A cultural dimension has been added to the raging political battle of wits in Edo State ahead of the September 19 poll, following an accusation that Governor Godwin Obaseki committed a taboo by standing before Oba Ewuare of Benin wearing a cap.
The allegation was made by his predecessor and now estranged political mentor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, while fielding questions on a talk-show on Arise TV.
Last week, Governor Obaseki led a group of visiting PDP governors to the palace on a courtesy visit to the Benin monarch before proceeding to the Sam Ogbemudia Stadium to launch his campaign for a second term.
The visit was, however, marred by violence, as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters clashed with All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters at the gate, as the governor and his guests were exiting the palace, resulting in gunshots.
Speaking on Skype from his Auchi country home on the morning programme of Arise TV monitored in Lagos, Comrade Oshiomhole condemned Obaseki’s action as another demonstration of disrespect not only for the esteemed Benin palace, but also Edo tradition.
“You call yourself a Bini man, yet you came to Bini palace wearing a cap in company of other PDP governors,” said Oshiomhole of Obaseki who hails from Oredo Council in Benin City.
The ancient Bini customs forbid subjects from wearing cap before the Oba even while obliging them to kneel in obeisance.