The on-going calls by 86 out of the 92 Benin Enigies or Dukes in Edo South Senatorial District of Edo State is generating tension within and outside the state, especially amongst the Indigenous Benins. The Dukes are traditional heads of over 90 communities.
The tension has not deterred the protagonists from pressing for their demand through relevant organs – state and traditional institutions.
In a chat, one of the agitating Enigies told Midwest Herald that, their demand for autonomy is to fast forward the development of Edo South local government areas which have become shadows of their glorious past.
Observers however see their request as rivalry to the existing ‘Edo State Council of Traditional Ruler and Chiefs’, which has the Benin Monarch, Oba of Benin as Chairman.
In the letter titled, “Re: Please Constitute Traditional Council for Edo South Local Government Areas of Edo State”, the Enigies reminded Obaseki that they are mindful of their duties to formulate general proposals, advice and guidance to their respective local government councils.
“We the Enigie of the Local Government Areas of Edo South, who enjoys recognition as traditional rulers in the Schedule to Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law of Bendel State (1979), as applicable in Edo State, bring to your Excellency our warm felicitations and best wishes.
“We use this occasion to request that your Excellency kindly exercise the prerogative conferred on your exalted office by Part 7, Section 45 of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law, at this crucial stage in the development of our dear state, to establish Traditional Councils for the Local Government Areas of Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba Okha, Orhionmwon, Uhunmwode, Ovia North East, Ovia South West of Edo State.
“In making the above request, we are mindful of our duties to formulate general proposals, advice and guidance to our respective local government councils, and assist in the maintenance of law and order therein.”
The Enigies concluded their demand with a commitment to the leadership of Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki.
“Permit us to count on your demonstrated commitment to the attainment of greater heights in the management of public affairs in Edo State, at this crucial period when all hands should be on deck.”
The letter was signed by His Royal Highness, Edomwonyi Ogiegbaen, the Enogie of Egbaen-Siluko and 85 other Enigies.