By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN-CITY—BENIN monarch, Oba Ewuare II, has said that he did not mandate anybody to hold meetings with the Ijaws on behalf of the palace, adding that Col. Paul Ogbebor (retd), who claimed he held meetings with the Ijaws on behalf of the palace was on his own.
The monarch who made the clarification when members of the Great Benin Vanguard led by Prof. Ovenseri Abueku paid him a courtesy visit in his Palace, said he was shocked to hear in the media that Col. Ogbebor held meetings with the Ijaws, claiming it was at the instance of the Oba of Benin.
“I was surprised because I never sent anybody to hold meetings with the Ijaws, the palace never sent him,” he said.
The monarch urged members of the Great Benin Vanguard to avoid confrontation and violence, saying that the Palace always sue for peace and harmony in Benin Kingdom, urging them to always take decisions that will uplift the image of the kingdom.
The Oba of Benin said the Palace will continue to offer prayers for peace and tranquillity of the kingdom just as he urged them to consider how they will establish the teaching of Edo history in private schools as well as language programmes on Radio and Television to promote Benin Language.
Earlier, the leader of the group, Prof. Ovenseri Abueku said they were in the Palace to introduce the group to the monarch and expressed their resolve to quell what they described as “attempts by the Ijaws to annex Benin land.”