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12 Aug 2013

News: Edo community comes alive, as Otu of Igarra celebrates royalty

Save for the voice of reason, the pregnancy would have been terminated.  There is the rule of law and there is also the political will to deplore it.
The police hierarchies used their good offices to deliver the woman of the baby just as the Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, a democrat and one who believes in freedom of association and movement would not allow himself to be used to truncate the 40th coronation anniversary of High Chief Joseph Mayaki Akpeji, the Otu of Igarra penultimate weekend.
Though Governor Oshiomhole who was the Special Guest of Honour was out of the country during that weekend, the police Commissioner, Mr. Folorunsho Adebanjo,deplored over 50 anti-riot men to the community to maintain law and order. This was sequel to the petition titled: threat to peace and order in Igarra, ostensibly to stop the anniversary.
 The Oshimdase of Igarra, High Chief Gabriel Ojo Ashipa, Chief Victor Osahenhen, the Otu of Igarra and the Oshemi of Igarra, High Chief Josiah Adefarati Sani
The Oshimdase of Igarra, High Chief Gabriel Ojo Ashipa, Chief Victor Osahenhen, the Otu of Igarra and the Oshemi of Igarra, High Chief Josiah Adefarati Sani
The palace of the Otu had sent a letter of notification of celebration and police protection to the security agencies which read in part: “I hereby write to notify your good office of the coming celebration of 81st birthday and 40th coronation ceremony of the Otu of Igarra, the traditional head of Anona clan of Igarra in Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State.
“The said celebration comes up on the 27th July, 2013 at Anona House, Otu Palace, situated at Omokhide Street, off Momodu Ajayi Road, Ugbogbo Quarters, Igarra.
“It is pertinent to state that in the course of planing this landmark event, the Comrade Governor, Adams Oshiomhole; the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr. Pius Odubu; the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere; Senator Representing Edo North, Domingo Obende and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, representing Akoko Edo Federal Constituency, Comrade Peter Akpatason; among other political office holders within and beyond the State have been invited.
“The event therefore promised to be an inimitable assembly of the leaders of our great nation. Against this background therefore, it is our call, in tandem with the laws of the land that you use your good office to do the commendable public duty of protecting the lives and properties of all that will attend the occasion. The protection will surely create an ambience of success for this historical occasion.”
But, in a twist of event, news filtered into town that the well-planned event had been put on hold.  The rumour spread like an uncontrollable fire within a space of time.
The ceremony which promised to further the unity of Igarra community as a people  struggling for autonomous clan heads with High Chief S.A. Aiyede, JP, the Oshidu of Igarra; clan head of Ezidowo community, High Chief J.A. Sani, the Oshemi-Anayinmi of Igarra and clan head of Eshimozoko community; High Chief G.O. Ojo, the Oshimdase of Igarra and clan head of Anoyete community, and High Chief J.M. Akpeji, the Otu of Igarra and clan head of Anona community, was threatened by a petition that also raised a false alarm on threat to peace and order.
But in a swift reply to the  petition, lawyers under instruction from the Otu’s palace fired  a counter.
“Your letter dated 22nd of July, 2013 without a reference number, though addressed to our client has been brought to our attention, with proper instructions to reply same.
“It is our instruction to inform you and we hereby inform you that it is the constitutional right of our client to engage in any form of celebration including his birthday and 40th Anniversary as the Otu of Igarra. We wish to commend your acknowledgment of our client’s status in your address to him.
“We are therefore unable to appreciate any claim that the occasion will violate any law especially when you have not disclosed the relevant sections of the Western Region of Nigeria Chieftaincy of 1957 and the traditional rulers and chief’s edict of 1979.”
The petition was therefore jettisioned and the cornation was a huge success. The roll call at the event was hectic. Crowd control was impossible but for police intervention. Suddenly, the event metamorphosed to a political carnival of  sort when a live band from Ilorin, Kwara State performed to the admiration of invited guests with their lyrical musical praise-singing.
Former President of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and now member House of Representatives, Comrade Peter Akpatason was the Chairman of the occasion, while the Council Chairman, Hon. Folorunsho Akerejola was the Host. They justified their mandate and proved their worthiness as true sons of Akoko Edo land.
To ascribe importance and lend credence to the ceremony, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere who represented Governor Oshiomhole at a function in Lagos state on the said day, was represented by two top government functionaries; the Deputy Chief of Staff to Edo State Governor, Hon. Steven Idehenre and an Executive Director in Government House, Barrister Richard Ofenmu.
The Chairman of the Edo State Board of Internal Revenue, Chief Oseni Elamah; an influential member of the Governor Oshiomhole cabinet, and Commissioner for Environment and Public Utilities, Prince Clem Agba; and Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Barrister MacDonald Obasuki equally honoured the Otu of Igarra with their presence.
Also, a Federal Commissioner, Public Complaint Commission, Otunba Oladele Balogun; the Oteniete of Igarra, a World Bank Project Coordinator on State Employment and Expenditure for Result (SEEFOR), Comrade Taiwo Akerele; the Executive Director on Protocol, Government House, Mr. John Akhigbe; Chairman Produce Board, Mr. Romeo Aloaye Omoike; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on legal matters, Barrister Lawani Damian; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Arewa Community matters, Alh. A. Sabi were present at the event.
The  list of dignitaries also included the State Coordinator of Edo In Safe Hands, Comrade Godwin Imoudu; former Transition Council Chairman, Hon. Anselm Agbabi; the Secretary to Akoko Edo Council, Hon. Desmond Segun Napoleon; former Secretary to the Council, Barrister Adebayo Omoh-Ige; Mr. Emma Agbaje, and former Special Assistant to Governor Lucky Igbinedion on Protocol, Chief Victor Osahenhen.
In a letter of appreciation by the Eziobe Collective, signed by Mr. Olu Ogbodo and Mr. Omeiza Oseh, President and Secretary respectively after the event, the community expressed gratitude to all who made the event a success story.
“We, the Eziobe Community of Igarra town, wishes to use this medium to extend our appreciation to the people who supported us, attended and prayed for us during the grand reception and 40th coronation anniversary of High Chief J.M Akpeji, the Otu of Igarra, the clan head of Anona Community of Igarra, Edo state.
“We extend our profound gratitude to His Excellency, the Comrade Governor of Edo State for his personal support and felicitation and for creating a conducive atmosphere for peace and progress in Edo state. We also appreciateHis Excellency, Dr. Pius Odubu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State; Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, the Secretary to the State Government; National Assembly members; State legislators present and absent; Honourable Commissioners present and those who were unavoidably absent; Local Government Chairmen; Special Advisers; Chairmen of Boards and Executive Directors in Edo State Government.
”We also thank the State Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command; the Area Commander; the Divisional Police Officers in Edo North and the Director, Department of State Services among others, for putting in place, an elaborate security arrangement before, during and after the ceremony.
“We specifically wish to thank  High Chief S.A. Aiyede, JP, the Oshidu of Igarra and clan head of Ezidowo community; High Chief J.A. Sani, the Oshemi-Anayinmi of Igarra and clan head of Eshimozoko community; High Chief G.O. Ojo, the Oshimdase of Igarra and clan head of anoyete community, and all other traditional rulers including those that attended and those that could not make it. We thank the people of Akoko Edo in general and the people of Igarra in particular for maintaining peace and orderliness before, during and after the celebrations.”


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