The monarch of Koluama Kingdom in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, King Ebifatei Edi-Mangi, has strongly denied his involvement in the alleged endorsement of any governorship candidate for the November 11 polls.

The traditional ruler, 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.

Edi-Mangi, who is addressed as Kolu XI, Ibenanaowei of Koluama Kingdom, was reacting to what he labelled as unfounded claims of endorsement of a standard bearer by some politicians, particularly on social media.

He said 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”, he said.

Edi-Mangi said any narrative linking him to the purported endorsement circulating in the social media was the figment of imagination of the purveyors, and should be totally disregarded.

He insisted that he is a firm advocate of peace and unity in Bayelsa, and called on all political actors and their followers to embrace peace, shun violence and work together to build a progressive state.

While emphasising the importance of peaceful co-existence and unity among the people, he 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.”

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He warned 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.

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The royal father restated his firm commitment to his traditional role as a symbol of unity and culture, and urged 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.