By Ngozi Okpalakunne
The Benin Traditional Council (BTC) recently released an update on the several misconceptions held in large sections of the public about the true structure of the Benin traditional institution.
In a statement made available to the media by BTC, the council, which is the only traditional council in the seven local government areas of the Edo South Senatorial District, stated that there has been serious misunderstanding of the structure of the Benin traditional institution.
In a necessary bid to correct the false information held about the Benin traditional institution, the BTC said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Benin Traditional Council wishes to clarify as follows, that: The Oba of Benin is the sole traditional ruler in the whole seven local government areas constituting Edo South Senatorial District. That is, in Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Ovia South West, Ovia north East, Orhionmwhon, and Uhunmwonde local government areas of Edo State.”
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The BTC went on to explain that all other title holders in the entire seven local government areas of Edo South Senatorial District aforementioned, are no more than chiefs appointed by the Oba of Benin.
It pointed out further that, in particular, the Enigie in the entire seven local government areas of Edo South, are classified as chiefs and not traditional rulers.
Again, it made it abundantly clear that in the said seven local government areas, the Enigie are chiefs representing the Oba of Benin in the various communities or domains to which they are sent.
The BTC also noted that the Enigie are required to relate with the Oba of Benin through the palace chiefs of the Oba, being the traditional channels of communication unless otherwise waived by the Oba.