Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, chaired by Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’ Edo, Ewuare II, yesterday sought the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari in the ongoing crisis between Governor Godwin Obaseki and the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
They also demanded two slots in Buhari’s yet-to-be constituted cabinet.
Ewuare II, who spoke during a closed doors meeting with the president said: “Mr. President, we as traditional rulers in Edo State, are concerned about the crisis between Oshiomhole and Governor Obaseki as well as the state House of Assembly.
“If this crisis is not resolved now with immediate effect, it may jeopardise the progress of the state.
On behalf of Edo State, we appeal to Mr. President to use your good offices to intervene and stop this crisis,” he said.
The monarch said they decided to intervene in the matter in the interest of the state.
“Personally, I do not like to interfere in inter-party or intra-party matters, and always maintain that the Benin Crown is non-partisan, it is, however, difficult to turn a blind eye because if this crisis is not brought under control, it is likely to jeopardise the welfare of the masses,” he said.
He said with the support of the council members, he would broker peace between the warring parties, by inviting Obaseki and Oshiomhole to a meeting.
In requesting for two ministerial slots, the monarch urged the president to consider the state in view of the fact that it’s the only All Progressives Congress state in the South South.
“We pray to Almighty God to help you put in place a formidable team and of men and women of proven integrity that will join you to take this nation to the next level.
Considering that Edo is the only APC state in the South South, May we crave Mr. President’s indulgence to have two ministerial slots in the yet-to-be constituted Federal Executive Council (FEC),” he said.
He also lamented the poor performance of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) in the provision of power to electricity consumers in the state.
The monarch further lamented that the Benin-Abuja Highway has become a nightmare for travellers.
President Buhari in his response commended Oba Ewuare II and Edo Sate Traditional Council for intervention in human trafficking by tracking down and discouraging facilitators, and rehabilitating victims that were returned.
“I am pleased that you have taken up the fight against human trafficking and I know the effect of your intervention will be felt beyond our borders,” he said.
The president also urged the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to work harder in injecting more resources and technical expertise to improve supply of electricity across the country, assuring the companies that the Federal Government will sustain efforts in building transmission infrastructure.
President Buhari called on Nigerians to show more understanding with the DisCos and the Federal Government as more expertise and resources would be committed to improving electricity.
The president said the supply of gas for transmission has improved overtime and with the collective effort of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Discos the power situation would be made better.
“We are building infrastructure. We are doing our best, but, obviously, our best is not good enough yet,’’ he said.