By Gab Ejuwa
The traditional ruler of Egbema Kingdom, HRM King Gold Oro Tiemo, Bini Pete III, the Agadagba of Egbema, has called on the Federal Government to merge towns and villages of Egbema Kingdom in Edo State with their other towns and villages in Delta State.
The monarch, who spoke during a ceremony, said the call was necessitated by the position of the Oba of Benin and Edo State government that they (Egbema Kingdom) cannot have a king of their own.
He said, “Our Bini neighbours are claiming that we do not exist based on the A. F Marshall intelligence report which states that the Binis fought against the Bini River Ijaw at about 1234 and 1334 AD and defeated us. Though this is not true that we were defeated, it quite established the fact we were a force to reckon with at that time, and it further confirms that we have been in existence for centuries”.
“There is no historical record even up till date which shows that the Bini River Ijaws have ever been defeated in battle by any force. Although, the Bini River Ijaw are not warlords but have never been captured and made slaves by any group or tribe in the Nigerian Federation, rather, like all other Ijaw City-States, towns and villages across the Niger Delta.
“The Egbema people dealt in slave trade in those days and in such cases, our hinterland neighbours were our material for trade with the slave buyers. In some cases, some slaves were left behind for domestic purposes who were isolated from our main towns, hence we have habitats as Isorbema, Okonga, etc but when I became king in 1988, I abolished the old method and freed the slaves”.