Oba of Benin sacks Holy Aruosa Cathedral priest

Citing persistent non-compliance with the tradition by the Chief Priest of Holy Aruosa Cathedral, Akpakpa road, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Eware II on Thursday approved the removal of Priest Harrison Okao, as the Ohenosa of the Holy Aruosa Cathedral of Benin, also known as Benin National Church.

A statement by the secretary, Benin Traditional Council, Frank Irabor explained that the removal was as a result of a long-standing lingering breach and nonchalance over the years by the chief priest pertaining to the age-old custom and tradition regarding the continuous authorised officiating as Ohenosa at the Cathedral.

Established over 400 years ago during the reign of Oba Esigie, Holy Aruosa Cathedral, Benin, the traditional church of the Benin monarchy is about 300 meters from Ring Road city centre and is tailored after the Catholic Church.

The scribe added that Oba Ewuare ll, the traditional head of Holy Aruosa Cathedral Benin was constrained by traditional dictate to reluctantly approve the recommendation of the removal of Mr Okao by the joint Elders Committee and some senior chiefs of the Oba Palace.

He said: “The decision is expected to bring lasting peace and tranquillity to the holy spiritual environment that is imperative in the Cathedral which has been absent due to non-compliance with the tradition and custom by Mr Okao for several years.”

The statement ordered that all property, paraphernalia of office as Ohenosa and keys of the cathedral be handed over to Chief Esere, head of Iweguae.

It added that the deposed chief priest should refrain from operating the bank account of the cathedral with immediate effect.

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