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HomeLatestObaseki Mediates in Oba of Benin-Enigie Dispute, Urges Protection of Royal Legacy

Obaseki Mediates in Oba of Benin-Enigie Dispute, Urges Protection of Royal Legacy

Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu Reporting

Edo State, Nigeria 

 

In a bid to resolve the ongoing dispute between His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopkolo, Oba Ewuare II, the revered monarch of Benin, and some suspended Enigie, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has taken proactive steps towards initiating a peace-building process.

Addressing the press following a crucial meeting with select Enigie from the Edo South Senatorial District, convened at the residence of Prof. Gregory Akenzua in the heart of Benin City, Obaseki outlined the objectives of the gathering.

Obaseki stated that the primary aim is to understand the issues at hand and to facilitate reconciliation among the aggrieved parties. He noted that the move is intended to facilitate the withdrawal of the existing court case so as to promote peace in Edo South.

The governor condemned the action of politicians who are attempting to hijack and distort the matter at stake, urging them to be careful as the Benin Royalty is a unique inheritance which Edo people must preserve.

He said, “You will recall that a few days ago, there was an incident in Court in Benin City, where there was almost a breakdown of law and order because some people tried to stop a court hearing relating to a case between some Enigie in Benin Kingdom and the palace.

“Government issued a statement that we are going to look into the matter and seek for amicable reconciliation over the issues in court. I came back from a trip about two days ago and decided to commence that process by meeting with the aggrieved Enigie who went to Court. The intention is to see what the issues are and amicably ensure that they are resolved.”

Obaseki continued: “Every Enogie in Edo South has a blood relationship with the Palace; they are an extension of the Benin Royal family. We are here to meet a cross-section of them to understand what the issues are. We want to know what it takes to broker peace and reconcile them with the hope that the case is withdrawn from the Court.

“They have assured me that they are anxious to promote peace and acknowledge the Oba of Benin as their Royal father but have concerns that bother them and would like them to be resolved. The process has started. We will also visit the lyase of Benin Kingdom and after that, we will visit our Royal father and see how these issues will be resolved.”

Noting that the sacred heritage of the Benin Royalty must be preserved, he said, “We all should be careful as our Royalty is a unique inheritance. We must try to preserve it and never allow the corrosive influence of politicians to afflict our heritage. You can see from the display in Benin City last week that politicians are attempting to hijack and distort the issue at stake.

“There are real and fundamental issues which will be resolved by all means. But we use this medium to appeal to politicians from different sides of the divide to desist from playing politics with the royal family and the Palace.”

The Enogie of Evbo-Obanosa, Prof. Gregory Akenzua, commended Governor Obaseki for attempting to wade into the matter and broker peace.

He exonerated the governor of the allegations that he asked the Enigie to take the Oba of Benin to Court, noting, “We have not only taken His Majesty to Court but also taken Edo State Government to Court as well.

“I have listened to the governor who is making appeals to us to resolve the issues we have amicably. We welcome the idea but the fact must be stated that contrary to what I am reading in the press that the governor is the one who asked us to go to Court, the truth is that we have issues with His Majesty who is the head of the traditional institutions. Those issues have to be resolved if that settlement has to be made and we welcome any intervention from any source.

“As a point of correction, we have not only taken His Majesty to Court but also taken the Edo State Government to Court as well. The issue of people saying that it is the governor that is using us to fight the traditional institution is completely incorrect. We will address a full press conference on the issues; we have many issues to be resolved before we agree to settle out of Court.”

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