- Ihama of Benin Kingdom now to perform duties of Isekhurhe
The Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, has swung into revolutionary change in the leadership of the Bini Kingdom. This culminated in the suspension of a Priest of the kingdom, Chief Nosakhare Isekhure, from all rights and duties of the title on the recommendation of the Benin Traditional Council (BTC).
The Secretary of the Benin Traditional Council, Frank Irabor, made this action known at a press briefing at the palace on Tuesday, in a stamen jointly signed by the nine highest-ranked chiefs in the palace.
The Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, explained that the indefinite suspension of Chief Isekhure, a title created by Oba Ewedo in about 1280, took effect from January 17, 2017. Isekhure was accused of desecrating his office.
The Iyase declared that the Traditional Council had reverted to the system of the past in which the Ihama of Benin Kingdom was performing the duties of the Isekhurhe.
“He designated his house as a palace where he held court in which he sometimes reviewed cases already dealt with in the Oba’s palace. Of course, gratifications were there offered or forced and collected,” the BTC had said.
The council maintained: “He used his position to influence new chiefs celebrating their investiture to perform certain rites in his residence, during which monies, kolanuts and drinks were collected.
“Senior chief 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 respect to them again as palace cultures demand.
“He turned himself into a be all and end all, and a seeming authority in Benin culture and tradition, especially palace procedures. He even pronounced himself the Head of the Royal family.
“The profanities and denigration that issued from him and his followers during our mourning period are better forgotten. During this period, he told all those who cared to listen to him that neither the Emwinekhua nor the consequent coronation could hold without him.
“The Iyase (Prime Minister of Benin Kingdom) sent for him to enable these matters to be discussed with him. He demurred. The council of chiefs also sent for him, yet, he refused to answer them.
“During Emwinekhua, he neglected and deliberately refused to perform his traditional duties before, during and after the event, and has since remained infinitely unrepentant.
“We cannot believe that anyone, any Benin individual who knows what the motivating Benin cultures and tradition are, and has worn the toga of a Benin Chief could do what Isekhurhe did these past two years. We find it difficult to accept even the idea that he is a chief. The disconnect has become actual and natural.
“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.”
Present at the briefing were Chief D. U. Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin, Chief Edionwe Oliha. the Oliha of Benin, Chief Amos Osunbor, Eson of Benin, Chief Norense Ozigbo-Esere, Osuma of Benin and Chief E. Oviasogie, Eribo of Benin.
Others include Chief E.U. Uzamere, Ineh of Benin, Chief Stanley Obamwonyi, Esere of Benin, Chief Osemwonta, Eguezigbon of Benin and Irabor.