Akpata Condemns Comments Against Oba Of Benin


The Labour Party governorship candidate in Edo State, Olumide Akpata, has decried the political twist that trailed his recent encounter with the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare II, over his son of the Palace comment.

He however distanced himself from the reaction of some individuals who claim to be acting in my defence on the matter, just as he condemned any conduct or language that could be deemed insulting or disrespectful to the Oba of Benin.

Akpata, who lamented that the words of the Royal Father were twisted by his political opponents, added that the episode was a storm in a teacup.

Recall that Oba of Benin had faulted Akpata's description of himself as a son of the Palace, even though he recognised the candidate as a son of the soil.

The governorship candidate, who stated this as a guest on Channels TV's Politics Today, a news and current affairs programme,  admitted his gaffe at the palace and said he was pleased to have been corrected by the Monarch.

Describing the episode as enlightening and harmless, he said, "I was corrected, and it ought to have ended there if not for politics."

He however said the situation has proven his Benin roots in light of the reservations that have trailed his Benin origin because he bears a Yoruba name.

Earlier, in a statement he personally signed, Akpata said he remains a loyal and humble subject of the Oba of Benin adding that he is not among those who delude themselves into believing that they are above the authority of the Oba of Benin.

He said, "I promptly accept the Oba's correction and rephrased my statement accordingly. I'm not too proud or arrogant to acknowledge my mistake or accept guidance when offered, especially from the revered throne of the Oba of Benin, a throne that commands the utmost respect and defence from all true sons and daughters of the kingdom.

"I'm compelled to issue this statement due to the utterly unacceptable reaction of some individuals who claim to be acting in my defence. I categorically condemned any conduct or language that could be deemed insulting or disrespectful to the Oba of Benin, the embodiment of our rich cultural heritage."

Meanwhile, a coalition of civil society organizations in Edo State has strongly condemned what they described as "unwarranted barrage of insults and abuses" being directed at the Oba of Benin, by alleged supporters of Akpata.

The coalition, named Edo Socio-Cultural Advancement and Good Governance Initiative, said it was shocked and disappointed at what it described as a "childish, unwarranted and unacceptable behavior" of some alleged Labour Party supporters on social media platforms.

In a press statement made available to journalists in Benin City, the coalition's spokesman, Comrade Melvin Irabor, said the Oba was not out of place in correcting Akpata's claim to be the "son of the Palace."

The coalition however couldn't prove that those who made the comments they cited are either Labour Party members or supporters of Akpata.

"Our Oba was not out of place in correcting the erroneous remarks and insinuations by the Labour Party Candidate, Barr. Olumide Akpata, for claiming to be the 'Son of the Palace'," Irabor said.

The coalition noted that it was inundated with a "barrage of abuses" on the revered Oba of Benin by Akpata's supporters on platforms such as Sahara Reporters, Nairaland Forum, Twitter, and Facebook.

Irabor read out some of the "disappointing comments," including one by a user named Richard Wilson, who described the Oba as a "useless ruler," and another by Evang. Paschal Chidiebere, who suggested that the Oba would have "warmly received" Akpata if he had brought "money full of 'Ghana must go.'"

The coalition emphasized that the Oba of Benin, as the "mouthpiece of the gods and the revered royal father of the kingdom," has a responsibility to stay apolitical and correct any candidate making "erroneous remarks and insinuations."

"Every candidate contesting in this election has the support and blessings of our Oba. He is the father of all and he wishes every one of them well," Irabor stated.


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