By Osaigbovo Iguobaro Benin
Edo state government has disclosed that a two-year jail term awaits any person that purports to create a traditional ruler title or any title purporting same to be traditional ruler title.
This followed the amendment of the Traditional Rulers and Chieftaincy Law of 1979 in the defunct Bendel state1979 now applicable to Edo state.
Membership of the all-important Council is as provided for in Section 40 (2) a-d of the Amended Law No. 2 of 1993.
The said law affirmed the Oba of Benin not only as Chairman but the Paramount Traditional Ruler and prescribed two year jail term for anyone group of persons that is involved in authorised.
The state governor, Godwin Obaseki dropped the hint during the inauguration of the state Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs on Wednesday at Government House in Benin City.
The move appears to be a veiled reference to check the alleged sacrilege committed by Godwin Emeyanbo who recently coronated himself as Pere of Olodiama Clan, Geegele in Ovia north east Local Government Area of the state.
He said as an advisory body, his administration would continue “to consult the council on a wide range of issues from time to time with a caveat that a two-year jail term awaits any person that purports to create a traditional ruler title or any title purporting same to be traditional ruler title”.
He assured that his administration would continue to partner with the traditional council in the areas of law, order and security, stemming the tide of illegal migration, environmental sanitation.
Responding, the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, threw his weight behind the fight against illegal migration and human trafficking, which have claimed the lives of thousands of Edo youths.
Oba Ewuare II, condemned the act and expressed disappointment in the Nigerian Embassy in Libya and the Libyan government for their inability to tackle the crisis.
He said it was particularly frustrating that it had to take a news report by the Cable News Network (CNN) for the government and other stakeholders to respond to the crisis.
The Benin Monarch said the crisis could have been better managed if the relevant authorities lived up to their roles, instead of allowing it to fester.