The Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba N’edo Uku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II, on Friday called for peaceful co-existence and unity among Nigerians.
Ewuare II made the call during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, at Government House, Minna.
“There is need to pray for peaceful co-existence and unity of Nigeria,” he said.
He said that Edo and Niger States have a long sustained relationship dating back to its creation by the ex-military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (retd).
The traditional ruler, who was happy with the warm reception accorded Edo indigenes in the state, added that his visit would further boost the bond of relationship between the two states.
He said the visit was to reciprocate the gesture done him by the state Governor and the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, Chairman of the state Council of Traditional Rulers, who attended his coronation in Benin city.
Responding, Bello, who was represented by the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso, said Niger has a sustained relationship with the traditional rulers in the state.
“We will continue to make the traditional institution relevant and also sustain the existing relationship,” he said.
He said the roles of traditional leaders in the country must be supported and respected in view of their significance as the custodian of cultures of every society.
The governor noted that many social vices in the country could be tackled if the traditional institutions are strengthened and recognised by governments at all levels.
He said Ewuare’s visit would further strengthen the long cordial relationship existing between the two states.
Bello gave the assurance that the state government would continue to respect the rights of non indigenes in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the Oba was accompanied by the Etsu Nupe and other High Chiefs from Niger and Edo States.