Ishekhure, Benin Chief Priest suspended

Ishekhure, Benin Chief Priest suspended

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 11:34 pm

 Oba of Benin, Ewuare II.

Oba of Benin, Ewuare II.

Jethro Ibileke/Benin

The Benin Traditional Council (BTC), has announced the suspension of  the Ishekhure of Benin Kingdom, Chief Nosakhare Ishekhure, over alleged dereliction of duties.

His suspension was announced at a press conference addressed by the Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe.

According to the BTC, Ishekhure is a member of the Ihogbe Palace society led by Ihama of Benin.

It was gathered that during the reign of Oba Ewedo in the 12th Century, the Ihama then due to old age could no longer walk from his quarters to the palace to perform his functions and requested the Oba to empower one of his sons to perform the duties, “until the present Ishekhure decided for reasons best known to hi to desecrate it.‎”

He was also accused of turning his residence into a mini palace where he held court, collecting gratification and even review cases already decided by the Oba Palace.

The Council in a statement jointly signed by Igbe, Edebiri, Osuma of Benin, Chief Norense Ozigbo-Esere, Esere of Benin, Chief Stanley Obamwonyi, Eguezigbon of Benin, Chief Osemwota Obamwonyi, Oliha of Benin Chief Edionwe Oliha, Eson of Benin, Chief Amos Osunbor, Eribo of Benin, Chief E, Oviasogie, Ine of Benin, Chief E. U. Uzamere and Secretary of BTC, Frank Irabor, alleged that the Isekhure desecrated the duties of the title without regard for the palace.

“Of course gratifications were there offered or forced and collected. He use his position to influence new chiefs celebrating their investiture to perform certain rites in his residence, during which monies, kalolanuts and drinks were collected.

“Senior chiefs were at times openly bad-mouthed and vilified by him, and during those times, he declared that the chiefs were not senior to him and that he would not pay respects to them again as palace cultures demand.

“He turned himself into a be all and end all, and a seeming authority in the Benin culture and tradition, especially palace procedures. He even pronounced himself the Head of the Royal family,” the statement said.

The BTC further alleged that Ishekhure did not play his roles during the mourning of the former monarch and the coronation ceremonies of Oba Ewuare II and that when he was invited by the Iyase of Benin to sort out the issues he refused.

“The Council of Chiefs then also sent for him, yet he refused to answer them.

“During the Emwinekhue (obsequies), he neglected and deliberately refused to perform his traditional duties before, during and after the event, and has since remained infinitely unrepentant.

“We recommend in the circumstances therefore, that he be suspended; and with  the authority of Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin, he is, with effect from today, 17th of January, 2017, suspended indefinitely from performing the duties of the Isekhurhe title which he now bears. Those duties were originally performed by the Ihama of Benin. They will now revert to the Ihama N’Ihogbe.”

When contacted on phone, Chief Nosakhare Ishekhure declined comment.

But a source close to the family said the family would react when they are communicated.

The source said that the Ishekhure cannot be suspended through the media, adding that no Benin Chief can summon the Ishekhure except the Oba of Benin.

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