Oba Of Benin’s Palace Clashes With Obaseki

Oba Of Benin’s Palace Clashes With Obaseki

The Edo State Governor,  Godwin Obaseki, has clashed with the palace of the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, over the ban on the activities of Okaigheles (youth leaders) in the Edo South senatorial district of the state.

Melody news reports that Obaseki, on June 3, disclosed that over 150 residents of Edo State had been lost to cult-related activities and homicide in less than six months (from January 2024), declaring war on cultism in the State.

He also banned Okaigheles’ activities in the Edo South senatorial district’s seven LGAs: Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha, Egor, Ovia Northeast, Ovia Southwest, Orhionmwon, and Uhunmwonde.

Obaseki stressed that his ban on Okaigheles was part of renewed efforts to tackle cultism in Edo.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Oba of Benin, Osaigbovo Iguobaro, made available to journalists in Benin City, charged the Okaigheles to maintain peace and order in their domains.

Also, the Obazelu of Benin, Osaro Idah, while addressing the protesting Edo South Okaigheles, who sought the palace’s intervention, assured that the palace of Oba of Benin would dialogue with Edo State Government on the contentious issue.

Idah, who was accompanied by the Oyeoba of Benin, Oghafua Oyeoba, and the Ogua of Benin, Uyi Okungbowa, stated that the palace of Oba of Benin would not shield any individual caught in nefarious activities.

Idah said, “Okaighele is not a new thing in Benin Kingdom. It did not start in this century. As you have age grades and senior sons, so we have them. When Odionwere (village head) is appointed by the Oba of Benin, Okaighele assists the Odionwere in the daily administration of the domain.

“It is not something that can be banned by fiat because Okaighele belongs to the Benin ancestors. We shall inform the appropriate authorities about your concerns.

“You have not been banned, but the palace will not support any form of violence or attack on anyone or group of persons in the communities. If anyone is caught, the palace will support the government to prosecute such person.”

The Spokesman of aggrieved youths and Odionweres (village heads) in Edo South senatorial district, Comrade Rowland Ogbomo, stated that Okaighele was a creation of the palace of Oba of Benin.

He said they were surprised by the Edo governor’s announcement of the ban and pleaded with the foremost traditional ruler to intervene urgently.

Ogbomo stated that the Okaigheles were not cultists but responsible for maintaining law and order in their communities in accordance with Benin’s native laws and customs.

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