Ogiamien pledges loyalty to new Benin monarch 17 days to coronation
Seventeen days to the coronation of the Oba of Benin, the Ogiamien family yesterday pledged loyalty to him.
The family said it was prepared to participate in the coronation of the new monarch scheduled to hold on October 20, even if the self-acclaimed Ogiamien, Chief Osarobo Okuonghae, failed to return to Nigeria.
At an enlarged meeting of the family at the Palace of Ogiamien in Benin City, head of the family, Pa Aibangbee Emopkpae Ogiamien, said the family never authorised one Arisco Osemwengie to be crowned as Ogiamien.
Osemwengie was last year crowned as the Ogiamien of Benin and declared himself the imperial majesty of Utantan Kingdom of Benin nation.
He insisted the treaty said to have been signed by his forbears with the Benin monarch must be met, which The Guardian learnt he considered to be worth millions of naira.
His action has divided the Benin Kingdom. He was later charged to court for illegal coronation by the Edo State government.
Aibangbee said the family did not know Arisco as a son of an Ogiamien, maintaining that the Ogiamien title is hereditary.
“We kept quiet since because we didn’t have money to fight him but we have put resources together to tell the world that we do not know Arisco in this family.
“No Ogiamien gave birth to him. We have no quarrel with the Benin Palace. All the words used against the palace were not authorised by the family,” he said.
Younger sister to Ogiamien Okuonghae, whose whereabouts remain unknown for over 10 years, Mrs. Ehimwenma, said her brother would return at the appropriate time before the coronation but if he didn’t return, another person that joined in the burial of their father would perform his Ekiokpogha function.
The family later marched through the streets of Benin City with placards telling Arisco not to enter the Ogiamien Palace again.