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Edo State Godwin Obaseki was visibly absent on Thursday during the visit of Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike to Benin, the state capital to drum up support for his presidential bid on the ticket of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

As part of his itinerary, the Rivers State governor who paid a visit to the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Ewuare 11, shunned the Edo State Government House while in the state as part of his meetings with PDP delegates ahead of the party’s convention to pick its presidential candidate for the 2023 presidential elections.

It would be recalled that Wike and his Obaseki recently engaged in a verbal duel, an action that prompted the intervention of the national leadership of the party which set up a reconciliation committee headed by Governor Samuel Ortom.

Only recently, Ortom announced that the reconciliation effort has yielded results as the feuding factions within the Edo PDP family have agreed to bury the hatchet but the absence of Obaseki and the presence of his nemesis, Chief Dan Orbih, the South-South national vice-chairman appeared to have made a mockery of the peace parley.

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The presidential hopeful, however, also did not visit the state party secretariat but visited the palace of the Oba of Benin and then met with the party’s delegates at the residence of the late former Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, Late Chief Tony Anenih.

At the palace of the Oba of Benin, Wike told the monarch that if elected as president, he would focus on checking insecurity with massive investment in intelligence gathering as he insisted that it is only in a secured environment that economic activities, agriculture and investment in infrastructure can thrive.

He said: “I was here one and a half years ago as the DG (Director-General) of the campaign for the re-election of Governor Obaseki but I am here today not on behalf of nobody but of myself and my team to seek your prayers.

“I have come to Benin to talk to the delegates of our party that will be part of our national convention by May 28th and 29th. The way our country has fared, Nigeria needs somebody that will see white and say it is white and will see black and say that it is black. If the PDP gives me the ticket, I have enough experience to tackle Nigeria’s mirage of problems having been a local government chairman, Minister of State overseeing Education and now governor.

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“The major issue confronting Nigeria today is insecurity and without security, no other activity can function and what we need to tackle insecurity is intelligence gathering which is lacking, we are not going to sit down and give excuses but we will take action and spend resources to gather intelligence”

On his part, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II while lauding the competence and capacity of Wike based on what he has done as governor of Rivers State urged political leaders to promote and ensure the sustenance of the African culture and traditions which he said the colonial masters tried to erase after discovering that the Benin Kingdom and others had a superior administration and civilization than them.

On Wike’s ambition, he said “Wike is our son, we love him and if I say so, I believe I am speaking on behalf of our ancestors. We will keep praying for him so that he does not come across anybody that will mislead him, misinform him and may he and his family not come across as harm.

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“We must continue to hold on to our traditions and customs because of its superiority over others.”

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