By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”THE Benin National Congress, BNC, a socio-cultural organization in Edo State, yesterday appealed to the Benin monarch, Oba Erediauwa, to accept the apology tendered to the palace by the suspended Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, in the spirit of the forthcoming Igue festival.
The BNC noted that since Igbinedion had apologized, both in private and in the public, it was an indication that he was remorseful for his actions.
It, therefore, appealed to the Oba to show mercy, considering the fact that Igbinedion had contributed immensely to the growth of Benin kingdom.
Chief Igbinedion was suspended in 2007 by the palace of the revered Oba of Benin for alleged breach of traditional protocol.
However, in a letter addressed to the palace, signed by the President of the BNC, Mr Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, the group expressed appreciation for the efforts being made by the Oba to ensure that all integral customs of Benin nation were strictly preserved for the benefit of history and humanity.
â€œAs a socio-cultural organization, we have been studying the trends of disagreements between Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion (the Esama of Benin) and His Royal Majesty, Oba Erediauwa, over breach of customary and traditional protocols with very keen interest.
â€œIt is gratifying to note that few weeks ago, some prominent Edo women were at the palace to formally register a dispassionate appeal to the Oba of Benin on behalf of Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion and to seek the Omo Nâ€™ Obaâ€™s forgiveness for him.
â€œWe are also impressed by the remorse Chief Igbinedion has shown over this matter, especially the public apology to His Royal Majesty, the Oba of Benin, which was publicized on radio and television station repeatedly and for a long while. This, in our view, is an instructive guide to all Binis of goodwill at home and abroad.”
â€œIt is noteworthy to observe that there is no alternative to formidable unity of the Binis, if we earnestly seek to achieve greater developments of our land and our human capital within the comity of Nigeriaâ€™s ethnic nationalities.â€
The group prayed that â€œsuch tendency that leads to breaching of traditional protocols will no longer rear its ugly heads again in Edo land; and that God almighty and the ancestors of our land will accelerate the formal grant of forgiveness by His Royal Majesty, Oba Erediauwa, to Chief Igbinedion in the larger interests of Beninâ€™s overall development, so that the atmosphere of suspicion and rancor in our land will disappear, even as we celebrate the Igue Festival; which customarily heralds aÂ new and fruitful yearâ€.