Various groups rally in support of the Oba of Benin for banning community development association, writes Awuya Otaihenkhole
Every society is endowed with certain basic sets of code and ethics that regulate and govern their existence as a people. A recalcitrant heart that rebels against the immutable order of God is opened to ancestral wrath. Ancestral judgements are great and people that fail to apply themselves to wisdom and reasons are unavoidably confined to self-destruction.
The Edo people, particularly, the Benins consider every perceived attempt to tarnish, undermine or challenge the sovereignty of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba of Benin, as affront and sacrilege that should attract spontaneous anger.
Since Oba Ewuare II ascended the throne in 2016, various groups and individuals have openly expressed satisfaction with his achievements and indeed have attracted encomiums from members of the international community like the British Government, the American envoy to Nigeria, the European Union, the Swedish Government, religious leaders and organisations. Everyone is happy and appreciative of His Royal Majesty over his decision to ban the Community Development Association (CDA). The Edo State Government supported it through the instrument of legislation.
The Benin monarch’s decision was in direct response to the widespread outcry by the people over the unwholesome, antagonistic and inhuman activities of the operators of community development association who in their selfish desires, transformed themselves into what was generally regarded as community destructive association and land grabbers, who constantly unleash terror on prospective land developers who are unable to comply with their exploitative policy. The people rely on the Oba to rescue them from excruciating deprivation and bondage.
In addition, the achievement of the reigning monarch in his relentless fight against human trafficking and cultism is legendary, especially in the outstanding and commendable roles of Oba Ewuare II Foundation in the resettlement and rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking and illegal migration through impartation of diverse skills and financial empowerment to the victims who remain grateful for the opportunity given to them to reignite their lives.
Characteristically therefore, it was not unexpected when some strata of the Edo society congregated at Urhokpota premises, at the Oba Ovonramwen Square, Benin City, on Friday, 17th May, 2019, in response to the subversive, rebellious and treacherous acts against the revered throne of Benin Kingdom by the enemies of the Oba and the land.
Armed with the full compliments of their spiritual endowments, traditional priests of different divinities, deities, fraternities, cults and other stakeholders in the spirit realm, they came to rain curses on these identified enemies of the crown and other evil doers.
Urhokpota premises, the site of the uncommon event, was filled to the brim by priests, priestesses, chiefs, Enigie, market women and other interest groups to raise their voices and place curses on this societal deviants that scandalously insulted the sacred crown of Benin. Notable among the array of spiritualists classifications are: Ohen-Okhuaihe, Ohen-Ovia, Ohen-Nikhuo, Ohen-Ake, Ohen-Ikhuokhuo, Ohen-Ogba, Ebo-ke-Ebo, Oghidian, Ayelala, Esango, Ekhorosioba and the Ewaise group.
To begin the invocation of curses, the spiritualists first gathered various shapes of traditional intermediary implements of communication and intercession to perform the rites of convoking the power of the guiding spirits of the ancestors of the land, the uncountable divinities and deities to come and infuse their actions with seal of efficacy.
Afterward, the procession moved through some traditional routes and roads in Benin City, where they visited a number of traditional sites such as Aro-Edion-Edo, Aruosa N’Ogbelaka, Erimwindu, Ekpenede, Aro-Emotan shrines, among others.
In each of the location, the visibly charged and angry spiritualists lay bare their grievances against the culprits. They all came to a peaceful climax with prayers for the continuous well-being, prosperity, robust health and longevity of Ewuare II, Oba of Benin and the royal household, as well as the peace and progress of Edo land.
Prior to the actions of the spiritualists, a group of Edo youths under the aegis of Benin National Congress expressed sense of dejection and took to the streets of Benin City to denounce what they described as unwarranted assault on the revered throne of Benin and the attempt being made by some elements to desecrate Benin customary norms and culture.
The youths posited that to avoid breakdown of law and order, the police and other security agencies should as a matter of urgency effect the arrest of the culprits. The youths cautioned that failure to heed their advice may be injurious to the peace and harmony in the state. Similarly, the Esogban of Benin, Chief David Edebiri challenged the Edo State Police Command to rise to its statutory responsibility.
Reacting to the lingering violation of the laws regulating chieftaincy matters in Edo State, the Esogban called on the police to do the needful by effecting the arrest of the culprit for unlawfully arrogating to himself the title of Ogiamienship.
In all of this, it is not farfetched that the revered monarch, Ewuare II, N’Ogidigan, Oba of Benin is indeed a living deity.
Otaihenkhole wrote from Ehor, Edo State