Elders of Oke-Oroma community in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State have begged the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II not to send any Chief Priest (Ohen) from hostile Amagba community to them for the purpose of worshipping the deity in the community.
Amagba and Oke-Oroma communities have been at war over land which led to killings of several persons and destruction of houses including ancient landmarks.
The Oke-Oroma elders said there were many qualified indigenous of the community that could serve as Chief Priest.
They said it was alien and contrary to the age long Bini customs to import Chief priest from a neighboring hostile Amagba village.
A statement jointly signed by Pa Osaro Uwaifo and Pa Micheal Osazemwinde on behalf of Oke-Oroma elders accused representatives of Amagba of saying half truths as regards the judgment of the Benin Traditional Council in respect of the land dispute between both communities.
“On that Friday, when parties got to the palace, His Royal Majesty was not even present. Those present include some Chiefs, the Secretary and Roland Ogbebor, the former Odionwere Omuada. To our greatest surprise, the chiefs demanded the meeting be held at the Enigies’ open sitting space instead of Egua-ematon, the rightful place for such milestone meetings.
“After a while, one of the Executives of the Benin Traditional Council received a phone call and informed us that it was His Royal Majesty that is on the phone and that His Royal Majesty is requesting to speak to Mr. A. Emokpae on the issue. Upon collecting the phone, Mr. Emokpae was informed by the caller, who the said Executive said was His Royal Majesty, that “there is no community called Oke-Oroma Community except for Ago-Emokpae and that a surveyor will be sent to the community to do a global survey of the community and afterwards, an Ohen (Chief priest) will be brought from Amagba community to be the Ohen of Oke-Oroma community.
“This is alien and contrary to the age long Bini customs to import chief priest from a neighboring “hostile Amagba” village. We have capable indigenes in Oke-Oroma community that can be anointed as the chief priest (Ohen). A village that has killed Oke-oroma residents, destroyed properties including Oguedion Chambers without paying compensation or remorse, is iniquitous and unheard-of in Bini history.
“We have capable indigenes in Oke-Oroma community that can be anointed as the Chief priest (Ohen). A village that have killed Oke-oroma residents, destroyed properties including Oguedeon Chambers without paying compensation or remorse, is iniquitous and unheard-of in Bini history.
“This is imperialist style to subject us or subjugate us to perpetual slavery in 21st century. This alleged judgment is a signpost for communal war. It is like a keg of gun powder than can explode any minute if urgent clarification is not done.
“The community who is not satisfied with this procedure and the position of the caller, since His Royal Majesty had before now warned Amagba community very fervently against encroaching on Oke-Oroma community, as same is an independent community on March 2020, when parties appeared at the palace, has long written to the Oba of Benin expressing their fears and worries on the said judgment,” the statement reads in part.