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Oshiomhole, Erediauwa’s son feud over land in Edo State



• Women issue seven-day ultimatum to the governor

THERE are indications that crisis is brewing in Benin City, the Edo State capital, as women, numbering over 100 on Monday issued a seven- day ultimatum to the State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, over alleged forceful acquisition of a parcel of land belonging to a royalty and son of the Benin monarch, Prince Ekpen Erediauwa.

  The Edo women under the aegis of “Concerned Edo Women,” who brandished various placard with inscriptions: “Oba is permanent, Governor is temporal (temporary),” “Tradition must be respected,” during a protest to the Edo State House of Assembly, described the purported forceful acquisition of the parcel of land belonging to the Oba’s son, Prince Ekpen Erediauwa by the state governor as a taboo and sacrilege in the history of Benin kingdom, noting that their protest was in solidarity with their royal prince.

  Expressing their disaffection and grievance, the leader of the protesting women, Evelyn Okeaya-Inneh said the women in the state were worried by the action of the governor to the take-over of a land belonging to royal son situated at Okoro-otun Avenue in the Government Reservation (GRA) in Benin City, the state capital.

 She added: “All lands, in Benin history, belongs to the Oba of Benin. We are unaware of anywhere a governor will struggle a land with a royal prince of Benin kingdom. We the concerned Edo Women in Benin kingdom from across the 18 local councils in the state condemn the action.   “We are against it as mothers, wives and sisters to the Benin palace,” she said.

  Okeaya-Inneh, who called on the governor to stay off the disputed land, said the women had come out en masse to urge the governor to return the land to the prince, noting that their “red apparels” connotes danger, making reference to a Bini saying that   “Aiguobasivben,” which means, “ it is forbidden to fight over land with the Oba of Benin and his entire household.”

They pleaded with the governor to have a rethink saying: “We cannot fight, because women do not fight. But we believe the governor has a wife, a mother and a daughter. We are all wearing red clothes for him to see and perceive our anger. This is ‘Ododo’ and in Bini custom, it is not good for anybody to wear this in protest. We believe that if we wear this robe, there is danger ahead and as such, we give him one week to have a re-think and immediately give the land back to our Prince Ekpen Erediauwa.”

They noted that the governor, “a non-Bini, could not struggle a land belonging to a Bini prince in Benin City as it was forbidden and amounted to the highest abomination ever to be heard of in the Benin royal family.”

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