Benin Traditional Council Clarifies Structure of Traditional Institution
The Benin Traditional Council (BTC) has clarified what it described as several misconceptions held by sections of the public about the true structure of the Benin Traditional Institution(BTI) in Edo State.
In a statement signed by Solicitors to the BTC, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN) and Prof. Edoba Omoregie (SAN), and made available to THISDAY yesterday, the Council, which is the only competent traditional council in the seven local government areas of the Edo South senatorial district, stated that there has been serious misunderstanding of the structure of the BTI, as well as the BTC.
According to the statement, “In a necessary bid to correct the false information held about the BTI, the BTC has noted that for the avoidance of doubt, the BTC wishes to clarify that the Oba of Benin is the sole traditional ruler in the seven local government areas constituting Edo South senatorial district.
“These LGAs are in Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Ovia South West, Ovia north East, Orhionmwhon, and Uhunmwonde in Edo State,” it said.
The BTC further explained that all other title holders in the seven local government areas of Edo South senatorial district aforementioned are no more than chiefs appointed by the Oba of Benin.
It noted further that, in particular, “the Enigies in the seven local government areas are classified as chiefs and not traditional rulers.”
The council also noted that in the seven local government areas in the district, “the Enigies are chiefs representing the Oba of Benin in the various communities or domains to which they are sent.
“The Enigies are required to relate with the Oba of Benin through the Palace Chiefs of the Oba, being the traditional channels of communication unless otherwise waived by the Oba.
“Lastly, this age-long traditional hierarchy is undisputed and fully captured under the Benin customary law which is also affirmed and declared in the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict 1979 (as applicable in Edo State), particularly, the second schedule at page A128 to page A129 of the Edict.”
The statement added that in the light of the foregoing, the council has concluded that: “We firmly advise the general public to take notice of this traditional structure of the BTC and disregard the misinformation being spread about the status of traditional title holders in the Benin Kingdom.”