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Akpata Addresses Oba of Benin’s Stand on ‘Son of the Palace’ Statement

The candidate of the Labour Party in the coming governorship election in Edo State, Olumide Akpata, has addressed the controversy that followed a statement made by the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.

Akpata recently paid a visit to the palace of the Oba of Benin and was accompanied by LP 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and other members of their entourage. During the visit, the monarch offered the guests royal blessings and well-wishes, a moment which Akpata said “filled me with immense pride and gratitude beyond measure.”

However, referring to himself as a son of the palace during his address forced a response from the Oba of Benin which generated lots of controversy.

Addressing the controversy, Akpata said, “During my address to His Royal Majesty, I inadvertently referred to myself as a “son of the palace,” which could be misconstrued as claiming to be born a Benin Prince, which I am not and have never claimed to be. However, in his usual candour, my royal father, the Oba of Benin, swiftly and graciously intervened, correcting me with the more appropriate term “an indigenous illustrious son of the soil.” His Royal Majesty then proceeded to recount my antecedents and achievements and the numerous occasions when he had personally made interventions on my behalf as a “true son of Benin.”

As a humble and loyal subject of the Oba, who has nothing but utmost reverence for the revered throne of His Royal Majesty, I promptly accepted the Oba’s correction and rephrased my statement accordingly. I am not too proud or arrogant to acknowledge my mistakes or to accept guidance when offered, especially from the revered throne of the Oba of Benin, a throne that commands the utmost respect and deference from all true sons and daughters of the Benin Kingdom.

“It is a well-known fact that I am not among those who delude themselves into believing that they are above the authority of the Oba of Benin, a mindset that has plagued some misguided individuals – we know who these individuals are- who seem to have forgotten the sacred traditions that bind us together as a people.

“It is therefore with profound dismay that I must address the recent attempts by certain irreverent individuals to distort the words of His Royal Majesty and create unnecessary controversy through their warped and self- serving interpretations. Furthermore, I am compelled to issue this statement due to the utterly unacceptable reactions of some individuals who claim to be acting in my defence. I categorically condemn any conduct or language that could be deemed insulting or disrespectful towards the Oba of Benin, the embodiment of our rich cultural heritage. As I have repeatedly and emphatically stated, anyone who fights the Oba of Benin is also fighting me, and I will never be party to any scheme or ploy that brings disrepute to the sacred Throne of the Benin Kingdom.

“It is imperative that this deliberate misrepresentation of the harmless and educational exchange between the Oba and myself ceases immediately. All parties should refrain from twisting the Obe’s words to fit their own narrow and self-serving narratives, as this only serves to undermine the reverence and respect due to the throne, a disrespect that strikes at the very heart of our cultural identity.

“As we embark on this consequential journey of the 2024 Edo State Elections, I reaffirm my unwavering commitment to upholding the values and traditions of the Benin Kingdom and the traditional institutions across the state at large, a commitment that extends beyond mere words to a deep-seated reverence ingrained in my very being.

“The Labour Party and I stand resolute in our determination to bring about positive change while preserving the rich cultural heritage that defines our great state, a heritage that must never be tarnished by the actions of those who have lost their way.

“To the good people of Edo State, I call upon you to join me in collectively rejecting any attempts to sow discord or disrespect towards our revered monarch. Let us unite in our reverence for the throne and work together to build a prosperous future for Edo State, guided by the wisdom and blessings of His Royal Majesty, the Oba of Benin. Let us be the embodiment of the values that have sustained our great kingdom for centuries, values that must be upheld and passed on to future generations, untainted by the misguided actions of those who are inexorably fixated on their dastardly agenda to wit: the insidious denigration of our revered monarch and the throne of his ancestors, upon which he seats. Oba ghatoo kpere! Ise!!!”

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