The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has suspended the Odionwere of Evbiekoi village in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State, Pa Igbinake Aghaku.
According to Mr. Desmond Agbama, the Chief Press Secretary to the Oba of Benin, in a statement on Saturday, Pa Aghaku was suspended and stripped of his traditional duties as Odionwere for allegedly violating the cultural, traditional norms and practices of Benin Kingdom.
Pa Aghaku was accused of allegedly operating a Community Development Association (CDA), which has been declared illegal by the state government, during an open mediation held weekly at Ugha-Ozolua in the Oba’s palace.
He was also accused of allegedly “splitting the village (Evbiekoi) into two.”
Oba Ewuare II, not pleased with the development, directed the second in command in Evbiekoi village, Pa Airenmwinkiekie Imasuen, to assume the position of Odionwere.
The Oba also directed the Oka-Ighele, Monday Odigie, to perform the traditional rites of Odionwere in Ogue-Edion, in line with the culture and tradition of Benin kingdom.
The statement added: “The Benin monarch reminded the people that no Enogie, Ohen or Odionwere has power to remove ‘Ukhure’ (traditional statue) from Ogue-Edion as Ohen N’Ukoni did, and consequently ordered the immediate return of the Ukhure to the Ogue-Edion in Evbiekoi by Ohen N’Ukoni.”
The monarch, thus, warned youths still parading themselves as CDA members in villages and towns within the Benin Kingdom to desist from such or risk being handed over to the Private Property Protection Committee, led by the immediate past Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase.
In related development, the monarch urged property owners, whose houses were affected by a court judgement delivered in favour of one Pa Samuel Emokpae over a disputed parcel of land, to approach him (Emokpae) for settlement.
He resolved that because the court had given a verdict about the parcel of land located in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, the palace had no other resolution to make on the matter.
He, however, urged Pa Emokpae to show mercy on the property owners by accommodating them and accepting to settle the matter amicably.
The affected parties were also advised by the Oba to report back to the palace about the outcome of the settlement.