The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has suspended the Odionwere of Evbiekoi village in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State, Mr. Igbinake Aghaku.
Odionwere is a title for the oldest man in a community.
Aghaku was suspended and stripped of his traditional duties as Odionwere for allegedly violating the cultural, traditional norms and practices of Benin kingdom, according to a statement by the Oba’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Desmond Agbama, on Saturday.
The chief, during an open mediation held weekly at Ugha-Ozolua in the Oba’s palace, was accused of allegedly operating a community development association, which had been outlawed by the state government.
He was also accused of allegedly “splitting the village into two.” Unhappy with the development, Oba Ewuare II directed the second in command in the community, Airenmwinkiekie Imasuen, to assume the position of Odionwere.
He also stated that the Oka-Ighele, Monday Odigie, would perform the traditional rites of Odionwere in Ogue-Edion, in line with the culture and tradition of Benin kingdom.
“The Benin monarch reminded the people that no Enogie, Ohen or Odionwere has the power to remove ‘Ukhure’ (the traditional staff of authority) 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 statement added.
The Oba, therefore, warned youths still parading themselves as CDA members in villages and towns and within 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 a related development, the monarch urged property owners, whose houses were affected by a court judgment delivered in favour of one Samuel Emokpae over a disputed parcel of land to approach him (Emokpae) for settlement.
The traditional ruler resolved that since the court had already delivered judgment in connection with the piece of land located in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, the palace had no other resolution to make on the matter.
He urged Emokpae to show mercy on the house owner by accommodating them and accepting to settle the matter amicably.