From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has removed the Chief Coordinator of all the enigie (dukes) in the Kingdom, Chief Edomwonyi Iduozee Ogiegbaen, the Enogie of Siluko.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Oba, Iguobaro Osaigbovo, who announced this in a statement in Benin, said “This is to inform the general public that His Royal Highness, Edomwonyi Iduozee Ogiegbaen, Enogie of Egbaen Siluko, has been removed as Chief Coordinator to the Palace on Enigie matters in Benin Kingdom. His removal takes immediate effect”.
The statement did not however give reasons for the removal.
But sources said the removal may not be unconnected to a recent request to the state government to constitute Traditional Councils for Edo South local government areas, a request many see as a plot to balkanize Benin Kingdom. The request letter was addressed to the state governor and dated November 11th 2022.
The letter which was signed by Ogiegbaen and another reads “We the Enigie of the Local Government Areas of Edo South, who enjoy recognition as Traditional Rulers in the Schedule to the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law of Bendel State (1979), as applicable in Edo State, bring to your Excellency our warm felicitations and best wishes.
“We use this occasion to request that Your Excellency kindly exercises the prerogative conferred on your exalted office by Part 7, Section 45 of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law, at this critical stage in the development of our dear State, to establish Traditional Councils for the Local Government Areas of Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba Okha, Orhionmwon, Uhunmwonde, Ovia North East, Ovia South West of Edo State.
“In making the above request, we are mindful of our duties to formulate general proposals, advice and guidance to our respective Local Government Councils, and assist in the maintenance of law and order therein.
“Permit us to count on your demonstrated commitment to the attainment of greater heights in the management of public affairs in Edo State, at this critical period when all hands should be on deck”, the letter added.