During the NRC/SDP era during the build up to the Edo State first Gubernatorial election, Mr Lucky Igbinedion and Chief John Odigie Oyegun were Perceived to be running neck to neck with Mr Lucky Igbinedion having a slight edge. The atmosphere was so tensed that nobody knew who was going to win the election.
Mr Lucky Igbinedion who had done excellently well in his previous elected assignment as then Oredo Local Government Chairman was backed by his father’s enormous wealth and endorsements from virtually who is who in Politics in Edo State.
Chief Odigie Oyegun on the other hand was a retired Super Permanent Secretary and his major credential was an excellent public service and a ‘talakawa-like’ campaign style but he was slightly trailing or perceived to be slightly trailing Mr Lucky Igbinedion in the exit polls of who will be elected first executive Governor of the newly created Edo State. Some people actually felt otherwise though until BOOM….
The late Oba Erediwa was hosting an event in his Palace and both candidates were invited to address the people. In those days, there was nothing like Gubernatorial debates. There was not even an effective Television/Radio system to promote such an event if one was organized. Campaigns were therefore more rigorous and more tasking as aspirants were expected to visit virtually all nooks and crannies of the State. On that particular day, Mr Lucky Igbinedion was first to arrive. He went straight to the Oba and exchanged pleasantries with the Oba with a slightly bowed head. He could not afford to prostrate to greet the Oba in his well ironed suit. That was his undoing.
Chief Oyegun arrived moments later, went straight to the Oba and went down flat in total submission to the supremacy of the Oba. The reaction of the people over the two events that just happened right before their eyes was immediate. A decision was made in favour of chief Oyegun and the exit polls of who was going to win the election shifted to his side till he (Oyegun) actually won.
An average Edo man especially the Benin man does not play with the Supremacy and authority of the Oba of Benin. He is so Reverend that when you simply say the Oba, every Edo man knows you are referring to the Oba of Benin. With the conducts of the two aspirants on that day, the perceived notion was that Mr Lucky Igbinedion was not going to respect the Oba if elected and he suffered a very painful defeat in the elections weeks later.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was a prominent member of the Lucky Igbinedion campaign team then. Years later, the same Osagie Ize-Iyamu has again extended that same disregard and outright disrespect to Oba Eware who succeeded the throne of his late father. If he is a good student of history, he should by now know that his weak dreams of becoming Governor of Edo State evaporated into thin air, the day his thugs embarrassed the visitors of the Oba right in the Palace of the Oba. The Palace ground is a Reverend ground.
Everyone knew that Gov Godwin Obaseki was flagging off his Campaigns that very day. Everyone knew that he must first visit the Palace for Royal Blessings before going to the Stadium to flag off his Campaigns. Yet, a certain Billionaire who is Ize-Iyamu’s financial felt his visit to the Palace had to be that day and that particular time the Governor was visiting the Oba. Who were they fooling?
Truth be told, he only used his visit to user in APC thugs masquerading as supporters with the sole aim of embarrassing the Oba’s visitors obviously for political gains. A certain Mr Emmanuel John Egogo; a well known Ize-Iyamu’s bell bearer told journalists on national TV (ait) when he was interviewed on the Palace ground that they came to the Palace with this same billionaire for the Naming Ceremony of his newly born. What he couldn’t explain was why they suddenly turned violent on sighting the Governor’s team. One thing that gladdened my heart however was that the stunt backfired as they met a very SOLID RESPONSE or RESISTANCE from the PDP.
The Oba is known to be very Apolitical at all times. He normally does not make political statements and his Palace is home to all. How the APC as a party and Ize Iyamu as a candidate could afford to plot this desecration is known to them alone but one thing is clear; there will be consequences as there was consequences.
I am just shaking my legs