Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his major challenger, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday, embraced each other for the first time in many months.
Before the meeting of the key political actors at the Oba of Benin palace on Wednesday, there have been weeks of heated tension in the state as a result of the activities of the two leading political parties in Edo, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, took a bold step to end the trend of violence in the State, with the series of attacks and counter-attacks during campaign rallies.
The peace meeting had the presence of various leaders of the PDP and the APC in Edo at his palace.
The immediate past Governor of the State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, his predecessor, John Oyegun, the PDP candidate, Obaseki, the APC flagbearer, Ize-Iyamu, and the State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, among other political actors, were the notable faces at the meeting.
Obaseki and his main challenger, Ize-Iyamu went before the monarch to pay homage shortly after all the attendees were seated.
The revered monarch urged all political actors in the State to sheath their swords and demanded words of assurance that peace would be maintained before, during, and after the election.
The monarch asked the political office seekers to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan who conceded defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 general elections even before the results were announced.
“To me, they (the political actors in Edo) are all one family, and what cannot be resolved when you are all family?
“Family can quarrel but there must be a resolution. Today, that is what I want us to achieve; there must be a resolution,” the monarch stated.
In their various responses, the Governor and his main challenger promised His Royal Majesty that they would make peace their watchword going forward.
“I want to assure you, Your Majesty, that in my role as the Chief Security Officer of the state, I am doing all I can, all within my possible best to maintain peace and safety in Edo State,” Obaseki told the Oba of Benin.
Ize-Iyamu, on his part, said, “Every campaign we do henceforth, we are going to spend some time to also talk to all of them (party supporters) about the need to keep to the peace, no matter what provocation they might talk about.”
At this point, the PDP and APC candidates, Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu came together and embraced each other, in a bid to send out a message to their supporters and make good the assurances given to the traditional ruler.