The immediate past minister of state for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, got more than he bargained for when he paid a thank-you visit to the Oba of Benin, Ewuare 11, Ogidigan, in his palace last weekend. Instead of the expected niceties from Oba Ewuare 11, what Agba got was a mouthful for being far from the palace, and not extending the benefits of his ministerial appointment to his friends and Benin people. The former minister, who nurses governorship ambition in 2024, had in his address to the Oba, acknowledged how the royal father facilitated his appointment as minister. But to his utter discomfiture, the Oba asked to know how many of the people in the palace and amongst his friends who accompanied him, benefited from his office. In a statement by the chief press secretary to the Oba, Iguobaro Osaigbovo, Oba Ewuare 11 said while it was gratifying for Agba to acknowledge his intervention which made Buhari appoint him as a minister, “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 with 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”. Agba was in the palace to inform the Benin throne of his intention to assist in accommodating the Benin Royal Museum in the federal budget. This was after he has left office and was no longer in a position to do much. Agba recalled the prayers of Oba Ewuare II against the disintegration of the nation and thanked him for his assistance which gave him the privilege to be appointed by the former President, Muhammadu Buhari. According to Agba, “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 organise 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. I became a beneficiary of that prayer, and I happen to have become the first Minister from Edo North since 1999. I have come to His Majesty for that privilege of his prayers to Mr. President, for which I am a beneficiary. “So, having done my job for three and half years, and I have successfully completed it, I thought it wise to come back to His Majesty and thank you for your prayers; for your support, and the advice that throughout the three and half years, I was a Minister. All of these could not have been possible if His Majesty did not write to Mr. President for Edo to have two Ministers. I would not have been appointed. So, I am indeed very grateful to His Majesty”.