April 13, 2020

Benin/Itsekiri crisis: Benin group, lawyer reject ad-hoc peace c’ttee

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By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY—THE hope of resolving the crisis between the Benins and Itsekiri in Ikpoba-Okha local government area of Edo State may be far from over as the Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM) an activist, Olayiwola Afolabi yesterday condemned the recent adhoc committee set up by the Olu of Warr, His Majesty Ogiamen Ikenwoli.

It would be recalled that the ad-hoc committee headed by Chief Tesigiweno Pesssu recently appealed for peace in the area saying it was consulting with both parties in the crisis to find a lasting solution.

But at a briefing yesterday, President of BSM, Curtis Ugbo said neither the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II nor Governor Godwin Pbaseki was consulted before the committee was set up.

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“We view with grave concern the recent moves of Olu of Warri , Ogiame Ikenwoli in setting up an ad-hoc peace implementation committee on the Ologbo crisis. We view the move as a way of shielding Johnson Atseleghe from justice and we will not take that.

“The question BSM would ask the Olu of Warri is where was he all these years when Atseleghe and his band of criminals have been making life unbearable for the Benin people in Ologbo Dukedom killing and maiming them at will? Is Ologbo dukedom in Itsekiri land?”

On his part, Afolabi while commending the position of BSM said “Ologbo is not in Delta state, Ologbo is in Edo State. Anything that connects, affects or happens in Ologbo is not Delta that will come and settle a problem in Ologbo so I condemn in its entirety the action of Olu of Warri who is not an indigene of Edo state to come and set up a committee to look into what is happening in Ologbo. That is the concern of Edo state or our Oba of Benin so except he gets directive from the Oba of Benin. His action is wrong, it is illegal and it is anti-cultural.’’