By Lucky Isibor
Edo State Government has declared the non- existence of a traditional title known as the Pere of Olodiama Kingdom and the non-existence of Olodiama community in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state.
The State Government made the declaration in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie against an alleged plan by some individuals to install one Godwin Oguyenbo as Pere of Olodiama Kingdom in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state.
According to the statement, “The attention of the Government of Edo State has been drawn to an advertisement at page 22 of the Vanguard Newspaper of Tuesday 14th November, 2017 which purports to “congratulate one Godwin Oguyenbo on his “coronation” as “Pere of Olodiama Kingdom” in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
“This egregiously abominable and sacrilegious pronouncement constitutes an unprecedented affront to the long settled culture, traditions and norms of our people.
“Government is of the view that the claim of such a non-existent title in a non-existent Community under any guise is a clear and pre-meditated breach of our Laws particularly the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law of Edo State which said Law sets out the list of all recognised Traditional Rulers and Chiefs in Edo State”, the statement said.
While pointing out that it is a criminal offence for any body to install any one as a traditional ruler save as provided under the law, the statement said security agencies have been briefed and urged to bring all those involved in the alleged coronation to face the full wrought of the law.
“The said Law further makes it a criminal offence for any person to recognize or purport to install any person as a Traditional Ruler except as provided for under the Law and in fact makes it an offence for any unqualified person to present or permit himself to be so addressed.
“The Government takes the view that this act is intended to precipitate strife and contestation leading inevitably to the breakdown of Law and Order in our dear State.
“In the light of the foregoing, Mr. Governor has issued clear directives to the Law Enforcement and Prosecutorial Agencies as follows: –
“(i) To take all steps to immediately abort the proposed or purported “coronation” anywhere within Edo State on the date proposed or on any other date whatsoever.
“Effect the immediate arrest and prosecution of all persons involved in the said “coronation” either as beneficiary, participant or sponsor, to the full extent of all extant Laws”.
The Government warned that while it will continue to promote peaceful co-existence of all the different groups in the state, it will not tolerate irresponsible statements that are capable of breaching the peace.
“The Government and people of Edo State have always projected a peaceful and welcoming disposition to all persons living within its boundaries.
“The Government will however not tolerate actions and pronouncements which seek to abuse the hospitality which our Land offers.
“Let it be clearly noted that this Government will take all necessary steps to preserve our peace, enforce our Laws and defend our revered institutions. All those who intend to test the resolve of Government in this regard should be assured of the certainty that swift and severe sanctions will be the natural consequence of their unlawful acts”, the statement said.