BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY—THE Enogie of Obazuwa and younger brother to the Oba of Benin, Prince Edun Akenzua, yesterday described the proposed centenary celebration of the birth of Nigeria by the Federal Government as a misplaced priority.
The Benin Prince, told to newsmen that the banishment of his great grandfather, Oba Ovonramwen to Calabar by the British and his eventual death paved way for the amalgamation, adding, however that “the amalgamation was a coercion that should be celebrated by Lord Lugard and his descendants not us.
“If anybody is to celebrate that, to my mind, I think it is Lord Lugard and his descendants, who should be celebrating it. It is like we want to be celebrating the Berlin Conference, where Africa was partitioned among European countries. The amalgamation was something Lord Lugard and his people did for their personal interest and not for us, that is why I said I don’t see anything to celebrate.
“We must do exactly what the early Americans did, we must sit down, all of us and talk, talk about how we will want to relate to each other, talk about what we really are. Today, they are making superficial peace. This group is fighting the other group; let us forget about what divides us, let us talk about what unites us, those are just platitudes.
“There are no two ways to it, we cannot pretend that there will be no need for us to talk, we have to talk. We are different people just like the early Americans began, we don’t need the constitution the soldiers gave to us, we don’t need the one the British gave to us because there is evidence that the British participated in rigging elections in our country.”