Our attention has been drawn to the unguided, unlawful and unwarranted statements of the Governor of Edo State, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki, contained in the NationOnline publication dated 16th November 2017, wherein he issued an order to desecrate the Ijaw sacred institution, abuse our kingship stool and apprehend our King, in person of HRM King Godwin Oguyenbo, Pere of Olodiama Kingdom in Edo state, on grounds of unlawful coronation.
First, we wish to inform the Governor that we are aware that he is only carrying out the directive of the Oba of Benin, we are therefore surprised why on earth an Ijaw affair will be giving the Bini people a sleepless night to the extent that they had to usurp the state power against us.
Obaseki’s claim that the ijaw community in the area is non-existent, is a clear display of sheer ignorance, the ijaws have proven with historical fact that we are aborigines of those lands.
It is therefore on this grounds, following second-class treatments meted out on Ijaws in these communities of Edo State, that the ijaws deemed it necessary to have a monarch that would be significant for the growth and development of the people and lands, besides this is not the first time the Kingdom is having a King.
We also deduce that though it is the voice of Obaseki, but the words of the royal father of Benin Kingdom is behind the order of arrest issued, simply because they want to annex Olodiama kingdom into Benin Kingdom, because of the oil and seaport sited there.
We therefore call on Obaseki to desist from actions that are capable of causing acrimony between binis and ijaws, obaseki as the administrative head of the state should rather be concerned in moves that will bring peace, he should not brew another crises in the face of dousing the already existing tension created by militants groups.
The Ijaws are not at war with binis, but we are also not afraid to defend our territory if the need arises, we have been living in peace and we would continue to maintain it, but obaseki should thread with caution, let him stop beating the drums of war.
The Governor should not allow himself to be used as a tool of instigating violence and causing unrest, he has no right to order for the arrest of a well recognised King who has flaunted no law.
We call on the federal Government to call Governor Obaseki to order before he plunges the region into a theatre of intertribal war, we ask the federal government to stand down all security agencies and look for other means in resolving the issue, arresting an Ijaw King is a sacrilege and will be resisted by Ijaws.
We restate once again that Ijaws are committed to peace, these our traditional Rulers have displayed by supporting federal government peace effort, but we will not accept any action aimed at desecrating our sacred institutions.
The Edo State Government should not pull in other Ijaw kingdoms into the crisis, the Pere of Olodiama kingdom is a King recognised by all other sister Ijaw Kingdoms.
Bodmas P. Kemepadei, Coordinator, Order of Egbesu Brotherhood.