From OSEMWENGIE BEN OGBEMUDIA, Benin City
The traditional ruler of the Benin Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, articulates that the kingdom is a home for all ethnic nationalities to dwell and live their lives without discrimination. He was of the view that the kingdom is a place for all peoples to coexist and pursue their legitimate businesses; assuring of the hospitality of the host indigenes.
Oba Ewuare II gave the assurance when the Igbo Community in Benin City paid him a post-coronation visit at his Palace.
The Oba who described the visit as surprising and overwhelming, urged all communities to feel at home and contribute to the development of the host communities they find themselves and the state, in general.
He commended the Igbo community for recognising and deeming it fit to pay their respect to the traditional authority, urging them to support the state government in realisation of the Gelegele seaport project which would bring economic fortune to people of the state.
“We want to assure the communities amongst us of our hospitality. We want to express our gratitude to all the communities in our midst. We express our gratitude to the communities and ethnics groups in Nigeria that recognize the Benin Kingdom and that show a lot of respect for our culture.
“They have shown a lot of understanding for their host communities and within the ethnic group which they reside, and in retrospect, we would reciprocate by accommodating all the ethnic communities within our group in harmomny,” the Oba said.
The monarch maintained: “You should all feel at home. We are aware some of you were be born here; many of you probably will speak Bini by now. We remind you of our commitment to develop the state, for you to give support to the state government to continue to respect the culture of the people.
“You must have heard of our desire to develop the Gelegele free zone area, whatever consideration the Igbo can make will be well appreciated. The invitation is open to all the communities residing in our kingdom and in our state to present their proposals and contribution to how we can actualise what we have made commitment about”.
Earlier in his speech, the President of the Igbo Union, Professor Nathaniel Aniekwu, disclosed that the Oba is the Grand Patron of the Igbos in the land and described his succession of the ancestral throne as the divine work of God.
He urged the Oba to wade into the leadership crisis of the Evbareke Spare Parts Market where he alleged that they have been sidelined.
Also, Professor Aniekwu urged the Oba to look into the land dispute at Ute community where getting land for business purposes has practically been halted by top members of the community.
He presented gifts of a Cow, different brands of assorted drinks and kolanuts to the Omo N’Oba who used it in praying for their progress.
Present were, His Royal Highness, Igwe Goodluck Ezea, Obi of Nsukka, Enugu State; Chief George Igbokwe, Ambassador Uchenna Okoro and others.