The Benin Traditional Council (BTC) has cleared the air on the structure of the traditional institution in Edo South Senatorial District.
In a press statement signed by Professor Yemi Akinseye-George and Professor Edoba Omoregie, both solicitors to Benin Traditional Council, the BTC noted that contrary to talks in some quarters, the Oba of Benin is the sole traditional ruler in the whole seven Local Government Areas constituting Edo South Senatorial District.
The press released is an update on the several misconceptions held in large sections of the public about the true structure of the Benin Traditional Institution.
The press release said in a strongly worded statement, the Benin Traditional Council, which is the only competent traditional council in the seven local government areas of the Edo South Senatorial District, stated that there has been serious misunderstanding of the structure of the Benin Traditional Institution and for that matter, the Benin Traditional Council.
In a necessary bid to correct the false information held about the Benin traditional institution, the BTC said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Benin Traditional Council wishes to clarify as follows, that: The Oba of Benin is the sole traditional ruler in the whole seven Local Government Areas constituting Edo South Senatorial District. That is, in Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Ovia Southwest, Ovia northeast, Orhionmwhon, and Uhunmwonde Local Government Areas of Edo State.”
The BTC went on to explain that all other title holders in the entire seven local government areas of Edo South Senatorial District aforementioned, are no more than chiefs appointed by the Oba of Benin.
It pointed out further that, in particular, the Enigie in the entire seven local government areas of Edo South, are classified as chiefs and not traditional rulers.
Again, it made it abundantly clear that in the said Seven Local Government Areas of Edo South Senatorial District, the Enigie are chiefs representing the Oba of Benin in the various communities or domains to which they are sent.
That the Enigie are required to relate with the Oba of Benin through the Palace Chiefs of the Oba, being the traditional channels of communication unless otherwise waived by the Oba.
And lastly, that this age-long traditional hierarchy is undisputed and fully captured under the Benin customary law which is also affirmed and declared in the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict 1979, (as applicable in Edo State). See in particular, the second schedule at page A128 to page A129 of the Edict.
In the light of the foregoing, the Council concluded that, “we firmly advice the general public to take notice of this Traditional Structure of the Benin Traditional Council and disregard the misinformation being spread about the status of traditional title holders in the Benin Kingdom.”