By Jefferson Uwoghiren
Years ago, specifically in 2000, I was arrested by the police, even though the police later said that it was Invitation, by officers of Edo State Command led by DSP Yomi Oladimeji, who was a former PPRO. I was arrested with late Honourable Osaro Isibor and my brother, the Learned Professor of Law, F.O.
I was arrested on the basis of a petition by Late Chief Igbafe Evelyn, alleging threats to life, because our organization called and known as Ivbiogiso Fronts, mobilized hundreds of Benin youths to Uzebu Town Hall, Benin City to address the issues of Professor Philip Igbafe Beads Palaver . I was Chairman.
Our Royal Father, Oba Erediauwa, ( peace be upon his name and his memories remain just and a blessing) on being notified of the matter, intervened and the police backed off! And we started fresh struggles thereafter.
Chief Evelyn Igbafe mobilized influential persons in Nigeria, to plead with me and colleagues. We forgave her. To demonstrate the extent of our influence and powers, then, I personally took her later to the late Oba of Lagos, Oba Adeyinka Oyekan, in Isale Eko, who graciously made her Yeye Ologboshere of Lagos. Until her death, not one fiem from Chief Igbafe.
That singular incident threw our activities into limelight what we preferred doing secretly for years. It’s not in our style to project tigritudes.
Action speaks, even as Secretary, Great Benin Vanguard. However, my attention has been drawn to ill motivated rantings by ex-bus conductors and illiterate lagbukes, who falsely accused me “betrayal” and other stupid things. I still don’t know what they mean by that word.
I address issues on Facebook. I don’t address personal issues on social media, because what concerns me shall remain trivial and treated last. I fight for others. I live for others and their right to justice.
So when I chose police station or prison over twenty years ago, I did it, fully conscious of the historical justice of our actions. Nothing changed till date.
Today, no true Benin person is happy with the unpleasant news involving different palace functionaries. If it is not Roland Odiowere Amuada, it’s Frank Irabor. EFCC today, Police Station tomorrow.
Haba. Mr Frank Irabor is a civil servant with Benin Traditional Council, which is a creation of the state government.
Mr Abraham Uwagboe, a former occupant of that office, rose to become the Head of Service, Edo State.
Recently, a new Chief Press Secretary was appointed by the Palace. He is supposed to be the Chief Image Maker of the palace.
Yet, in all the hullabaloo of Ulegun Seven, he has disappeared. A simple statement from him stating clearly the absolute non involvement of the palace in the destruction in Ulegun, will have extinguished this matter and all associated negativities. Agha gue uko uhu ovien, oghi yogho omo zo.
This is a bungled matter of private land ownership and not a test of the strength and limit of the authority of the Oba of Benin, as many persons are being falsely made to believe. After all, many Obas in Edo State still apply for Certificates of Occupancy.
We need to deescalate this unsavory incident by reevaluating the legal and reputational implications of the incident and submit Ulegun Seven and victims to alternative dispute resolution.
Let’s apply wisdom and turn our anger and weapons against outsiders, because we are one blood, one Oba, one destiny.
@views exclusive rights: Jefferson Uwoghiren, Legal Practitioner, September 3, 2022.