Edo Gov’t Condemns Planned Coronation Of ‘Sarkin Of Shuwa In Edo State’, Says It’s Sacrilegious, Illegal And Threat To Peace, Security |RN

The coronation invitation card

The Edo State Government has condemned, in strong terms, the planned coronation of Idriss Addano as the ‘Sultan of Shuwa Arab of Edo State’.

A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Osarodion Ogie, described the purported move as illegal, sacrilegious and threat to peace and security in the state.

“The Edo State Government has been inundated with complaints from indigenes and residents of the state over the purported move to embark on the coronation of one Idriss Addano as ‘Sultan of Shuwa Arab of Edo State,” the statement read.

“The Edo State Government wishes to state as follows: That whether or not this event is held at the said, or any other location within the state, it would constitute a direct assault on the traditions, custom and culture of the people of Edo State, by individuals who clearly have sinister motives and are trying to abuse the well-known Edo hospitality by their act of sacrilege.

“That it is a potential threat to the peace and security of Edo State, with the capacity to cause a breakdown of law and order as citizens of the state are likely to be provoked by the obnoxious ceremony

“Under the Edo State Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law, it is an offence for anyone to proclaim himself, or allow himself to be proclaimed as the holder of any traditional title not recognized under the said law and/or without the approval of the appropriate authorities.

“The state government hereby wishes to assure all concerned that firm and decisive action will be taken to prevent the actualisation of this illegal and sacrilegious act and that all persons found to have been involved in the conception and/or execution would face the full wrath of the law

“The Edo State Government, therefore, calls on all citizens to be calm, law-abiding and rest assured that government is firmly on top of the situation,” the statement assured.

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BREAKING: Obaseki Emerges As PDP Governorship Candidate For Edo State |The Republican News

Governor of Edo state, Mr Godwin Obaseki displaying PDP party gubernatorial candidate ticket

Omooba Damilare Oloyede

Information reaching NAIJA LIVE TV had it that the incumbent governor of Edo State Mr Godwin Obaseki has emerged as PDP governorship candidate.

NAIJA LIVE TV gathered that all aspirants stepped down few minutes to commencement of the party Governorship Primaries .

Details Soon……

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24 Nigerian Sex Traffickers From Edo Sentenced To 7 Years Jail Term In France |The Republican News

A French court sentenced 24 members of a Lyon-based sex trafficking ring to prison terms of up to seven years for forcing Nigerian women into prostitution.

Nearly all of the defendants were themselves Nigerian, in the latest case to highlight the growing use of African migrants in the European sex trade.

They include one of Europe’s most wanted women, Jessica Edosomwan, accused of acting as a France-based “madam” to women recruited mainly in Nigeria’s southern Edo State.

Edosomwan was tried in absentia.

Nigeria was the main country of origin for the tens of thousands of migrants who crossed the Mediterranean to Europe by boat in 2016 and 2017.

Many were women and girls lured to Europe with false promises of jobs as hairdressers or seamstresses, only to find themselves selling sex to repay their smugglers.

Seventeen women filed complaints against the defendants but none of the victims attended the trial, with the exception of one former sex worker who found herself in the dock for luring another woman into the trade.

The accused had faced up to 10 years’ imprisonment on charges including human trafficking, pimping, money laundering and helping people live illegally in France.

Prosecutors estimated that the victims, aged 17 to 38, made up to $166 000 a month for the syndicate by selling sex in vans parked by the side of the road for as little as 10 euros.

A French mechanic who looked after the vans was among the 24 defendants.

Last year, 15 members of a Paris-based, female-led pimping ring known as the “Authentic Sisters” – many themselves former trafficking victims – were jailed for up to 11 years for forcing girls into slavery in France.

Similar gangs have also been dismantled in Italy and Britain.

The UN estimates that 80 percent of young Nigerian women arriving in Italy – usually their first port of call in Europe – are already in the clutches of prostitution networks, or quickly fall under their control.

Most of the women come from Nigeria’s Benin City, a human trafficking hotbed.

Many told investigators they had taken part in “juju” or black magic rituals before leaving Nigeria, during which they had to promise to repay the money for their passage to Europe.

Source: AFP

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Man Sets Wife On Fire In Edo For Asking For Feeding Money |The Republican News

by Segun

Heartless Man Sets wife On Fire In Edo State For Asking For Feeding Money 

A man identified as Mr Monday Alli Onaivi is on the run after allegedly burning his wife to death over an argument about providing feeding money in Benin city, Edo state.

According to Ejiroghene Ezaga who shared the sad story, the man set his wife ablaze after she requested for feeding money. She was later pronounced dead in the hospital due to the severe burns she suffered from the attack.

Sharing photos of Monday Alli Onaivi, Ejiroghene Ezaga wrote on Facebook;

Heartless Man Sets wife On Fire In Edo State For Asking For Feeding Money


Ejiroghene Ezaga also went on to share images of the victim, Esther Alli and her three children.

Heartless Man Sets wife On Fire In Edo State For Asking For Feeding Money



Heartless Man Sets wife On Fire In Edo State For Asking For Feeding Money

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Police In Akwa Ibom Confirm Arrest Of 153 Suspected Thugs ‘Imported’ From Edo State |RN

Joe Effiong, Uyo


The Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State command, Mr Ibrahim Kaoje, has finally confirmed the arrest of 153 suspected thugs from Edo State who stormed the state on the invitation of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Kaoje who spoke through the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the command, Mr Odiko MacDon, told the press on Thursday at the police headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia, Uyo, that the IGP Special Tactical Squad, Uyo, while on intensive patrol, in Ikot Ekpene local government, arrested the suspected thugs loaded in 11 buses and led by one Jerry Egbom.

The CP admitted that the group came from Edo State.

“They were suspected to be coming into Akwa Ibom State for the purpose of causing havoc during the March 9, 2019, gubernatorial/ state Houses of Assembly elections.

“However, a preliminary investigation into the matter by the state Criminal Investigation Department reveals that the suspects were APC youths from Edo extraction, who were on their way to the state to attend the final APC youth rally scheduled to hold on March 7, 2019.

“Investigation further revealed that an on-the-spot search was conducted on all the suspects, and nothing incriminating was found on any of them after the arrest.

“However, the command has not foreclosed further investigation into the matter to determine any likely culpability in accordance with rule of law,” the police said.

The police also confirmed the alleged shooting at the APC governorship candidate, Nsima Ekere’s campaign headquarters in Uyo where one person, Ndifreke Sunday, was injured.

He said the injured person had been taken to police clinic for treatment even as the investigation was ongoing to apprehend those responsible for the shooting.

The police boss pledged that the force would continue to be apolitical, neutral and committed to free, fair and peaceful 2019 general elections. He stressed that the command has zero tolerance for violence would not accommodate any form of thuggery.

To buttress the claim, the CP said four units of mobile policemen with a total of 248 men, two special protection units, four commissioners of an assistant inspector general of police among others had been deployed to supervise the governorship and state Assembly elections next Saturday.  (The Sun)


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Okorocha Slams Oshiomhole: You Failed As A Governor |The Republican News

Stanley Uzoaru,Owerri

Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has challenged the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomole to publish his achievements for the duration he was governor of Edo State.

This is coming on the heels of the APC chair’s verbal attack on the Imo State governor when he flagged off Senator Hope Uzodinma’s governorship campaign in the state.

Governor Okorocha in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, said: “We won’t allow Oshiomhole to eat his cake and still have it.

And we start this way: Adams Oshiomhole was governor in Edo State for eight years. Rochas Okorocha has been governor in Imo for less than eight years. And we challenge Oshiomhole to publish his achievements in Edo State for the eight years he was governor and let Rochas publish his own achievements in Imo in less than eight years. And let Nigerians judge between the two who failed as governor.

“If Oshiomhole fails to accept this challenge, we won’t have any other option than to conclude that he is just a noise maker.

“Mr. Oshiomhole has been talking and working to fulfill his own part of whatever deal he has with Chief Hope Uzodinma. He is acting his own part and in doing that, he has thrown caution to the wind.

“A national chairman of a party who came for the campaign of a governorship candidate of his party would have used the opportunity offered by that event to market the candidate. But in this case, Oshiomhole talked about Governor Okorocha and carefully skipped because he knows where the problem lies with the candidate.

“All the media reports on what Oshiomhole said at the rally were all about Okorocha. He consciously avoided telling Imo people why they should opt for Chief Uzodinma at the poll in 2019 or why he chose him as the guber candidate of the party in the state.”

On the issue of salary owed workers Oshiomole talked about, the governor noted that the information had long been in the public domain that he paid the December 2018 salary in November 2018. And he had also given each of the workers N10,000 as Christmas bonus.

He added that just last week, he handed over a new office complex, furnished by the state government to the state chapter of NLC, insisting that all these gestures showed the harmonious relationship between the governor and the workers in the state.

Okorocha recalled that Oshiomhole admitted that he had owed Edo workers seven months salary arrears while leaving as governor and could not also pay the N18,000 minimum wage, maintaining that he was therefore not qualified to talk about payment of salary.

“The truth is that the APC National Chairman has resorted to noise making to see if that could help him out of the whole mess but all to no avail.”

He observed that at Uzodinma’s flag-off campaign, Oshiomhole spoke with anger. And that anger stemmed from the fact that the venue of the event was empty. And he decided to vent his frustration on Okorocha.

“The blackmailing Rochas in Abuja by few Imo born political hawks has nothing to do with the tick political followership Rochas enjoys in Imo.

“And it was the empty venue that prompted the false claim that the governor refused to give them the Dan Anyiam Stadium for the event, as a face-saving mechanism. Where would they have got the people to fill the Stadium? They had played safe by deciding to use Uzodinma’s campaign office on Okigwe road. Yet, the compound was empty.

“At a rally at the Dan Anyiam Stadium on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, Mr. Oshiomhole after seeing the mammoth crowd said, they had known who owned the land. He was referring to Governor Okorocha who organised the rally. And nothing has changed between that July and today. Rochas holds the ace of Imo grassroots politics. And there is nothing anybody can do about that,” the statement said.  (The Sun)

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How Edo Parents Push Their Children Into Sex Slavery |The Republican News

By Cajetan Mmuta with agency reports



The epistle of the horrendous journey by many Nigerians in search of greener pastures in climes other than what the immediate environment provides for the citizens is one full of uncertainties and riddles. There is no doubt that the failure of families, governments and institutional leadership, overwhelming greed, and the Nigerian mentality of ‘get rich quick’ have contributed to the rise in violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, corruption and other criminalities that stare the society in the face.

In Edo State, the snag of prostitution and illegal migration seems to have gone a step to sink deep into the psyche of many homes. Consequently, it is quite sad to know that parents have silently compromised their primary responsibilities as the breadwinners of their homes. Wives and daughters have taken the drivers’ seat and the centre seems not to hold in the families. The result today is the resurgence of an alarming boost of slave markets making waves in most African countries, Europe and other developed nations.
Investigations have shown Libya, Togo, Ghana, Spain, Netherland, Belgium, Italy and others have taken the lead in the promotion of these ugly trades in human slavery. Rituals usually take place at popular rivers and shrines where blood oaths that compromise destinies and life-threatening incantations are made.

This happens where the child or one about to travel is being sponsored by relations such as aunties, uncles and or benefactors who hide under the guise of looking for house helps or deploy deceitful tactics on unsuspecting parents to look for young ladies to be sent to school or training when indeed they are actually going for prostitution. In addition, some of these children are usually required to submit to either allowing their public hair to be shared or submits their underwear to guarantee to their loyalty to the madam or auntie taking them overseas.

Churches and other institutions have in recent times intensified campaigns to discourage various wards, families and societies from encouraging the practice. For instance, a promising young lady from Delta State, Miss Florence Abu, narrated how she was lured into prostitution by a Russian based woman through her pastor in Edo State.

“It all started in 2012 when a Pastor in my church, Endurance Ehioze (of the Heavenly Ambassadors Ministries Inc.) at Isihor, asked me to see him. He asked if I would like to travel out of the country and I said yes. I told him that I am constrained financially. So, he said money is not the problem but that he has a sister abroad that would finance my trip.

“He further told me that I can pay off the sister in less than two months, and that, I shouldn’t be afraid since I am a good singer and hairstylist. He also assured me that I might be lucky to come across a white man that will support me. After that day, he gave me the telephone number of his sister in Russia, her name was Vivian Ehioze.
“When I flashed her, she called me and introduced herself. She asked me if I am interested in leaving the country (Nigeria), and she said as long as I am interested I should get my passport which I did by borrowing N30, 000 from LAPO (Live Above Poverty Organisation), and I called her to tell her that my passport is ready,” Miss Abu said.

“She (Ms Ehioze) asked me to give the passport to Endurance (her brother) that he would handle everything. The sister often called me to give me words of encouragement that everything will be fine. A few days later, she called again that I should pack my belongings and move to her mother’s place en route to Lagos. So, when I got there, her mother said it was late to travel to Lagos that day. The next morning she woke me up and said there must be agreements between us because many girls when they get to Russia don’t often pay her daughter back money spent to take them abroad. So, she said that she must take something from me as an oath and that whenever I finish paying her daughter, I will have to pay her some amount of money as well. I was surprised that Endurance who is a pastor encouraged me to undertake such an oath. I had thought that as Christians we would do it in the Christian way.

“Finally, the mother took strands of hair from my head, armpit, private part and she also collected my pant for oath taking. By the time I arrived Lagos the next day, the elder brother to my Madam, Festus Ehioze, came to pick me from God is Good Motors park and took me to a hotel. He brought out a slip of paper from his pocket and said it is my visa and that everything was genuine. He asked me to relax and said that I should use what I have to get what I want. He said his sister is abroad and being molested by people, so, he wants to avenge for her. I was shocked. I even pleaded with him but he refused. He took my phone according to orders from Vivian so that nobody might discourage me.

“When I asked him how I would be able to communicate with my mother, he assured me that Endurance (Pastor) would be the link man if I want to speak to my mother. Immediately, he brought out a gold circle condom that I should pull off my clothes. I resisted him but he forcefully had his way. He said it should be a secret between the two of us and threatened that if I disclosed it to anyone something terrible would happen to me. He took me to his house and asked me to pretend about it.
For the two weeks period I waited for my visa it was hell for me in the house. He molested me regularly but thankfully my visa  came in February 2013.”

Continuing, Abu said: “When I arrived in Russia, Vivian came to pick me up at the airport and she took me to her place in Moscow. The first thing she did was to take my passport away from me. On the third day at about 9pm, she asked me to dress up for a walk. She took me on a road walk where I met a lot of Nigerian prostituting on the streets and that was how I was lured into prostitution. I started paying the money ($45,000). When I finished payment, I was deported to Nigeria.

“After I finish paying I was inflicted by a strange illness; life was so unbearable for me and I was placed under medication for almost one year. The doctors treating me couldn’t handle my case. When I couldn’t bear it, I had to tell my mother about it. It was my mother that used to send me black soap and cream from Nigeria through courier. At a time, it was my mother that sent money to me to pay my house rent. Life there became difficult so I had to go to Nigeria authority in Russia before I was deported.”

When asked if she was not aware she was going to be trafficked for prostitution, Abu said: “I was 18 years old then, my madam lied to me that life was far better over there and that if I don’t want to stay in Russia I can travel to another country. I made all my credits at the ordinary level (School Certificate) but there was no money to further my education. So, when the opportunity came I jumped at it. Besides, my mum owed a lot of debt so, I wanted to help her because of the embarrassment.

“But, what I experienced was completely different from her promises. I was molested to a point that I fell sick. I was using gas water because of the chest pain complications from the torture I received from my madam. Sometimes I would just collapse on the way to church. I was always on drugs. She abandoned me in Russian and came to Nigeria to look for other girls. I couldn’t cope with life so I was deported back with other girls who were going through the same situation with me. If it is possible, some of our girls in Russia would trek back home because the suffering there is much, some of them are beggars there.”

Sober and pained, she advised: “Young girls, all that glitters is not gold. Yes, abroad is beautiful but if you are going to be trafficked by someone you should cry out. Life there is not what they paint on you. Many girls have died; a lot of girls out there are dead and their parents might think they are alive. Out of 300 deported in the last one year about 100 of them are HIV positive. Our girls should learn a trade and empowerment skills by themselves.

In her own account, Florence’s mother, Josephine Abu, who fought back fears repeatedly said: “My daughter was assisted to travel through Endurance our church member; he is second in command to the Senior Pastor. The suffering was too much for me to bear. He said since I owe debts that he would help my daughter to travel abroad. After my daughter travelled, I was paying N1, 300 monthly to LAPO to offset the amount I borrowed to get an International passport for her. He (Endurance) assured me that since my daughter is a hairstylist, she will make money in Russia. For a long time, I didn’t hear from my daughter until recently when information came that my daughter has been deported.”

Similarly, another victim of the Russian prostitution ring to Russia, Miss Naomi Otoijuamu, aged 23, also narrated her ordeal saying she was also trafficked and lured into the red light business in Russia.
“I was living with my elder brother when someone introduced me to a lady called Pat who arranged my travelling.”

Otoijuamu added: “The humiliation was much in Russia; my mum used to call me often to find out how I was coping. I told my mum I wanted to come home but she insisted I must pay back the money used to traffick me to Russian before coming back. I paid about $23, 000 to the trafficker and I fell sick immediately. In a day, I slept with about 17 men on an average; we usually paid the money to who we call an ‘administrator’. I have been very sick since I came back. I stayed in Russia for four years.”

At the moment, both Pastor Endurance and his sister, Vivian, are not only guests of the Edo State Police Command where they are giving the account of their ugly deals to make quick money and luxury but also are in the dark rooms at the Oko Prisons after the court remanded them. While the state government in collaboration with security agencies spread wide their net to catch more promoters of the heinous crime of prostitution, the former is not also taking the matter lightly to improve the image of the state and protect its people.

Speaking on how parents help throw their children into slavery, Mr. Solomon Okoduwa, the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration said: “For me I will say that the role of mothers and fathers in this issue of trafficking or sending children abroad has been very unhelpful. Mothers have in times past promoted illegal migration and trafficking without knowing what their children are going over there to do. From experience, I have travelled with a lot of boys and girls on the journey and they said this is the prayer points their mothers led them into and this is how they asked them to move; they have their mothers accompany them to the shrines, solicit for their madams that their daughter is good enough, she can vouch for the daughter. How their mothers cried that she is selling pure water; that she cannot survive with the pure water.

“They should please ‘assist’, her daughter to cross; when she crosses, she will not betray you.” So, these are the roles of mothers. The mothers also engage in fetish activities to ensure their sons and daughters who are travelling through legal or illegal means, have a prosperous journey. Many of them have also gone the extra miles to borrow money from microfinance banks and the question is since you have the contact to borrow money why not use it to stabilise the life of this one who you really want to have a good future.”
More worrisome is the fact that about 2, 910 male and female citizens of the state have so far been deported and assisted home from Libya and other countries by the state government and are being rehabilitated to be meaningful citizens to both the state and their families. However, some of the returnees are still bent on travelling back to their former locations.

It was not surprising therefore when the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) last week vowed to go after pastors who are in the habit of promoting human trafficking with prayers and sales of unholy anointing oil and handkerchiefs to facilitate the illicit business. The body warned that the perpetrators would face the wrath of God if they fail to repent. Chairman of the CAN in the state, Bishop Oriname Oyonnude Kure, described human trafficking as a sin against God and man, pointing out that the activities of traffickers, which had led to deaths of thousands of youths of Edo State, is worrisome and declared that any pastor involved in the act either through prayers or directly is an enemy of the church.

“The Bible is the spiritual force that binds us all as Christians, therefore anyone involved in human trafficking in the name of a pastor is not of the Bible. CAN is, therefore, saying to such pastors to repent of such sins and stop this evil. God is against it, our culture is against it; our religion is against it and CAN condemn it in totality. We commend Governor Godwin Obaseki for his efforts so far in fighting the illicit trade and we are urging those involved in it to stop or face the wrath of God,” he declared.
However, the state government with the effort of the Benin monarch, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare II, has taken far-reaching measures to tackle the menace of slavery of Edo citizens and also encourage them with productive ventures such as agriculture and other skill acquisition programmes to improve their wellbeing.

However, speaking to journalists recently in the capital, Benin City, the Secretary of the state Taskforce on Anti-Human Trafficking, Mrs Abieyuwa Onyemwense said that the state government has said that there are plans to construct permanent shelters for returnee Edo indigenes who were victims of human trafficking and irregular migration.
Onyemwense said that such a facility was necessary to fast-track short, medium and long-term objectives of rehabilitating and reintegrating the returnees.

She explained that the state government already has a robust plan on reintegrating and rehabilitating the returnees, who the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the federal and state governments, have facilitated their return to the state. Onyemwense noted that the approach to receiving the returnees by the state government are far-reaching, which includes medicals, payment of stipends, capacity building and provision of starter-packs, reunion with families and regular monitoring and follow-ups.
“The returnees need a lot of guidance. We have a security team that does background checks right from when we receive them at the airports. There was a recent video of a lady that was threatening to take to arms that went viral; we tracked her down and now she is working very closely with us. So, the system is so robust to spotlight issues and resolve them as quickly as possible.”
Speaking further she said: “We are looking at building permanent shelters for the returnees. It is one of the initiatives of the Edo State Government to see an end to this menace. With that, we can do so much.”

Noting that the centre will serve to harmonise several activities and campaigns against irregular migration and human trafficking, she added: “We intend to run short, medium and long-term programmes for the returnees. This will enable us to follow through with the resettlement programme and ensure that we achieve 100 percent success in resettling the returnees.”
Meanwhile, in a further effort to check the menace the realm has waded in with the monarch of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, forcing the native doctors in Edo State to revoke the curses and oaths placed on victims of human trafficking in the state, which is used to keep the victims under the control of the traffickers.
Following the revocation of the curses on March 9, 2018, Oba Ewuare II declared that trafficked persons are now free from their traffickers and whatever oaths they were placed on.

Going further, the monarch also placed a curse on human traffickers and those aiding and abetting human trafficking in the state.
The king also cursed the native doctors who subject victims to the oath of secrecies and banned the violators of the Community Development Associations and others whose business is to initiate the sons and daughters of the land into various cult groups.
Those who took part in the swearing exercise were priests from various shrines in the state such as the Ohen Okhuae, Ohen Ovia, Ohen noriyekeogba, Ohen Ake, Ohen Niwuo, Native Doctors, Ohen Sango, Odionwere, Iwueki and the Enigies.

Speaking at the event, the monarch said: “You native doctors whose business are to subject people to the oath of secrecies and encouraging this evil act on the land, you have to repent, stop doing it. This is not a joking matter and if you do not repent, you have to wait for the repercussion.
“The palace is not against those practising the act of native doctors but those who use it to perpetrate evil in the land through aiding and abetting human trafficking in the state.
“We want to use this medium to tell those who are under any oaths of secrecies that they are now free. We revoke the oath today.

“What the palace stands for is peace and the development of the state. I want to use this medium to tell you that the act of using charms to aid trafficking, the palace seriously frowns at it.
“We want us to join hands together to fight against human trafficking in the land.”
He added that the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, pleaded with him to help curtail the spate of human trafficking in the state.
According to the United Nations, nine in 10 of the Nigerian women trafficked to Europe come from Edo State, a predominantly Christian state with a population of about three million.  (New Telegraph)

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Soldiers Kill Vigilante, Release Arrested Herdsmen In Edo |The Republican News


Alexander Okere,  Benin

Tragedy struck in Obadolovbiyeyi community in the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State when a vigilante, Efe Igbnovia, was shot dead by some soldiers.

It was gathered that a local vigilance group had in the early hours of Wednesday arrested some suspected herdsmen for alleged armed robbery on the Benin-Abraka Expressway.

Igbinovia was said to have been asked to watch over the suspects while his colleagues conducted a search for the fleeing members of the gang.

It was learnt that a group of soldiers stormed the area and fired continuously.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the military men, who were said to have arrived in the community in a Honda with the number plate, AP 641 KTN, shot Igbinovia dead and freed the suspects.

Some angry youths reportedly blocked the path of a commercial bus conveying two of the herdsmen earlier arrested to the Benin Central Hospital for medical treatment before the intervention of personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

One of the youths, Henry Osemwengie, said the vigilance group had earlier arrested six herdsmen for robbery and taken them to the Ogbekun Police Station.

Osemwengie said, “Two other herdsmen, suspected to be members of the gang, were later caught. Igbinovia was asked to stay with them. Before then, the police had been called to come to pick them (herdsmen) because that is what we usually do. Suddenly, a red Honda car with about four men in military uniforms and armed with AK-47 rifles came and started shooting.

“Igbinovia shouted that he had been hit. By the time the other vigilantes returned, he was already down. The soldiers killed him and went away with the two robbers. Robbers, most of whom are Hausas, usually operate there. They keep their cows by the roadside, block the road and start robbing.”

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, confirmed the incident.

Kokumo said, “The herdsmen were alleged to have blocked the expressway. Two of them (suspects) are with the police undergoing interrogation.”

On the alleged killing of the vigilante by the military men, Kokumo said, “It is an allegation we are investigating. Actually, one of the vigilance members died in the course of duty.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the 4 Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army, Capt. Mohammed Maidawa, said Igbinovia was shot after he was mistaken for a robber by military troops deployed in the area.

Maidawa said, “Troops deployed in Ologbo for pipeline protection received information of a suspected armed robbery close to their location. They were mobilised to the scene and engaged armed men at the scene.

“Unfortunately, one person, who was later identified as a vigilante, was killed. Preliminary investigation revealed that the vigilance group also responded to a distress call on the robbery. It was a case of mistaken identity. We are going to get in touch with the bereaved family.”

He said he was not aware that the herdsmen were robbers.  (Punch)

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Gegelele Controversy: Obaseki Says ‘No Stranger In Edo’ |The Republican News

From: Ben Dunno, Warri

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has clarified that the people of Gelegele community (an Ijaw settlement) in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state are no strangers as they have a long historical link with the people of Edo State.

Governor Obaseki gave the clarification, at the weekend, when the elders and leaders of thought from the five Ijaw kingdoms of Edo State and the leadership of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Edo State chapter, paid him a courtesy visit in his office where they presented him a paper on the way forward.

Speaking with newsmen at the end of the closed-door-meeting, the governor urged those trying to distort history by alluding to the fact that the Gelegele people are strangers in Edo State, to desist from such unfounded claim and insinuations, saying the present day Edo state has no ethnic group that could be referred to as strangers.

Obaseki, noted that it was in view of the recognition of Gelegele community as part and parcel of Edo state that prompted the initiative to embark on the seaport project in the area, adding that it was part of his administration commitment to ensure that development comes to the people of the area.

He maintained that there was nothing greater than peace in any community, saying that it is under such condition that developmental goals of any society, state or nation could be attained, especially to the most disadvantaged in the state.

“Without the rule of law, peace and order in the state, none of us will have progress; none of us will realize our vision. We all should embrace peace to move the state forward in terms of development,” he said.

He noted that though disagreements are expected as one makes progress in life, the role of leadership or government is to resolve the issues that cause disagreement or differences in an amicable way to avert chaos.

Reacting to the controversies surrounding the denial of the Gelegele people from crown their monarch, the governor noted that there were constitutional guidelines and legal framework that must be followed before arriving at such decision and urged the people to comply with such laid down procedures before embarking on such traditional rites.

But in a swift reaction to this last statement by the governor, the Ijaw team leader, Rev. (Prof) Christopher Dime, stated that as an ethnic group recognised by law, the Gelegele people reserve the right to both its traditional and cultural identity, adding that one of such ways of exercising this right lies in the peoples freewill to select and crown their monarch without being denied.

He noted that since all matters relating to local government adminstration as well as traditional and chieftaincy affairs are vested in the state government, it became incumbent on Governor Obaseki to act on it rather than playing politics with it by turning it to a constitutional matter.

Describing the governor’s view of recognising the Gelegele people as a bona fide indigenes of Edo State and bringing in constitutional matters to hinder them from installing their monarch as double standards, Prof. Dime pointed out that the first step the state government must take to prove its sincerity in resolving the issue would be to allow the people install their monarch.

Another leader of the delegate, Barr. (Chief) Robinson Esite, demanded for the establishment of Community Development Committee (CDC) as being practiced in Lagos where the people can elect its executives to office and allocate budgets for developmental projects in the community for the Gelegele people in order to give them the right sense of belonging in the state.   (The Sun)

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Igbanke Wants To Be Part Of Anioma, Wants Out Of Edo State, Asks NASS



– The Igbanke National Progressive Alliance, the apex socio-cultural organisation of Igbanke town in Oriomwhon Local Government Area of Edo State has urged the National Assembly to include Igbanke in the proposed Anioma State.
“The Igbanke National Progressive Alliance has, after due consultations with the generality of Igbanke indigenes at home and in Diaspora as well as other stakeholders, upheld the age-long choice and agitation for Igbanke to be included in the proposed Anioma State that will be carved out of Delta State. This can be actualized if the people are simply included in closer Ika Local Government umbrella where we rightly belong. The present situation in which our people have been unduly separated from the rest of their Ika kith and kin was born out of the wish to satisfy the desire and selfish interest of those who sought to increase the kingdom they survey. The dumping of our town, Igbanke in Edo State is an age-long oversight that has brought nothing but neglect, untold attendant socio-political and economic hardship and the feeling that we are outcasts or outsiders, having been treated as such. Now is the time to correct this anomaly that we have been subjected to over the past two decades,” the group stated in an email statement Wednesday.
“We welcome with rapturous joy the determined resolution and efforts of the current National Assembly of Nigeria to create more states in the country……. and believe that the National Assembly and others who believe in the creation of more states in the country as a way of bringing development closer to the people, are on the right track as the course of action will correct the imbalance in which some ethnic groups have existed only in names, being dominated by others in the nation. The exercise should also offer the existing geo-political zones of the country equality and fairness with the accompanying developmental values for the nation,” it added.
The group in the statement signed by Eric Uwagbai, Executive Member; Godday Oyibo, Executive Member; Gloria Eluebo Adagbon, Convener, Igbanke National Progressive Alliance and General Secretary, Umu Anioma Worldwide, gave the following reasons why Igbanke should be aligned with the proposed Anioma State:
“(i) Igbanke is an autonomous community with villages, each with sovereign traditional ruler called Eze’ that are not answerable to any monarch in authority whether in Edo or elsewhere.
(ii) Igbanke people are of Ika stock thickly concentrated in the North West of Delta State, linguistically sharing a border in the west with the Edo speakers, Ishan speakers in the North, in the East with the Aniocha language speakers and in the south with the Ukwuani speakers. Historically, Igbanke is believed to have been founded by Agbor, Mbiri and Ishan migrant farmers
(iii) Igbanke is closer to Agbor, Mbiri, Owa and Abavo than it is to Benin City.
(iv) Igbanke has a long history of ancestral relationship with Agbor than Benin City which we have continued to maintain till date.
(v) In recent times, our people have had to rely on facilities put in place in neighbouring Agbor community by the Delta State Government such as hospitals, banks, petrol stations, state ministries and government parastatals so that the Delta State Government is now the surrogate cater-taker for Igbanke and Ekpon communities. The situation has always been that if our people have a choice to make in running to Benin or Agbor, they will surely prefer to, and gladly too, Agbor for linguistic reasons.
(vi) Igbanke has never been a tenant or vassal community of Benin or any other community in history not even in this century.
Our view is still that states should be created along the lines of ethnic nationalities with each group kept together as intact as possible. It is unfortunate that a major group is still claiming to own a minority group in these present times but collectively, the message from our people is that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We cannot all be slaves to another distant ethnic group in an independent nation like Nigeria where unlimited equality is guaranteed as enshrined in the constitution. We warn that anything short of our placement in the proposed Anioma State where we rightly belong will be resisted by the good people of Igbanke no matter the threat of invocation of curses on anyone or activities of sell-out minority of Igbanke chiefs with infinite chieftaincy titles from foreign lands. A boundary adjustment that would move us to Ika in Delta State, where we rightly belong, is the only other alternative we are prepared to accept.
In response to the rumours making the mills in Edo State, let us put on record that while still part of Edo State, the people of Igbanke will not accept anything short of her own Local Government Area with its Headquarters at Igbanke. We have the population, we have the resources and we have the economic centre to run our Local Government Area effectively. We will resist any attempt by anyone giving us a Greek gift of an Igbanke Local government area with headquarters at Oronigbe. Igbanke is part and parcel of Nigeria; we are Nigerians and we are no longer prepared to tolerate any nonsense from anyone, whether from the state government, any traditional ruler, or the ‘sell-out’ elites and selfish Igbanke politicians.
We call on the National Assembly to expedite action on the commencement of the constitutional amendment process that will support the creation of more states and boundary adjustments in the country, which will, in turn, assure us of a speedy exit from Edo State. Anything short of this will continue to make certain, our unnatural confinement in the hands of our oppressors. The earlier we are constitutionally relocated to the Anioma area, the better for our people.
Our people have been an integral part of the Anioma nation and are actively participating, in official capacities, in Anioma organisations and Associations; this will send the signal of seriousness on our part to pessimists and all the doubting Thomas about our intentions to fight for our right. We have the full backing of Anioma people.” (

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