Lucky Obukohwo Reporting
The Benin Traditional Council (BTC), has threatened to wield its own sledge hammer on those who continuously refer to the chiefs in the Benin Kingdom as traditional rulers.
Addressing Journalists in Benin City on behalf of the BTC, Prof. Edoba Omoregie, SAN, said the reference is becoming embarrassing to the kingdom despite the earlier clarification made.
According to him in a paper titled “Further clarification on the structure of Benin traditional institution” made available to Journalists, said such an act must stop forthwith.
“It will be It will be recalled that on 20th August 2023, a “Clarification on the Structure of the Benin Traditional Institution” was issued on the authority of the Benin Traditional Council (BTC).
“Further to the said Clarification, the Benin Traditional Council hereby emphasize as follows:
“By virtue of Benin Customary Law, which is part of the existing laws of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and earlier affirmed in the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law, 1979 (as applicable in Edo State), the traditional chieftaincy title of Enogie of any community in Benin Kingdom is the creation of the Oba of Benin and under the authority of the Benin Traditional Council.
“Upon appointment, an Enogie is assigned as a chief of the Oba Palace to a community as a representative of the Oba of Benin in that community; but never as a traditional ruler as there is only one traditional ruler in the whole of the Benin Kingdom, who is the Oba of Benin.
“Despite this unambiguous Benin Tradition which is well codified in existing laws, members of the print and electronic media have resorted to erroneously addressing Enigie of the various communities in Benin Kingdom as traditional rulers.
“This is a serious breach of traditional protocol which has caused unnecessary confusion to many unsuspecting members of the general public who are unaware of this serious sacrilegious blunder.
“The BTC therefore use this medium to strongly urge and admonish all members of the print and electronic media to refrain from further reference to the Enogie of any community in Benin Kingdom as a traditional ruler, but only as a chief of the community to which the ‘Enogie has been appointed by the Oba of Benin”
Prof. Omoregie added that any further breach of this traditional protocol would be considered by the BTC as a serious affront to the entire Benin People and the Palace of Oba of Benin, which breach will be visited with serious consequences under the law.