Vehicular activities were grounded around several areas of Benin City including Oba Ovonmramwen Square the city centre popularly called Ring Road as hundreds of youths drawn from the various communities that make up the Benin Kingdom protesting against the recently passed assented public property protection law by Governor Godwin Obaseki.
They claimed that the law which the government said is to protect properties was against them as it usurps the responsibilities of okhaeghele as heads of youths in the communities who are shouldered with the responsibilities of land matters and landed properties in the Kingdom.
The protesters who carried placards with inscriptions as: ‘Governor Obaseki, you are not our spiritual father; ‘we are Okaighele to the Palace of Oba of Benin, not Government House; ‘we are proud of our King; ‘arrest and persecute any Okaighele that practice illegally’, matched to the Palace of Oba of Benin and later to the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State council.
Speaking on behalf of the youth leaders, Glory Ikponmwosa said Okaigheles of Benin kingdom are not political appointees and that they are only loyal and subjected to the Benin Royal Stool.
“We are not politicians and we should not be treated as one because we are ready to resist any attempt to reduce our rights as traditional citizens of Benin kingdom by anyone or group of persons no matter who or what is involved,” he declared.
“Okaigheles in the Benin kingdom is an age-long traditional position under the Benin Native Laws and Customs which is over 400 years old, it is not a recent creation.
“Under the Benin Traditional Council settings, communities have leadership structures which comprise the Odionwere, the Oven, the Okagheles in addition to the Enogies in communities where Enogies exist.
“Edo State Government do not have any business or rights to ban Okaigheles in Benin kingdom under the Benin Traditional Council law of Edo State,” he said.
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