Ogiamien of Utantan: The Task Before Gov. Obaseki – Rejoinder

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By Imasuen Amowie Izoduwa

When a child is in a journey to know the cause of the death of his father, the child is a step closer to death itself.

Without wasting time, let us dismantle in bits all the fallacies stated on the said write up:

1. The said letter alluded that the generality of Benin, home and abroad have praised Obaseki for acting rightly, well that is the figment of the writers imagination as no right thinking Benin man will praise Obaseki for this misdemeanor.

It is on good authority how this writer wanted the palace to pay him a particular sum of money for the advocacy of the return of Benin artifacts and the palace refused hence the switch of camp, further evidence to buttress this point will be released soon as more events unfold.

2. It is not in the jurisdiction of the Edo State government to confer or ratify chieftaincy titles, hence the criminal Arisco is not a chief or Ogiamien as the right is exclusively the prerogative of the Oba of Benin ditto Benin traditional council, a fact the writer is aware of hence his advocacy for the amendment of the 1979 edict that confers absolute authority on the Oba of Benin.

3. The term “Ogiamien Royal Stool” does not exist beyond the imagination of the Ogiamien family as what was recognized by the Bendel State government way back in 1968 was a status of a Chieftaincy title and not a traditional institution other titles like Oliha was also recognized and it doesn’t make them a traditional institution, which is currently being misinterpreted by one Monday whose parentage is of Ikwerre descent in Rivers State.

4. The writer went further to say that the reinstalled Ogiamien of utantan should be equated to the Oba of Benin, well there is no title recognized in Benin kingdom as Ogiamien of Utantan only Ogiamien of Benin Kingdom a title recognized by Oba Ewedo in the 13th century.

The term “Utantan” means long and straight; and it was the old name for the present day Sokponba road. Inherently they are saying Ogiamien of Sokponba road that equate them with at best an Odionwere of a street.

5. he referred to Ogiamien palace as historic and world reputable and implore the government to re-construct the palace, well the government has already started that project only that the writer wants to make it known publicly, he further stated that the palace should be expanded probably to have the same size with the palace of the Oba of Benin which he had earlier stated as follow “except equal attention is given to the tangibility of this very institution”

6. According to him “the state government should put a plan in place to take another look at the Edo State Traditional Rulers and Chiefs law, 1979, to re-establish authority and control.”

This is clearly one of their focal intent to amend the laws that gave Oba of Benin the sole authority over Edo South senatorial district. In here they which to devolve power and recognize Ogiamien, probably Udo and Ijaw as independent traditional rulers in Edo South, in other to reduce the influence of the Oba of Benin, however their greatest obstacle to that plan is the 1979 edict and to them it is a must for it to be amended going by a stamped Edo State house of assembly. So the Benins all over the world should watch out for this.

7. Unmasking the intellectual deficiency of the writer, if the palace of the Ogiamien was built in the 12th century and all the Ogisos reigned in the period of 954 years how then did they rule from Ogiamien palace? The 31 Ogisos that ruled in Benin where domiciled in three palaces as follows:
a) Ogiso Igodo – Ugbekun Palace
b) Ogiso Ere-Ogiso Eheneden – UhunmwunIdunmwun palace
c) Ogiso Ohuede – Ogiso Owodo – Ogbe Ogiso Palace (present day kingsquare that eventually became Unuogua of the later palace that was built by Oba Ewedo)
In other words no Ogiso ruled from Ogiamien palace as at the time of their reign Erebor the second son of Evian was not even born.

8. He went further to say that 32 Ogiso’s ruled Benin starting from Ogiso Igodo and ended with Erebor, well no historian even the popular Jacob Uwadiae Egharevba counted 32 Ogiso’s in Benin but rather 31 Ogiso’s ruled in Benin, and the last was Ogiso Owodo who had just a son called Ikaladerhan whose son Oranmiyan became the first Oba of Benin, a quick question; how will a son become a king in Benin when his father wasn’t? How did Erebor(second son not even first) became an Ogiso in Benin kingdom when his father Evian was not?

9. Ogiamien palace might have survived the British invasion but they were other hundreds of houses that survived too, if other houses surrounding Ogiamien Palace where burnt down and it was spared maybe Ogiamien of that era in conjunction with Agho Obaseki jointly betrayed the Benins and in compensation spared their house in 1897 (hypothetical history that requires more study), allegedly; a move that is currently being re-enacted by these two houses 125 years later.

10. The Ogiso dynasty never fell as Oranmiyan is the continuation and bridge between the two dynasties. The Ekiokpagha treaty was not signed by Erebor and Oba Eweka I as both of them where no longer in this world as at the time of the treaty but rather during the reign of Oba Ewedo and the treaty signed under the Okpagha tree in the present day St. Mathew cathedral along Sokponba road was an hereditary succession right bestowed on the Ogiamien of that Era by Oba Ewedo.

11. No notable role has been recognized with their Ogiamien family other than the myth of Osogan that was killed by Evian.

The colonial government only recognized the Ogiamien house as a national monument because of them selling the Benin king and his people out during the British invasion and a way to tell them thank you for betraying their people.

12. It is a common knowledge that all these imbroglio started because of the refusal of His Royal Majesty to allow the Edo State government to swindle the people of their priced artifacts and this narration clearly justifies our notion, wherefore he stated that some artifacts where found at the Ogiamien palace which date back to almost a millennium, well for the sake of clarity Oba of Benin created hundreds of guilds some were artistic and these ones where used for ritual purpose, record keeping and palace beautification.

No noble had the right to possess any of these artifacts except with the permission of the Oba of Benin, how then did the Ogiamien possessed these artifacts as claimed by Omo Ojo. They only want to change the narratives so they can have a share of the money that is to accompany these priced artifacts looted from the palace of the Oba of Benin.

13. Lastly he spoke about ‘Gate of the Spirit’ and made it sound as if it is only found in the Ogiamien house, well the Benins call it “Urhueremwin”. The history behind this is known to all followers of Benin history, in the old Benin, Oba only passes through a door that no other person passes, so when he visits any house of his chiefs a fresh door way must be created and sealed up immediately he leaves the house, you can see that in Oliha palace, Edigin palace etc.

In conclusion, the Benin people lost all they had during the British invasion and the British government imposed a system of governance to keep us where we are, they are still fighting us through that system using our people who should have known better.

The same British who used their system to undermine our monarchy hold their monarchy in high system, today the Benin’s now question the relevance of the Oba of Benin whereas respect other monarchs whose people continue to respect their king or queen, what an unfortunate situation that the Benins have been so brainwashed that they now live in a fool’s paradise.

May God and our ancestors open our eyes to see our stupidity, as for me I stand with my king this day and forever.

Oba gha to kpere. Ise!

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