The recent withdrawal of Criminal charges against Arisco Osemwegie who purported to be the Ogiamien of Benin Kingdom way back 2015 by Edo State government, has pitched a Coalition of Benin socio-Cultural Organizations against Edo State government.
Recall that the Criminal action instituted against Osemwegie in court was terminated via a letter to the court, dated April 13, 2022, and duly signed by Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Oluwole Iyamu on behalf of the State Government after the former entered a Memorandum of Undertaking with the Government after impersonating as the Ogiamen of Utatan Kingdom.
On Saturday, members of Coalition of Benin socio-Cultural Organizations, rejected the move y the government at a Press Conference on Saturday in Benin City, Edo State Capital.
It also accused the State governor, Godwin Obaseki of being lethargic in defending the Benin throne.
Spokesman of the group, Imasuen Amowie Izoduwa, alleged growing concern of a calculated efforts activities of the Ogiamen bandwagons, adding that “the insurmountable sovereignty of the Oba of Benin and His Kingdom remain strong and a unifying bond for the Benins and all”.
Izoduwa, pleaded with Benin monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, to abolish ‘Ogiamen Chieftaincy title’ after ‘Ekiokpagha treaty’ — over 500 years ago, which he claimed was built on deception and lies.
Ekiokpagha treaty’, was a treaty between Ogiamen of that era and Oba Ewedo who created the fist known title outside the “Edion”(Seniors) called Niyasowa, now abridged as ” Iyase”, dates back to 12th Century AD, according to some Benin literatures.
“Today, we are faced with the tragedy that instead of the Benins to rally once again with their king to build another great future even greater than what we lost, are now joining forces with those who in the first place had brought us to our present state.
Speaking further, Izoduwa who emphasized that the sovereignty of Benin throne is sacred, alleged that the Benin monarch has never at any period of time undermine the constitutional power of the Governor, and he never will, only those who are drunk of power will want to undermine an institution that is thousands of years older than theirs.
According to him, “We will never support any Government that is against our throne because it is our duty as true patriotic Edo sons and daughters.
“The present day Edo State Government in truth ought to be the first Ambassador of Edo Culture and heritage and was supposed to work with the palace in a bid to push in the return of our stolen artefacts, agreement was initially reached between the Benin Royal family and Edo State Government; Only for Edo State Government to breach that agreement and ever since, the present Governor of the State has been allegedly heard at several occasions that he will undermine the powers of the Oba of Benin for artefacts that belong to the Benin Royal Court”, Izoduwa said.
Accordingly, a Benin-based Human Rights Activist, Leftist Osazee Edigin, a Scion of the famous Edigin N’Use dynasty, said Benin people will resist any attempt by any group or individual no matter how highly placed in society to undermine the Benin heritage and Culture.
He said, “we are ready to lay down our lives in making sure that nothing happens to our own heritage. We have one home, one father, the Oba of Benin”, he said.
Comrade Osaro Culture-Iyamu, Maxist Kola Edokpayi, were among the prominent Benin sons who attended the Press Conference.
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