Traditional rulers in Edo North and Central Senatorial Districts of Edo State have faulted the alleged installation of Pere of Olodiama in Gelegele, by the Ijaws living in Ovia North East Local Government Area the state, calling it an act of sacrilege.
His Royal Highness, Zaki Aidenojie Ehidiamhen I, the Enogie of Opoji, who spoke on behalf of the traditional rulers expressed his resentment when he led other traditional rulers in both Edo North and Central to the Palace of the Benin monarch in solidarity with the people of the Benin kingdom on Tuesday.
The Enojie of Opoji and vice chairman, Edo State Traditional Rulers Council said they were against the decision of the Ijaws living in Gelegele to instal their own king in the area as there can never be two kings in Edo South.
“We the Traditional rulers from Edo North and the Edo Central, have gathered here to add our voice to that of the state government, the Benin Traditional Council and those of them from Edo South who are opposing the wrong move of the Ijaws”, he said.
He said the Portuguese gained access to Benin through the Gelegele and even when the Benin was under western region, Gelegele was still part of Benin and never a kingdom of its own.
Ehidiamhen I said if the Ijaws in Gelegele had wanted a chief, they should have written to the Oba of Benin for one, adding that the Oba in his magnanimity could have sent them a duke.
“The Oba has the power to even appoint a duke in Gelegele as done in other areas. If they have wanted a chief, they have done well and they have come to the Oba, plead with him, of course he can decide to give a chieftaincy title of Benin Kingdom to that Gelegele because it is part of his kingdom. He has the power to send his dukes there or his Enigie.
“It is never heard that somebody Pere from another kingdom from Bayelsa or Delta to provoke himself to go to Edo State and crowned a king in another man’s kingdom. I think it is an abomination.
“In 1955, an Itsekiri man, the late Okotiebor who was the minister of finance in the first republic was made the Adolor of Benin kingdom. He is an Itsekiri man. He may answer Pere or Olu of Benin. So, I think the Oba has the power to give any title to whom he deemed fit”, he said.
The Enojie of Opoji commended the Benin monarch and the state government for the way and manners they have handled the matter since the issues of the installation of the Pere began while also calling on the state government to take a step further to order for the arrest of those behind the installation.
“I must commend the Oba and the Benins for the maturity that His Majesty have used in calming down situation and if not, there would have been arson and serious problems.
“I also appreciate the governor of the state for his timely intervention but I think they should not stop there because the Pere and the elders in council should be located by the law enforcement agents and the man that wanted to receive crown should be invited and prosecuted”, he said.
The traditional ruler of Opoji said it was a misnormal for anybody to address Gelegele as part of Bayelsa or part of Delta State. The state governor of Bayelsa and Delta should be contacted by the Edo State governor to tell them to maintain peace and should remain in their territory and not transpassing into Edo State.