*Ozah, UTC scribe begs Obaseki, Oshiomhole to reinstate HRM Aidonojie
By Simon Ebegbulem
UROMI- THE dethroning of the Onojie (traditional ruler) of Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area, Edo State, HRM Anselem Aidonojie, November 9, 2016, by the former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has held up the performance of key traditional activities and festivals in the community.
Secretary, Uromi Traditional Council, UTC, Uromi, Chief Francis Ozah, who disclosed this in an interview with NDV, asserted that the situation was adversely affecting the community.
He said: “I am appealing to Governor Obaseki and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to please pardon the Onojie of Uromi for any mistake he must have made in the past so that he can come back and continue on the seat of his ancestors.”
Idamigbe, Ukhora festivals stalled
His words: “The situation is affecting us seriously as a community. We have many festivals today that we are no longer able to celebrate because the traditional head is not there. We have Iduamigbe and Ukhora, we have both women and men festivals and the Onojie of Uromi plans everything.
“These festivals have no glamour without the Onojie. What has been happening is that people now celebrate the festival in their homes, rather than doing it openly because the King is not there. That is why we are begging the governor of the state and Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11, who is our father, to temper justice with mercy,” he stated.
Residents gloomy over dethronement
Chief Ozah lamented: “We have not been happy that our king was dethroned, we are just like a wife that has no husband. A woman that has no husband does not command any respect and that is how Uromi is today
“For instance, last month (January), Onojie of Uromi was supposed to perform his New Yam festival but he could not do it due to his dethronement. Every traditional ruler is responsible to the state government and his people and whatever the government says is what he does. More importantly, he is the custodian of the culture and tradition of Uromi and as it is today, there is a big vacuum,” he said.
PDP should steer clear
Chief Ozah, who is the Oza of Uromi, berated the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, for allegedly politicising the deposition of the king, saying: “It was not the PDP or the APC that made him Onojie, so they should stay off. PDP should not dabble into traditional affairs and traditional rulers should not dabble into politics.”
He asserted: “It is not the duty of the PDP to fight the cause of the traditional ruler. As the traditional ruler of Uromi, he is for all political parties. PDP dabbling into our affairs as regards the dethronement of the Onojie will not solve any issue; rather, they are compounding the problem.
“HRH Aidonejie II is not involved in what the PDP is doing; he is the father of all. And the truth is the Onojie belongs to the party in power because as a traditional ruler, he works with government for the welfare of his people,” he stated.
Unsuccessful bid to meet Obaseki
The community leader added: “Governor Obaseki is father of all and I know that both him and the former governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole will understand the plight of Uromi people by bringing back our Onojie and disregard the antics of the PDP.”
According to him, “Last September, we made attempt to see the governor to plead with him so that the Onojie of Uromi will be pardoned. Though that day we could not have an audience with the governor, but we met with his representatives. “
Pleads with Benin monarch to wade in
He added: “And for our father, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11, we are begging him not to abandon us at this moment because the Benin people and Uromi have always been in the same team. When the Oba of Benin then, Oba Ovonranwe was exiled to Calabar, it was only the Onojie of Uromi that fought with him and defended him before the British invaders.
“And that was why both of them were exiled to Calabar. Oba Ovonranwe died in Calabar while the Onojie of Uromi, Okojie Okolo Onigbede later returned. But when he returned, things changed, he was asked to rule indirectly and no longer directly.
“So the Benin people and Uromi have common bearing. We are begging Oba Ewuare 11 not to forget us because we have the same relationship. The Binis cannot abandon us in this situation,” he stated.