Benin Kingdom Crisis Depeens as BTC Ostracises Isekhure, Demolishes House

In apparent reaction to the threat by the family of Chief Nosakhare Isekhere, Chief Priest of Benin Kingdom, to drag the Benin Traditional Council (BTC) to court if it failed to provide evidence of allegations against him, the Benin palace has ordered the demolition of the traditional residence of Chief Isekhure.
The residence, located along along Sakponba Road, close to Ring Road, was invaded by hefty young men with sledge hammers and axes.
Leading the operation were members of Association of Igiohen (chief priests) several high-ranking palace chiefs and Ihogbe youths.
Among structures pulled down were the live-size statue of Chief Isekhure, ornamental decorations in the main building.
One of the palace chiefs who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity, said that their mission was to take procession of properties belonging to the Benin palace.
He said the properties include artifacts, relics and other paraphernalia of the office of Isekhure.
“For now he is completely ostracised. What you can see is part of the process of ostracising him. The real powerhouse, items that belong to the Oba, is here. Information reaching us is some of those things were being tampered with.
“The Oba is the owner of that place; he magnanimously put him there‎ to take custody of the place. He is like the sceptre bearer of the Oba. He (Oba) has asked us to secure the artefacts and possibly make the area formidable so that it cannot be broken.
“The Oba has already asked him to take possession of the extension he (Isekhurhe) built in there. But the original foundation of the palace guild should remain where it is; it is a monumental structure and we have to fortify‎ it because of what it contains.
“I think processes required had been concluded. Nobody ever raises arm against the Oba, even when he (Isekhurhe) was going out of his own way and raising and instrument pursuing some of the chiefs‎.
“He has locked the door saying we cannot go in. But we will get in there in a minute. That is the Oba’s property.”
It would be recalled that Chief Nosakhare Isekhure, one of the Chief Priest of Benin Kingdom, was suspended by the Benin Traditional Council, on January 17, 2017, over alleged dereliction of duty during the traditional burial rites of the late Oba of Benin and the subsequent coronation of Oba Ewuare II.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior police officer who led security operatives to the place, said they were there to ensure that law and order remains intact.

Author: News Editor

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