A first-class King in Bayelsa State, King Solomon Ebifatei Edi-Mangi, has denied the allegation levelled against him that he had endorsed a candidate ahead of the upcoming November 11 governorship election in the state.
The Royal Father in a statement on Saturday, stated that as the custodian of the culture and tradition of his people, he had remained non-partisan and neutral in political issues.
The Kolu XI and Ibenanaowei of Koluama Kingdom, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state, described the claims of endorsement of a standard bearer by some politicians, especially in social media, as unfounded.
The monarch further claimed that he had at no time expressed support for any governorship flagbearer for the forthcoming polls.
“I have a sacred duty to ensure that the cultural heritage and values of the people of Koluama Kingdom are preserved. I have never let political affiliations interfere with my responsibilities,” Edi-Mangi said.
He however maintained that any narrative linking him to the purported endorsement circulating in the social media was the figment of imagination of the purveyors, and should be disregarded.
According to him, he is a firm advocate of peace and unity in Bayelsa, noting that all political actors and their followers should embrace peace, shun violence and work together to build a progressive state.
The Monarch who emphasised the importance of peaceful co-existence and unity among the people, said: “We should put aside our differences and come together for the greater good of our state. Violence and division only hinder our progress. Let us focus on the issues that truly matter – the development and prosperity of Bayelsa.”
He however used the opportunity to sound a note of warning to those who might have been misled or misunderstood the situation, despite their interest and passion for the political process, to channel their energies to positive and meaningful endeavours that would benefit the community.
The King restated his firm commitment to his traditional role as a symbol of unity and culture while urging the people to stand together in the spirit of peace and progress.
“Bayelsa State’s future is bright, and together, we can achieve great things for our beloved state,” he said.