Vice Chairman, Edo State Council of Traditional rulers and chiefs, Onojie of Okpoji, Ehidiamen I, who led other chiefs from Edo Central and Edo North Senatorial Districts have urged the Ijaws resident in Edo State coastline to refrain from the abominable installation of a (“pere”/ king) in Benin kingdom.
They all frowned at the illegal installation which they confirmed is an attempt to desecrate the royal Benin land by their action to perform a coronation of an Ijaw King in a part of Benin Kingdom.
Addressing newsmen yesterday at the Palace of the Benin Monarch in Benin City, the Onojie of Opoji said,” There is no other kingdom in Edo South and there is only one king in the kingdom which is the Oba of Benin.”
He added that Gelegele town which houses most of the Ijaws resident in the state is part of Benin Province, which is present day Edo State.
Condemning the action by the ijaws to install a parallel king in Edo south, he said, “It is never heard that another person in the name of “pere” wants to claim a kingdom in the same Benin kingdom which has the Oba as the only recognised king. This action amounts to abomination.”
They urged the ijaws to be law abiding and eschew any act capable of causing unrest in the state noting that, “The Oba has the power to confer chieftaincy on anyone in Edo South and not the installation of another king (pere) in his kingdom.”
The traditional rulers called on security agencies and the state government to as a matter of urgency order the investigation and arrest of all those behind the planned coronation and prosecute them according to the law.
“The police authority and the state government should do the needful within the law to forestall the installation or coronation of any other king in the name of “pere” within the Edo South. This amounts to abomination and is condemnable by all of us.”
He described the move to have a “pere” trespassing into Edo State for coronation as a misnomer, calling on concerned ijaw leaders and the state governors of Delta and Bayelsa states to wade into the matter to avert violence.
By Titus Akhigbe,Benin