Relishing Oba Ewuare 11 Symbolic Visit To President Buhari

Oba of Benin visits Buhari

Last week, the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolor, Oba Ewuare 11, paid a royal visit to Aso Rock Villa to appreciate the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari for his role and support during his coronation ceremony last year. The visit was more of a climax of them all as the revered monarch had paid similar visits to the three Senatorial zones of Edo State to appreciate his own subjects for the show of love and respect for the throne of his ancestors.
Edo people at home and in Diaspora were also thrilled with the open demand by the monarch for more federal presence in Edo land. This has been a serious quest for several years now. One point needs to be made: Oba Ewuare 11 is progressive and development-focused. He did not hide it from the very first day he ascended the throne.
The Oba had championed the disbandment of the notorious Community Development Associations, a platform which youths of almost all the communities in the land used to perpetrate crime and criminality. Their nefarious activities actually did huge disservice to Edo land as investors were terrorized and terrified by the youths with their endless demands for huge sums of money, failing which guns and machetes were freely used to chase potential investors away. Even private home developers were not spared. But Oba Ewuare 11 put paid to all that. He also forged a positive alliance with government and today, belonging to such associations or groups is now a criminal offence punishable under the law in the state. This is now producing good fruits.
So, when the Oba raised the issue of insecurity with Mr. President, it was still in line with making Edo a business and tourism destination, not only in Nigeria, but Africa as a whole. He told the President that security challenges facing the State was multidimensional and required assistance of the Federal Government. Even the recent attempt by some funny Ijaw individuals to install a “Pere” of an unknown kingdom within the Benin Kingdom falls squarely within the issues of insecurity that Mr. President should actually address. All those behind such madness must be chased to their hideouts and smoked out by law enforcement agencies.
It was also heartwarming to know that the Omo N’Oba who was in Aso Rock in the company of his palace Chiefs, other traditional rulers from the state, veterans of the diplomatic service and family members informed the President that his people were in dire need of infrastructure development. The Gelegele Sea port is dear to our hearts in Edo State and we need the Federal Government backing to realise the all-important project. One readily recalls that even Oba Erediauwa who joined his ancestors some time ago was also routing for the development of the Gelegele port for so many years. He had mentioned that to almost two presidents during his reign as Oba and this time around Oba Ewuare 11 and the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki are championing the move which by the grace of God and his ancestors would come to fruition in the reign of Oba Ewuare 11 whether the devil likes it or not.
It is also important to emphasise that the successful building of the sea port in Gelegele will enhance the process of rich agricultural produce moving out of the state in a cost efficient manner to both the local and global markets. Under the Federal Government economic recovery plan, states were asked to develop their economic blue print that will stimulate exportation and this is where the need for the development of Gelegele sea port fits squarely.

All over the world, it is a known fact that the transportation sector is a strong factor in terms of economic and regional balanced development, as well as having a great influence on national integration to the world economic market.
Nigeria has a rich history of trade across seas from the 13th century till date. Ports constitute an important economic activity in coastal areas of many nations and unfortunately, Nigeria has not fully tapped its coastline to the fullest. Apart from Lagos port, many other towns and cities such Sapele, Port-Harcourt, Forcadoes , Gelegele and Calabar with great potentials for ports development have been largely left untapped by successive governments and as Crude oil revenue is dwindling, the best time to invest in ports and non-oil sector with what remains of oil revenue is now.
Also, Oba Ewuare 11 deserves a standing ovation for calling the President’s attention to the near impassible Benin-Auchi-Okene road which has been abandoned by the Federal Government for some year now. The dualization seems like an abandoned project even though it was captured in the 2017 budget. The slow pace of work and the sudden appearance of thousands of trailers on the road makes travel on that road nightmarish.
Of particular note was his urging the Federal Government to assist Edo state to develop low to medium scale cluster industries or establish factories in each Local Government Areas, to reduce unemployment and prompt urban to rural migration in order to decongest the centre for a very holistic development in Edo state. It is obvious that when the issues of security are properly addressed and the federal government joins the state government to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive from conception to maturity, then there would be massive employment in the land for our teeming unemployed youths, which in itself would help to bring down the crime wave.
It equally gladdens our hearts that the Oba was particularly concerned about the issue of human trafficking which has placed Edo in a not-too-good spotlight. Many Nigerians indulge in the illicit trade but it is sad that many of the victims happens to be Edo sons and daughters. For the Oba to add his voice to that of many other Nigerians calling for an end to human trafficking is greatly appreciated.
The icing in the cake of the Royal visit to Aso Rock was the Oba’s canvassing of federal support for Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State. The Oba aptly noted, “our governor and the people of Edo state need more support from the federal government to effectively and decisively tackle the security challenges in our state.”
Now that the Oba has paid this very symbolic visit to Aso Rock, Edo people are hopeful and expect President Muhammadu Buhari will be of blessing to Edo people. The Oba is revered by all Edo people and all his requests and expectations are for all Edo people’s good and progress.
The Oba who since ascension of the throne had carved a niche for himself, is fast writing his name in the good books of history of Edo land and Nigeria in particular. His interest in building a society where no man is oppressed, a society where both the noble and lords have opportunities to develop their potentials, a society that grows progressively where all social vices are eliminated, where crime and criminality have no hiding place clearly stands him out amongst the royalty in Nigeria and Edo people are proud to have him as our Oba. Umogun Gha to kpere! Ise!!
Mr. Dan Owegie is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State.

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