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Youths protest against alleged plan to split Benin kingdom


[FILES] Edo state

Probably to prevent a repeat of what happened in Kano State recently, hundreds of Edo youths yesterday protested against alleged plan to create a new kingdom out of Benin, to be presided over by a parallel ruler.

Kano emirate was recently split into five by the governor, a development that has been raising dust across the country.

The Guardian gathered that the protest was not unconnected with a letter recently sent to the presidency by undisclosed persons requesting a separate kingdom from the ancient Benin kingdom.


Utantan, the proposed name for the new kingdom, will be presided over by an Ogiamien in the person of Chief Arisco Osemwengie.

Angered by the development, some youths of the kingdom protested along major streets against Osemwengie.

The youths, under the umbrella of Benin National Congress (BNC), insisted on one Benin kingdom with the Oba as the ruler.

They described the alleged plan as sacrilegious, prodigal and attempt to dare the power and sanctity of the throne, the monarch and the people.

With several placards and a mock coffin, which signifies death for the enemies of the Benin monarch, the protesters stated that the real Ogiamien of Benin kingdom had never been declared dead.

According to them, though the Ogiamien is supposed to be a palace chief, one who is not the rightful person due for that position cannot replace him.

When contacted yesterday, Osemwengie declined comment on the matter.

He said: “That is a matter that is before the Supreme Court and I don’t like commenting on an issue that is before the Supreme Court, so I cannot comment on it.”

President of BNC, Ayamenkhue Edokpolor, who led the protesters to the Government House in Benin City where they were received by the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, said: “The Ogiamien family led by Pa Samuel Ogiamien had duly and publicly disowned the said Arisco Osemwegie since 2015 as an impostor trying to impersonate or criminally take the place of the chieftaincy title of Ogiamien, whose current holder is Chief Osarobo Okunoghae and who has been absent from Benin for several years but has not been declared missing or dead by relevant authorities.”

Responding to the protesters, Shaibu said: “There are two kingdoms in the world; Benin Kingdom and United Kingdom, and anybody that wants to try to reduce the image and ancestral history that we have in this kingdom is just daring what a human being cannot dare.”

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