Edo residents protest attacks, stolen ancestral staff

INHABITANTS of the Agbonmoba Community in Edo State have appealed to the state government and Benin Monarch, HRM. Oba Ewuare II, to come to their rescue following alleged attacks on their village by some suspected non-natives from the Ikoro settlement in the area.

The people who made the appeal during a protest at the Palace of the Oba of Benin also expressed displeasure over their alleged stolen ancestral staff (Ukhure), which according to them is the village symbol of authority.

An elder in the community, Mr. Pius Odeh, said that the Elders’ Porch (Oguedion) was desecrated by persons suspected to be from the neighbouring village, thereby denying the people of Agbonmoba access to ancestral worship.

He recalled that indigenes of Agbonmoba had lived with non-natives in harmony since the village was founded in 1818.

According to Odeh, trouble started in 2011 when some persons began to claim ownership of the area and compelled the indigenes to pay homage to them (foreigners), an act, he considered being an abomination in the land.

“The invaders (non-natives) want the aboriginal settlers (Benin people in the area) to pay homage to them after they had breached the existing boundary delineation between Agbonmoba and Ikoro in 2021.”

Also speaking, Mr. Enorense Iredia, an indigene of the community, alleged that hostilities resumed a few days ago after the Ogue-edion was invaded by hoodlums, allegedly aided by some of the non-natives in the area.

He also noted that “the people of Agbonmoba are now afraid to return to Agbonmoba village and also to go to their farms due to the incessant harassment and continuous threats of elimination.

Receiving the petition from residents of Agbonmoba on behalf of the Oba of Benin, Chief Uyi Okungbowa and Chief Johnson Ikponmwonsa Iyamu, advised the protesters to remain peaceful and shun violence after their protest.

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