Rattled with the widespread media report that the much-revered non-partisan Benin chiefs have endorsed the candidate of the PDP for the September 28 rescheduled governorship election in Edo State, Mr. Ize-Iyamu, the body of the traditional chiefs have spoken in unison refuting the alleged endorsement story, maintaining that all they did was to pray for the contesting candidates when they visited the palace.
Addressing newsmen after a closed-door meeting of all the chiefs at the palace on Wednesday September 21, 2016, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri stated that at no time did the palace chiefs sat and considered endorsing any of the contesting candidates, adding that all they did was to pray for them and wished them success.
It would be recalled that a few days ago, a group of palace chiefs under the auspices of the Egha Evbo’Nore met at the home of Chief Gabriel Igbinedion where they allegedly endorsed the PDP governorship candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu for the September 28 rescheduled election. Present at that meeting were the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, Chief Amos Osunbor, the Eson of Benin Kingdom, Chief Douglas Usoh, Chief Solomon Ogbwe and Chief Jackson Amure.
This position was however countered by another group of chiefs led by Chief Osaro Idah, the Obazelu of Benin Kingdom who said that the chiefs who claimed to have endorsed the PDP candidate were partisan, alleging they were members of the PDP.
Embarrassed by the claims and counter-claims, the palace chief met today after which they addressed the press on the outcome of their meeting. Speaking on behalf of the press, shortly after the meeting, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, declared that at no time did the chiefs endorsed any of the contesting governorship candidates. According to him, when the APC governorship candidate, Mr. Godwin Obaseki visited the chiefs, they prayed for him. Likewise, when the PDP candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu visited the chiefs they also prayed for him, adding that the chiefs were non-partisan.