Oba of Benin in historic visit to Esanland
Oba of Benin has assured the people that problems of herdsmen in the state would be brought to the attention of relevant authorities for solution. Oba Ewuare II, who gave the assurance at Ekpoma, during his post coronation thank-you visit to the traditional rulers and people of Esan Land, also promised to join forces with Edo State government to call on the Federal Government for the reconstruction of the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi highway, which is in a very deplorable condition.
On the deposed Enogie of Uromi, the Benin monarch said he is looking forward to receiving a delegation of traditional rulers from Esan Land in his palace, where the matter would be discussed on the possible ways to resolve the matter amicably.
The Oba assured the people that through him, powers of the ancestors will continue to guide and protect Benin Kingdom and its people. He thanked Esan people for their enthusiasm, unprecedented and resounding welcome to his reign as Oba Ewuare II, the 40th Oba of Benin.
His Royal Majesty used the opportunity to inform the people about the introduction of the concept of customary arbitration committee, also known as alternate dispute resolution committee, as part of reform of palace administration to serve the people’s needs.
He expressed concern over the rate of grassroots underdevelopment; youth restiveness and mass poverty among the people, pointing out the Oba of Benin’s palace is putting palliative measures in place to help alleviate poverty.
Towards this end, the Oba said Sunday-Sunday farm produce discount market for the needy and one-meal-a-day scheme to feed the hungry poor are being established in Iyaro, Benin City, under the Oba Ewuare II Foundation Poverty Alleviation Scheme, and the Oba Ewuare II Foundation Scholarship Scheme.
He, however, called on government and individuals to create more job opportunities for youths, as well as create enabling environment for small-scale businesses.The Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo informed the people of his various moves to ensure that Gelegele is made Export Processing Zone for Agro-Allied products, which would provide jobs and open up business opportunities.
He also used the occasion to commend Governor Godwin Obaseki for inaugurating the task force on anti-Community Development Association, and charged everyone to work conscientiously to achieve a more prosperous Edo State.
In a welcome address, the Onojie of Ekpoma H.R.H Abumere, expressed gratitude to Oba of Benin for the visit, describing the Oba as a father and brother.The Onojie, who traced the historical and cultural relationship between Benin and Esan people, said they have the closest affinity in language, culture and social etiquette.
He commended the Benin monarch for calling for the demolition of the so-called Community Development Association, which became agent of disharmony in all the communities.
H.R.H Abumere stressed the need to re-introduce the teaching of history and local languages in the school system, so that children will learn about the great Benin Empire, its languages and culture.
The Onojie said Esan people are interested in the agricultural policy of the state government for youths to be gainfully employed, adding that it will help stem the tide of mass migration by youths.
In a remark, vice chairman of Edo State Traditional rulers and Chiefs and the Onojie of Opoji H.R.H Ehidiamen the first, described Oba of Benin as an astute administrator and diplomat, a non-partisan leader, who supports his children to achieve their political and social ambitions, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or sect.
HRH Ehidiamen said Oba of Benin as the undisputed and irrevocable father of Edo traditional institution, is the solution to all problems confronting the people, pointing out that the Benin throne has always acted as the rallying point for Edo people.In a vote of thanks, chairman, organising committee and Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Dr. Justin Okonoboh, thanked Oba of Benin for his show of love for Esan people and pledged their continued, unalloyed loyalty to the Benin monarch.