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You’re Not From The Royal Family – Oba Of Benin Counters Olumide Akpata


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has replied to the Labour Party governorship candidate in Edo State, Olumide Akpata, that he has no birth relationship with the Benin royal family.

The Oba stated this after Akpata visited his palace on Saturday, June 15, 2024, asking for his royal blessings ahead of the governorship election in the state on September 21.

It is worth recalling that Akpata was led on the trip by Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential flag-bearer in the 2023 election, alongside other chieftains of the party.

In his speech, the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president appreciated the monarch for his support before he spoke of his plans for the Edo people.

However, a telling moment started after Akpata called himself as a son of the palace.

“As my father has said previously, I’m a son of the palace. And so, I feel comfortable. I feel bold enough to come to seek for your Royal Majesty’s blessing. And to report to your royal majesty that the Labour Party in Edo State is strong and vibrant and we’re going to go around all 18 local governments and 192 wards to pass on the message to our people,” he told the palace.

Responding, the monarch stated that although there are people with distant relations to the royal family who have also called themselves as children of the palace but the labour party gubernatorial aspirant doesn’t fall into that category.

The king said: “People that introduce themselves as children of the palace. There are some others that are distantly related, that are not exactly from the royal family that can also address themselves as children of the palace.

“When he (Akpata) said he’s a child of the palace, he said it in English, I think he said it in Benin as well. So I was wondering, as he’s campaigning now, I have called my chief here that is it true that he’s a child of the palace and I don’t know about it.

“We know him very well. He’s an industrious son of the soil. True indigenous son of the soil. But to say a child of the palace, I don’t know whether any of them is a politician. So I just want that clarification for the sake of the public and the fourth estate of the realm.

“So sorry o. I hope you don’t mind that clarification. You’re an industrious, indigenous soil of the soil. We all know that. I know I supported you when you were president of the NBA.

“I had to call El-Rufai to support you that they should look after you when some issues came up during that conference or something that El-Rufai was banned or something.

“Remember I had to speak to him. I said that ‘he’s our son.’ That they should look after him and all. He doesn’t have anything to do with the quarrel that’s ongoing in Kaduna. I know I spoke for you.

“So just to be clear, we’re not particularly against you. I just wanted to clarify that identification you made just now, so I hope you don’t mind.”

Reacting, Akpata admitted that he made a mistake by calling himself as a son of the palace and he asked for the forgiveness of the monarch.

“I’m grateful for the correction. I was equating the entire Benin kingdom to the palace, that was a mistake on my part. I’m a true son of the Benin kingdom. I hope Your Majesty will forgive me for that,” to which the monarch replied, “That’s okay.”

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