What I don't seem to understand in this publication below is: are Benin chiefs and princes also Traditional Rulers? There is only one traditional ruler in Edo South Senatorial District. And that is the respected Oba of Benin, who is naturally the head of other traditional rulers in Edo State . This is so because other Edo people (99%) trace their origin to Benin. So, naturally, he is the head of Edo people by virtue of all communities tracing their origin to Benin. But it is sad that Princes and Chiefs in Benin are now up graded to the status of traditional rulers.

This is the result of other traditional rulers in Edo State running up and down for political patronage, in their bid to have access to the national cake. The classification or grading of traditional rulers was long abandoned by successive govts and the traditional rulers related freely and equally. The same instrument created the various traditional stools in Edo State. The Oba of Benin is first among equals among the traditional rulers in Edo State. The inclusion of Benin princes and chiefs in Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers is insulting to other traditional rulers in Esan and Afenmai. One hopes the Governor would reconsider his stand on this matter.

This is the natural fear or suspicion of Esan and Afenmai people for Benin people. We are one people. This is true. But we deserve to respect ourselves. Now, excluding some traditional rulers from this newly constituted Council would create disaffection, distrust and disharmony among brother traditional rulers. Over the years, the constitution of this Council was avoided to make for harmony.

These traditional rulers have not conducted themselves too well too. Their involvement in party politics have gravely lowered their esteem. Then, their patronage of politicians for financial reward has also contributed to this ugly development. It must be observed that the Benin stool (as represented by our Oba who just joined our ancestors) since 1999 avoided politics like a plague. This in no small measure won him respect allover the country. Other traditional rulers should take a cue from that experience.

This is an appeal to the State Government to promote peace and unity among Edo State traditional rulers. Then, review the inclusion of Benin princes and Chiefs in the newly constituted Council.

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Great Benin Bronze

EDE N'ERHENA VBE EDO

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