BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
IRKED by the assault meted out on his son, Prince Ekpen Erediauwa, by the Chairman of the Edo State Task Force Committee on the Vandalization of Pipeline and also the youth leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Edo State, Mr Osakpanwa Eriyo, the Benin monarch, Oba Erediauwa, yesterday, placed a curse on the alleged culprit after describing the action as a taboo in Benin Kingdom.
This came as thousands of youths, dressed in red attire, market women and royal family members, protested round Benin City, yesterday, demanding for the banishment of Eriyo from the kingdom, explaining that assaulting a Prince of the kingdom was sacrilegious, and capital punishment should be meted on him.
Meanwhile, the Edo State government, in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Peter Okhiria, yesterday, announced the suspension of Mr Eriyo as Chairman of the Anti-Pipeline Vandalization Committee, adding “all contracts in respect of revenue collection in Oredo Local Government Area are also hereby suspended.”
It will be recalled that Eriyo, who also doubles as the Chairman Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, Edo State chapter, had weekend, assaulted the Transition Committee Chairman of Oredo Local Government Area of the state, Prince Erediauwa during a meeting of the leadership of the ACN in Oredo council. But Osakpanwa had denied that he assaulted the Prince in a statement.
Reacting swiftly, the Oba’s chiefs, led by the Iyase of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe; the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri; Obasogie of Benin Kingdom, Chief Eduwor Ekhator and the entire palace chiefs, went round the city, with pots of charms and placed curse on Osakpanwa after he was declared an enemy of the Oba.
In a statement by the Chairman, Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Oba’s Palace, Chief Eduwor Ekhator, it said “no one can demystify the monarchical value of the Benin Royal Palace of the Oba. Attempt by any person or persons to destroy the long existing peace and unity of the Benin will be checked with rebuked condemnation.
“The attempt on the Benin Prince was a demonstration of recklessness and lack of respect for a constituted authority. It is highly provocative, sacrilegious and unacceptable and thereby deserves total condemnation by every Edo son and daughter both at home and in the Diaspora. However, the palace of the Oba advises all sympathizers to obey the rule of law,” it added.