Oba’s coronation: Ogiamien family pledges loyalty to Benin Palace

A cross section of traditional rulers.

The Ogiamien family of the Benin kingdom is willing to collaborate with the throne of the Oba of Benin and has pledged loyalty to the Benin Palace.

To this end, the family has declared that it was prepared to participate in the coronation of the Oba of Benin scheduled to hold on October 20, disregarding the claims of one Arisco Osemwengie as the Ogiamien of Benin Kingdom.

Speaking after an enlarged meeting of the family at the Palace of Ogiamien in Benin City, head of the family, Pa Aibangbee Emopkpae Ogiamien, said the family never authorised the crowning of Arisco Osemwengie as Ogiamien, insisting that they were prepared for the crowning of the Oba even if the reigning Ogiamien, Chief Osarobo Okuonghae, failed to return to Nigeria.

Recalled that Arisco was last year accused of crowning himself the Ogiamien and declaring himself the Imperial Majesty of Utantan Kingdom of Benin nation. He was, however, later charged to court over the matter.

Pa Aibangbee said the family did not know Arisco as a son of an Ogiamien and that the Ogiamien title is an hereditary one.

He said, “We kept quiet since because we didn’t have money to fight him, but we have put resources together to tell the world that we do not know Arisco in this family.

“No former Ogiamien gave birth to him. We have no quarrel with the Benin Palace. All the words used against the palace were not authorised by the family.”

Younger sister to Ogiamien Okuonghae, Mrs Ehimwenma, said her brother would return at the appropriate time before the coronation, but if he didn’t return, another person that joined in the burial of their father would perform his Ekiokpogha function.

The family later protested through the streets of Benin City with placards telling Arisco not to enter the Ogiamien Palace again.