Ijaws Will Get No Inch of Our Land, Say Edo Traditional Rulers

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

Traditional rulers from the North and Central senatorial districts of Edo State tuesday rose from a meeting, warning Ijaws in the state to perish the idea of carving out a kingdom out of Edo land.

The traditional rulers who said they backed the Edo State Government and Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, in the stopping of the installation of one Godwin Ogunyenbo as the Pere of Olodiama Kingdom in Ovia North East Local government Area of the state, described as abominable attempt by some traditional rulers from Bayelsa and Delta States to install another king in Benin land.

Speaking at a press briefing, the traditional rulers said the only recognised king in Edo South is the Oba of Bénin.
The First Vice Chairman of the state Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs and Onojie of Opoji, Ehidiamen Aidonojie 1, urged security agencies to arrest and prosecute all the traditional rulers involved in the attempted coronation.

His words: “It is misnomer for anybody to say Gelegele is part of Edo, Bayelsa and Delta States. A king from Bayelsa State came to the Oba last time to pay homage that his roots are here and now you see one Pere jumping over Warri to come here and install a king.

“Our Oba has always welcome people. Late Okotie-Eboh was the Adolor of a Benin Kingdom. What the Pere from Delta and Bayelsa States did is unacceptable. The Portuguese entered Benin through Gelegele and it was the only port in Benin at that time.

“If the Ijaws had wanted a chief, they would have pleaded with the Oba and he would have created a chieftaincy title for them. There can never be any other Kingdom in Edo South.”
Also, the Olokpe of Okpe, Oba Idogun, said they would not allow anyone or tribe trespass on any part of Edo land.
“Edo land is a property for the Edo people. We disagree with what the Peres of Bayelsa and Delta States did. We condemned their action,” he said.

On his part, Onojie of Ewu Kingdom, Abdulrasaq Ojeifo, said it would be suicidal for any person to say he is king in Benin Kingdom.
Ojeifo stated that it was a criminal act for anybody to declare himself king when the only recognised king is the Oba of Benin.

He warned that the situation might degenerated to chaos and violence in the country if not well tackled.
“We all know the history of Benin Kingdom. All of us both in Delta, Bayelsa have our roots in this Oba’s Palace. If you allow it to happen now, who knows where it will happen next. The title of Pere is not recognized by law.”