By Jethro Ibileke
A group, Edo National Voice (ENV), has accused the state Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, of withholding the monthly allocation to the Benin Traditional Council (BTC), for three months.
The group made the accusation in a statement dated 27 May, 2023 and titled, “Obaseki Seized Monthly Allocations to Benin Traditional Council” and signed by Iyamu Osaro Culture and Comrade Collins Osaghae Amadin, President and Secretary-General respectively and two others.
They alleged that the Governor deliberately withheld the statutory allocation and also undermine the Benin Throne over his inability to take custody of the returned stolen artefacts vested to the custody of the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, by the federal government.
They further accused Obaseki of sacrilege by fueling the agitation by some disgruntled Enigie (Dukes), who allegedly called for formation of a parallel Benin traditional council in opposition to Oba Ewuare II.
Read the full text of the statement below:
“It is no longer news that the inability of Governor Obaseki to take custody of our returned stolen Artefacts has made him to orchestrate several tactics to undermine everything that is connected to our revered Throne, Culture, Tradition, Custom and Heritage.
“His latest action due to his inability to take custody of our returned stolen artefacts was obviously seen in the behaviour of some of the defiant Enigies who were agitating for their own local government traditional council as against our great Oba of Benin Kingdom consent who is solely vested with the authority to grant such request.
“As sacrilegious and sad the aforementioned action of Governor Obaseki might be, some of the defiant Enigies has confessed to this barbaric and selfish action and while over 60 repented Enigies have come out openly to apologize to our great King and pledged their unalloyed loyalty to our revered Kingship/Throne.
“Thus, having failed in his plans to cause division within our well structure revered Throne/Kingship, Governor Obaseki has deliberately withheld 3 months allocations of Benin Traditional Council. In the last few months, he has been slashing statutory allocations to Benin Traditional Council.
“We wish to quickly remind Governor Obaseki that he was elected to add value to lives and not to always cause division amongst Edo people and all money either locally generated or globally gotten are own by Edo people. So, Edo state money is not your own.
“Therefore, we are calling on Governor Obaseki to immediately release the 3 months Benin Traditional Council allocations he deliberately withheld.
“We are calling on the in-coming President, His Excellency, Bola Tinubu, the Federal Ministry of Finance and, the Federal Ministry of Justice, to call Governor Obaseki to order and immediately release all the allocations due to the Benin Traditional Council.”
As at the time of filing this report, the State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, was yet to react to a message seeking for his reaction.