in his palace in Benin. The vice president was in Edo State to meet with delegates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of the party’s presidential primary election scheduled for the end of this month.
The Oba told him the piece of his mind: “Like the businessman will say customers are kings, in election, the electorate are supposed to be kings, but that is not what we have in Nigeria. We have leaders who get to office and enrich themselves and forget the electorate.
“Whereas, without the electorate, nobody can occupy any political office, especially elected office. Some of these politicians use all kind of tactics to get the votes of the electorate. At the end of the day, they abandon the electorate.
“I want to appeal to the politicians to make this country great. Nigeria is blessed with great human and natural resources, but Nigeria is still in a bad state.
“We want to be able to state in Nigeria and enjoy the good things of life not in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) or in the United States. Now we are even running to Ghana, we should change all this. Nigeria should be a destination point.”
All the same, the Oba commended He Osinbajo for his respect for culture and tradition. He appreciated the role the Federal Government played to ensure that the stolen artefacts were returned to their original owners.
The vice president told the Oba that he has been exposed enough to critical decisions and programmes about Nigeria. He felt this has equipped him with the capacity to lead the country:
“I am here today on a political visit but for obvious reasons I ensured that I must start from the palace. I am here to consult with party members who are delegates in our forthcoming delegates’ convention.
“On April 11 (2022), I formally declared to vie for the presidency of this country. I have been exposed to many things in government. I have the exposure at the highest level in government and the capacity to govern the country.
“I started teaching at the age of 24. I have served in several capacities and I assure you that I will do the very best I can for the country.”
Osinbajo later had a closed door meeting with the APC leadership and delegates.