Goodluck Jonathan, state governors, chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other top government officials received a rude shock in the ancient city of Benin on Saturday when the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Erediauwa, declined to receive the president who was visiting his palace.
Goodluck Jonathan had arrived the Edo State capital for the grand rally of the state PDP ahead the July 14 governorship election and had been received at the Benin Airport earlier by Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Goodluck Jonathan, thereafter, proceeded to the monarch’s palace, but on taking his seat next to the oba’s throne, he was made to wait for about 15 minutes before a palace official announced to his delegation and the Bini chiefs that were also seated that the royal father would not be seeing him because of circumstances beyond his control.
However, the monarch’s official added that the usual palace formalities would still be observed in the absence of the monarch, including prayers for the president and the distribution of cola nuts.
According to him, “because of circumstances beyond his control, the Oba cannot receive the president, but the normal procedures of prayer for our guest will still be carried out.”
President Jonathan, who was apparently taken aback by the announcement, looked calm as he simply lowered his gaze even as the palace official invited the most senior chief present to offer the prayers.
After the prayers, the palace official, again, announced that even though the Oba would not see the president in public, he would be willing to receive him alone in another section of the palace.
It was not immediately clear whether Goodluck Jonathan, who had removed his cap in line with Bini tradition to wait for the Oba, later met the royal father alone despite security requirement which would have been against the president being alone outside the close monitoring of his body guards.
Even though, the palace did not reveal the reason for the monarch’s decision not to publicly welcome President Jonathan, sources in the palace volunteered that the traditional ruler was merely adhering to the dictates of the ‘gods’ who had made it impossible for him to appear in public to receive the president at that particular time.
Among those with Goodluck Jonathan in the palace, were Vice President Namadi Sambo, Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Idris Wada (Kogi) and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa); top government officials and PDP chieftains, led by the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, as well as former Acting National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje.
While speaking at the rally later in Ogbe Stadium Benin, Goodluck Jonathan, particularly, thanked the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, who he referred to as a “power traditional chief,” and other traditional rulers who came to the stadium to give the PDP their royal blessings.
“Let me appreciate other traditional rulers that are here with us with the Esama of Benin for coming to give us the royal blessing,” Goodluck Jonathan said.
Culled from: Tribune