BENIN: Traditional Council suspends five chiefs for pledging alliance to Ooni

Benin Traditional Council

FIVE Benin traditional functionaries have been suspended from their positions after indulging in sacrilegious behaviour against Benin custom.

The Benin Traditional Council today, announced their suspension in a statement signed by Benin’s Iyase, Chief Sam Igbe.

The statement stated that the impacted functionaries went to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and fraudulently claimed to be ambassadors of the Oba of Benin, giving an erroneous and disconnected narrative of the relationship between the Benin Royal Dynasty and the Ooni-ship of Ife.

Representatives from the Benin Kingdom made a courtesy call to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, to confirm that Ile-Ife is the Benin people’s ancestral home.

In a now-viral video of the encounter, one of the emissaries informs the Ooni that, despite opposing tales circulating online, their collective understanding has always accepted Ile-Ife as their original territory.

“We have always been told that Ife is our home,” the emissary said.

However, the Benin Traditional Council has distanced itself from the representatives whom it described as “a group of self-serving traditional functionaries from Benin.”

The statement reads, “The attention of the Benin Traditional Council has been drawn to video clips circulating on social media in which a group of self-serving traditional functionaries from Benin engaged themselves in a sacrilegious show of shame and falsehood against the Benin Custom.

In the video, individuals identified as Johnbull Igbinosun, Iduhonre (Ihogbe), S.E. Aigbiremwen, Efesieoghoba (Ogbelaka), and two other Ogbelaka functionaries identified as Ogbeide Osagie and Osamudiame Edo were in the presence of the Ooni of Ife, falsely claiming to be emissaries of the Omo N’ObaN’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare Il, Oba of Benin.

These individuals not only declared themselves subjects of the Ooni, but also provided erroneous and disconnected explanations of the relationship between the Benin Royal Dynasty and the Ooni-ship of Ife.

“While the BTC does not wish to be drawn to restating the well-known connection between the two thrones of the Oba of Benin and the Ooni of Ife, the general public is urged to disregard the inaccurate accounts rendered by the ill-bred individuals named above. For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, the BTC advise the general public to avail themselves of the official account of the connection between the two ancient monarchies as contained in the authoritative book titled “I Remain, Sir, Your Obedient Servant” authored by His Royal Majesty, Oba Erediauwa, Oba of Benin (1979 — 2016), published by Spectrum Books/Safari Books, 2004 at pages 205-212.”

The council encouraged the public to avoid the representatives’ conduct, which it described as sacrilegious.

“The BTC considers the conduct of these functionaries as inappropriate, sacrilegious and calculated to ridicule traditional history and to bring disrepute to Benin custom. Consequently, on the authority of the Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare Il, Oba of Benin the Prescribed Authority over Benin Custom, the BTC hereby announce the suspension of the individuals mentioned above from their role as Benin traditional functionaries.

“The general public is advised to refrain from having anything to do with them as traditional functionaries in Benin kingdom throughout their suspension”, the statement added.