“Members of Igbo community union in Edo have pledged their loyalty to the Oba of Benin, saying they would never be in conflict with the Bini traditional institution.
The union pledged their loyalty in a statement signed by Chief George Igbokwe, on behalf of members of its elders’ council.
It said in the statement, was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Benin, that the Oba of Benin was the union’s grand patron.
The statement said the union regretted the action of one Chief Luke Abbas, who had attempted to crown himself as Eze Ndi Igbo within the Bini kingdom.
It said the union was neither a political nor a religious group, but a purely a “socio-political union,’’ that did not recognise such title as the Eze Ndi Igbo in the state.
The statement said the tenure of Abbas as the President General of the group in the state had long expired, but he had refused to leave office.
It said that Abbas had continued to drag the name of the union into “religious, political and even cultural conflicts that tended to, and indeed lower its collective estimation in the comity of tribes in Benin and Edo state in general.
The union said his attempted coronation created some erroneous beliefs which it had taken time to clear.
It “erroneously insinuated that it was with the support of us as Igbos in a calculated attempt to create another kingdom in Benin City and share the authority of the Oba over his subjects within Benin and environs.
“This was exactly one of the fears that prompted our quick and immediate reaction to the coronation attempt.
“We are happy that our said action and press conferences have completely doused and allayed their fears,’’ the statement said.
According to the statement, the union has, therefore, constituted and inaugurated a 10-man caretaker committee to run its affairs.
It said members “were chosen on their merit and as representatives of the five Igbo states.’’