Barrier across road, quarry site tears Edo community apart
The road.

*Fence erected to ensure sanity in palace — Monarch

By Ozioruva Aliu, UBIAJA

THERE has been tension in Ubiaja in Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State following the erection of a fence across an ancient road in the rustic community.

The development, NDV learned, has pitched the community folks against their monarch, HRH Zaiki Iredia Eidenojie, whom they accused of mounting the blockade thereby denying them access through the ancient road. 

Some elders, youths and other influential members of the community alleged that they have made efforts and appealed to the king to see reasons to open up the road to no avail.

They also accused him of locking a quarry site in the community,  trying to impose leadership on the union and using thugs and suspected secret cult members to intimidate and harass them.

Narrating the genesis of the crisis, an elder in the community, Ibhaseguahi Obaseki said he advised the king when he was erecting the fence, that it was forbidden to block such an important ancient road with a fence as “it would lockout his kindred. The action of the King is now preventing quarters in Eguare-Ubiaja from accessing each other.”

Another elder, David Omodiale said he was the Secretary to the Palace from 2011 to 2018, but resigned when he was no longer comfortable with the way the king was leading the kingdom.

He recalled how the then governor of Edo State, Senator Oserheimen Osunbor tarred the road to immortalize the late Princess Marries Ojudo, who died during his governorship electioneering campaign.

An indigene of the place who is based in Benin queried, “Can he develop the community by dividing it?

“Those who have been helping the community to grow, he is now trying to ostracize them on his own and this will be counterproductive.

“He is looking for new chiefs who cannot help him, people use the elites of the community to grow but who among the elites are with him now?

Monarch denies allegation

When contacted, HRH Eidenojie denied the allegations saying, “First of all, I am not harassing anybody. How can a king be using cult boys to harass his people?

“I don’t think that is done anywhere. This is like a shock to me. I did not block any road leading to anywhere.

“The governor is aware and even sent  the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. They came to do their findings. There is a law that governs the land. There are about three or four exits.

“The road passes through the palace and we hold a traditional court there, people just drive around there including bikes so we created a barrier to make sure vehicles and bikes cannot pass through it but you can walk through it. 

“We have a union that is running that town quarry so they have issues and I said let us lock the quarry site and resolve the issues first, that is what I did.

“I even heard that when they leased the quarry out, what they were giving the community is not what they are getting from there.”

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