Oba of Benin suspends six chiefs for ‘declaring loyalty to Ooni’

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Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin, has suspended six traditional functionaries for pledging loyalty to Ooni of Ife, the Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.

The palace aides are — Johnbull Igbinosun, Iduhonre (Ihogbe), S.E. Aigbiremwen, Efesieoghoba (Ogbelaka), Ogbeide Osagie and Osamudiame Edo.

Their suspension was announced in a statement issued by Sam Igbe, the Iyase of Benin, on behalf of the Benin Traditional Council (BTC).


The traditional functionaries were alleged to have visited Ooni and declared themselves as his subjects.

“The attention of the Benin Traditional Council (BTC) 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,” the statement reads.

“In the said clip, the individuals who have been 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 II, Oba of Benin.

“These individuals not only declared themselves subjects of the Ooni, but also rendered inaccurate and disjointed account of the connection 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 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 Benin kingdom asked the public to “refrain from having anything to do with them as traditional functionaries” throughout their suspension.

The two kingdoms have a history of battle for supremacy.

In 2016, the Ooni of Ife said Benin Kingdom remained part of the expansive Yoruba race.