Edo traditional ruler cries out over rebellious subjects
From Urhere Kingsley, Benin
Seeming subtle rebellion against the rulership and authority of HRH Victor Iyawe, Enogie of Obazagbon in Ikpoba – Okha Local Government Area of Edo State by a section of Obah community may spill over into something more terrible if higher authorities fail to intervene quickly.
This warning was given at the media briefing in the palace of the monarch on Wednesday, when the traditional ruler raised the alarm that sections of the people of Obah who were supposed to be his subjects have turned rebellious and undermined his rulership and authority.
According to him, some persons from the community had announced on Speed Fm radio, Benin that Obah is autonomous and not under his rulership and authority, and part of his Dukedom.
Also, they alleged that under his supervision, property of developers in Obah community land area have been demolished while many others marked with red paint for demolition.
Denying the allegation he said it was a deliberate design by his detractors to further tarnish his good image, cause continued disharmony and instigate his subjects against him.
HRH Iyawe asked that members of the public should disregard the information as it was not only false, but misleading.
The traditional ruler alleged that the group has often made residents flee Obazagbon community due to repeated attacks by armed men under their sponsorship.
Due to the repeated attacks and threats from the group, he has since relocated to Benin for refuge even when he loved to live among his subjects in his domain.
Recounting , he said his Dukedom comprises of three communities; Obah, Obazagbon, and Obadolovbiyeyi which were founded by his fore – bear, Prince Iyawe Obanosa at about 1816 A.D.
HRH Iyawe who said he ascended the throne on 21 August, 1999 informed that trouble started in 2001 when he asked one Victor Oyarisi whom he alleged to be an Urhobo native from Oghara in Delta State to produce documents in regard to 30 plots of land he claimed to had acquired through HRH Aikorigie Iyawe, his late father.
Instead of complying with the directive, he embarked on instigating members of Obah community against him and consequently for 16 years they were in court contesting his rulership and authority over Obah community as part of his domain.
On 24 June, 2016, the court gave judgment in his favour with the Oba of Benin reaffirming his Enogie- ship of the Dukedom; Obah, Obazagbon, and Obadolovwiyeyi communities thus returning to status – quo.
But the group has remained adamant and refused to obey the various judgments and have continued to rebel against his rulership and authority as established by tradition dating back to 1816 A.D.
During the 16 years they were in court, the Oyarisi led group has sold Obah lands to unsuspecting buyers without the knowledge and approval of the traditional ruler, it was alleged.
Asserting his authority, HRH Iyawe declared; “I am set to retrieve all illegally acquired lands by the self – styled land speculators.
“I am also requesting all land owners in any of the villages to feel free at reaching my office; the Palace of Enogie of Obazagbon for the regularization of their land(s) ”
Okoro Osagie, Osayande Osagie, Osabohien Iyen and William Iyen all spoke in the same vein affirming that HRH Iyawe is the Enogie of the Dukedom comprising of three communities; Obah, Obazagbon, and Obadolovwiyeyi and has since got judgment both at the judicial court and palace of the Benin monarch in his favour.
Though Victor Oyarisi could not be reached for response, some members of Obah community who preferred to be anonymous, said they are autonomous community, not under the rulership and authority of Enogie Victor Iyawe.
They reiterated the allegation that Enogie Iyawe supervised the demolition of developers’ property in Obah community land area while many others have been marked for demolition.
But they would not respond to questions regards the said court judgment and the verdict of the Benin monarchin favour of the traditional ruler.
Enogie Iyawe appealed for the quick intervention of the Benin monarch, law enforcement agents, and the Governor, Godwin Obaseki with a view to stopping the incessant harassment against him, and people of Obazagbon community.
He however solicited that all aggrieved persons and groups should bury their hatchet and join him to build a refine, virile and happy community for all. “I will be happy to receive everybody back home.” He said.