I Never Authorised Arrest Of Benin Chief Priest -Edo CP
The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Dan Mallam, has said that the command never authorised the arrest of the Chief Priest of Okhuaihe Shrine, Osarodion Usuanlele, the Ohen Nu Koni Evbuekoi of the Benin Kingdom.
Dan Mallam made the clarification in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Benin.
The priest was arrested and detained in Benin by operatives of the police anti-cultism unit following a petition by a member of the banned Community Development Association (CDA).
The detention of the priest in Benin is viewed in the kingdom as a taboo because it broke an age long tradition which prevented the Ohen N’ UKoni from entering Benin, the abode of the Oba.
The Okhuaihe Shrine is located at Evbuekoi in Uhunwode Local Government Area, and as part of the Oba’s coronation rites, the Chief Priest must have symbolic wrestling with the Crown Prince.
After the wrestling match both of them would go opposite ways, never to see each other again once the Crown Prince becomes the Oba.
Uhunmwonde, where the chief priest resides, is more than 60 kilometres from Benin City.
Three dogs were said to have been slaughtered and other sacrifices carried out near the police headquarters before the Ohen N’ Ukoni was released. Other sacrifices are to follow later.
DanMallam said that it was a sad development that the indigenous people who were conversant with the traditions were the same people who tried to mess it up.
He noted that there was no justification for anyone to bring a man who had said that traditionally he was not expected to enter Benin City.
“Firstly, I did not authorise the arrest of the chief priest and nobody informed me until the traditional offence had been committed.
“Benin kingdom is one of the oldest kingdoms and we have high regards for the kingdom and will not allow anybody to come and mess the tradition up,” he said.
He said the command was looking into the matter, adding that he would ensure that those involved in the arrest of the chief priest did everything required to cleanse the land and appease the gods of the kingdom.
The CP said that the arrest must have been done by some “overzealous officers” in connivance with some members of the chief priest’s community to humiliate him.
He said that the police had no problem with the Benin kingdom, as the command holds the kingdom and the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, in high esteem.
‘Zoning, Hard-Work Responsible For APC’s C/River Victory’
National Women’s Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Betta Edu, has congratulated Sen. Bassey Otu and Mr Peter Odey, who were elected Governor and Deputy Governor, respectively in Cross River State.
Edu, who spoke in a telephone interview with The Tide’s source on Monday in Calabar, said the governorship zoning system practiced in the state and hard work were largely responsible for APC’s victory.
Edu, who was reacting to the announcement of Sen. Otu of APC as Governor-elect, told the source that the governorship position in the state is been zoned across the three senatorial districts since 1999.
According to her, the Southern Senatorial District produced Mr Donald Duke, who was Governor from 1999 to 2007, while the Central Senatorial District produced Sen. Liyel Imoke, who was Governor from 2007 to 2015.
She also explained that the North also produced the incumbent Governor, Ben Ayade, who took over power in 2015 and is serving his second term in office which will end on May 29.
She said for fairness, equity and justice, it was natural to zone the position back to the south, which the APC did.
“First, we give God the glory and this is an endorsement of APC’s hard work in Cross River, courtesy of Governor Ayade.
“APC in Cross River was rational enough to zone its governorship position back to the south after 16 years.
“Beyond this, APC was very careful in choosing a very formidable candidate, one who is the man of people, very experienced and accessible, smart and with a listening ear.
“We are confident that he will continue with the very good track record of Gov. Ayade. He will increase focus on health, education, agriculture and other sectors.
“We are happy that he defeated other candidates in the state because he was indeed the peoples candidate,” she said.
Edu expressed hope that the Governor-elect would continue with the industrialisation drive of Governor Ayade with a view to promoting the state revenue coffers.
She called on all others who contested and failed to join hands with the governor-elect and build Cross River State for good.
She gave assurance that the governor-elect would work with the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, in attracting development to the state.
The state Returning Officer for INEC, Prof. Teddy Adies, of the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa, had earlier announced Sen. Otu as the winner of the March 18 polls.
Adies said that the APC candidate polled 258,619 votes to emerge winner, while his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Sandy Onor, polled 179,636 votes.
Accept Defeat, PDP Tells Omo-Agege
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Delta Chapter, has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, to accept the outcome of the governorship election in the state.
The party also urged Omo-Agege to extend the olive branch by congratulating the PDP candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori, who was already coasting home to victory following the Saturday, March 18 governorship poll in the state.
This is contained in a statement on Monday in Asaba, by the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu.
Aniagwu noted that contrary to the wrongful assertion by the APC, the state governorship and House of Assembly elections followed due process and was conducted in consonance with relevant laws especially the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
He also noted that the results duly collated from the various units, wards and local government areas had so far been adjudged as free, fair, credible and transparent, adding that winners have been emerging across the state constituencies.
“It is, however, disturbing that the APC that unleashed terror on innocent voters in Ughelli North Local Government Area (LGA) and parts of Ethiope West LGA could turn around to point accusing fingers at others.
“So far, 24 LGAs have been duly collated and the PDP won in 20 LGAs, while the APC won in four LGAs with just only one LGA result to go out of the 25 LGA of the state.
“The APC, having won six state constituencies cannot turn around to describe the election as non-complying with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended”, he said.
The Commissioner, while thanking the people of the state for their unalloyed support and solidarity with the PDP, said, “we promised to continue delivering on the Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa mandate till the last day of this administration.
“We, therefore, call on the APC governorship candidate and Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege to do the needful expected of democrats.
“He (Omo-Agege) should call on his brother, the PDP governorship candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori to congratulate him on his well deserved victory at the polls”.
APC’s Sen. Otu Wins C’River Governorship
Sen. Bassey Otu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has won the governorship election in Cross River State after winning in 15 out of the 18 Local Government Areas in the state.
Announcing the result on Monday at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Collation Centre in Calabar, the Returning Officer, Prof. Teddy Adies, said APC polled 258,619 votes.
He said the People Democratic Party got 179,636 votes while the Labour Party garnered 5,957 votes.
According to him, the total number of registered voters was 1,766,466, accredited voters 466,294, valid votes 451,933, and void votes 8,923.
“Eleven political parties participated in this election and for the results to get to us here at the state level, it had to pass through the Polling Units, the Ward Collation Centres and the collation centre at the the Local Government Levels.
“Otu of the APC after satisfying the requirement of the law has been returned elected,” the Returning Officer said.
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