ByÂ Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”THE Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa, has condemned the proposed ceding of Uhumnwonde and oil rich Orhionmwon local government areas of Edo State to the Central senatorial district of the state in the new constituency delineation exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Speaking through the Benin Forum, an umbrella body of all Binis, the revered monarch described the new proposal by INEC as â€œirritating, provocative and inciting,â€ and recalled an earlier warning that no part of his land would be ceded to a foreign land.
According to the Benin monarch, any attempt to implement the proposal by INEC will be resisted.
The INEC proposal with respect to the state, had merged Orhionmwon and Uhunmwonde local government areas of the present Edo South senatorial districts with Edo Central senatorial district to enlarge the latter.
But reacting, the Forum, through its Chairman, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, asserted that the proposal was ill-conceived because it was targeted to move the oil producing local government areas of Orhiomnwon to Edo Central so that the Central senatorial district will become an oil producing area.
The Central senatorial district is where the former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, and Senator Odion Ugbesia hail from
But Chief Edebiri, who declared that the proposal was unjustified since the leaders of the Central senatorial districtÂ had earlier rejected the proposal, said it was capable of plunging the state into political turmoil.
According to him, â€œthe proposed merger violates all five INECâ€™s criteria for the creation of the state’s electoral constituencies or senatorial districts, namely population, ethnic affinity, historical antecedents, homogeneity and contiguity.
â€œThe two Bini local government areas have no ethnic affinity, historical antecedents, homogeneity with the senatorial district.”