Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
A massive protest was yesterday staged in major streets of Benin-city, capital of Edo State, by youths under the umbrella of Benin Nation Congress (BNC) against one Chief Arisco Osemwengie, who they alleged was attempting to carve out a new kingdom from Benin-city to be headed by Ogiamen which Osemwengie claimed to be.
The protesters carrying several placards and a mock coffin which they said signifies the death of the enemies of the Oba of Benin, said the real Ogiamen of Benin kingdom has never been declared dead even though he is supposed to be a palace chief, and therefore cannot be replaced.
Speaking at the Government House where they were received by the state Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, President of BNC, Ayamenkhue Edokpolor, said the Ogiamien family led by Pa Samuel Ogiamien has since disowned Arisco Osemwegie which made him an impostor to the title he claimed.
Furthermore, Edokpolo noted that the Ogiamien title belongs to a group called Uzama N’ibiewhich in the hierarchy of Benin palace functionaries
According to him, “The Ogiamien family led by Pa. Samuel Ogiamien have duly and publicly disown the said Osemwegie since 2015 as an impostor trying to impersonate or criminally take the place of the chieftaincy title of Ogiamien whose current holder is Chief Osarobo Okunoghae, and who has been absent from Benin for several years but has not been declared missing or dead by relevant authorities.
“This begs the question that if the holder of the Ogiamien title has not been declared missing or dead, then Osemwengie and his illusionary adventurers trying to claim a title of Ogiamien must be held accountable for his whereabouts because a title is only vacant by death or by other established proviso. The public must be informed that by the Benin traditional palace structure, the Ogiamien title is one of the titles belonging to a group called Uzama ni bie which is a junior title in the palace hierarchy of functionaries.”
Addressing the protesters, the deputy governor said there are only two known kingdoms in the world, Benin Kingdom and United Kingdom, adding that anyone trying to reduce the influence and ancestral history of Benin will not succeed.
According to him, “There are two kingdoms in the world-Benin Kingdom and United Kingdom-and anybody who tries to reduce the image and ancestral history that we have in this kingdom is just daring what human being cannot dare.
“As a government, we are with you, and by the grace of God, we will not only protect our Benin kingdom but we will support every means to make the revered kingdom what it has always been. The Oba of Benin is revered all over the world, and nobody can reduce that image that we have got in the kingdom. The state government will use everything possible to protect our cultural heritage which is represented by the Oba of Benin.
“The state governor and the good people of the state will join you to preserve the kingdom, and we will put those bad people where they belong. Benin kingdom has come to stay, Oba has come to stay and nothing can change it.”
However, when contacted on phone yesterday, Osemwengie said he cannot comment on the matter because it is in court.
He said: “That is a matter that is before the Supreme Court, and I don’t like commenting on an issue that is before the apex court, so I cannot comment on it.”