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Edo community protest attacks, stolen ancestral staff

Residents of the Agbonmoba community in Egor Local Government of Edo State have protested at the king’s palace over alleged attacks on their community by…

Residents of the Agbonmoba community in Egor Local Government of Edo State have protested at the king’s palace over alleged attacks on their community by some non-natives of the Ikoro community in the Local Government Area of the state.

Speaking during the protest, one of the community elders, Mr Pius Odeh, said that the Ogua-Edion (Elders Porch) was desecrated by persons suspected to be from the neighbouring village, thereby denying the people of Agbonmoba access to their ancestral traditional worship.

He appealed to concerned authorities, including Oba Ewuare II; the state Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki; and security agencies to come to their aid.

According to him, they had been living in harmony with non-natives since the village was founded in 1818.

“Trouble started in 2011 when some outlaws by way of conquest, began to claim ownership of the area, thereby compelling the indigenes to pay homage to them (foreigners), an act considered as an abomination in the land.

“The invaders (non-natives) want the aboriginal settlers (Benin people in the area) to pay homage to them, which is an aberration in Edo State after they had breached the existing boundary delineation between Agbonmoba and Ikoro village,” Odeh said.

Also speaking, Mr Enorense Iredia, alleged that the hostilities resumed a few days ago after the Ogua-Edion was invaded by hoodlums, aided by some of the non-natives in the area.

He said the people of Agbonmoba are now afraid to return to Agbonmoba village and also to go to their farms due to the incessant harassment and continuous threats of elimination.

Addressing the protesters on behalf of the Oba of Benin, Chief Uyi Okungbowa, the Ogua of Benin and Chief Johnson Ikponmwonsa Iyamu, the Oseazegioba of Benin, advised the protesters to be at peace and shun violence.

They called and assured that their grievances would reach the appropriate authority.