It was an embarrassing day for former Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, when an event that was to be homecoming became a bad show: he was dressed down by the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, over poor representation of Edo people in the former President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration
Said the reverred traditional ruler: “I think, throughout your tenure, I can’t remember if we actually saw you more than two times. The first time, you came when you complained about the flood in Benin, and now your tenure is completed….
“I will keep certain things from the public domain. However, I am constrained to talk about them. We interacted once in a while; it is true that my intervention to former President Buhari, made you benefit from the office you held. We thank God for that.
“But I was also wondering about many things; as you were a beneficiary of that office, Budget and Planning, I was wondering if any of our people was also a beneficiary from your office. I am stating that they should thank you if anyone benefited from your being in the office”.
Oba Ewuare II, has expressed “total disappointment“ over what he described as the “lopsided representation“ by the former Minister.
A statement in Benin by Mr Iguobaro Osaigbovo, the Chief Press Secretary to the Oba, the king noted that while in office the ex-minister failed to extend ministerial benefits to Edo South and Edo Central Senatorial Districts.
According to the statement, Oba Ewuare expressed the disappointment while responding to the minister who was on a thank-you -visit to palace for the role it played in his appointment as a minister by former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Oba Ewuare noted that having benefited from a goodwill that led to his appointment, Agba should have reciprocated the kind gesture to the entire three senatorial zones of the state, rather than engage in “politics of disintegration“.
Oba Ewuare advised all Edo indigenes to use their good offices to attract development to the state and to better the lots of the people.
He said the erstwhile Minister of Budget and Planning performed “below expectation“.
Agba had spoken about his availability to help with the Benin Royal Museum, and praised the Omo n’Oba for helping to get him appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I have come here with some of my friends and brothers to thank His Royal Majesty for his love for Edo State and your love for this country – Nigeria. You will recall that after the elections, a lot of people thought that the country would go on fire; but His Royal Majesty continued to organize prayers to ensure that there is peace in our country – Nigeria.
“So, people expected that the country will go into flames, but it did not happen; I thought it worthy of commendation that His Royal Majesty should be thanked for the prayers you offered to God and our ancestors.
“Your Majesty, you will recall that in 2016, Edo State had one minister in the cabinet of the immediate past President of Nigeria, but in 2019, His Majesty wrote to then Mr President (Muhmmadu Buhari) to consider and let Edo have two ministers”.