By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—OHEN Okhuaihe Ne Uleku (Chief Priest) of Iguomon community in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State, Chief Joseph Odeh, has described as untrue, media reports that mysterious deaths or diseases have been ravaging the town arising from curses allegedly placed on it by the Oba of Benin.
He said the Benin monarch never placed a curse on the community.
In a statement in Benin City, yesterday, the chief priest said one Joseph Ighodaro, said to have led a group of people to the Palace of Oba of Benin to plead for the revocation of the curses, was neither the spokesman nor secretary of the community
He said he had no right, authority, whether actual or implied, to speak for the community just as he said the statement he made was a complete deviation from what actually transpired.
He said: “Contrary to the publication, sometime in December 2016, the aforesaid Joseph Ighodaro led some misguided and disgruntled elements from Iguomon and a Pastor, whose name remains unknown, to cut down all the sacred and ancestral trees at Uleku shrine, Aronde shrine and Oguedion shrine in the community.
“Some of these sacred and ancestral trees include Uloko Ewuare at Okhuaihe, Ne Aronde shrine, Ikhinmwin Ewuare at Okhuaihe Ne Uleku shrine, the Ikhinmwin at Aruotor shrine and those of Oguedion in the community.
“These sacred trees are the trees that sustain not only the Oba of Benin, but the entire Benin Kingdom. This wanton and abominable destruction of these sacred and ancestral trees was reported to the Oba of Benin, who thereafter, reprimanded the people responsible for committing the sacred cultural sacrilege. And that in the future, those involved were going to appease the ancestors of Iguomon.
“For the sake of emphasis, there was never a time whatsoever that the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11, evoked any curse on Iguomon community as a result of the activities of the defunct CDA of Iguomon.”