Edo State Government has threatened to invoke the relevant laws against anyone who proclaims himself a chief or traditional ruler in the state, saying anyone who does so will face criminal charges.
In a statement signed by the Secretary to State Government, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, the Government noted: “the attention of Government has been drawn to a newspaper, OGIAMIEN TRUMPET, which came into circulation a few weeks ago. According to the publisher of the newspaper, it was established to be used as a medium for propagating the unity of the Ogiamien family members and to promote a renaissance of the family.
“Government recognizes the right of every citizen, to seek the advancement of his family members through legitimate and inoffensive manner. But Government cannot watch on as a person or family maligns or assaults other citizens under the pretext that he wants to promote himself or his family. Government will take steps to prevent any act which is capable to cause a breach of the peace.
“Government condemns in totality the abusive language used in the publication. The family says it has forwarded a petition on their grievances to the State Government. The family is therefore advised to await Government response to the petition.
“Government condemns in strong terms, the disrespect the Ogiamien family has shown to HRM Omo N’ Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba of Benin. The publishers are therefore admonished to desist forthwith, from showing such rudeness to a personage, the whole nation holds in very high esteem, our most revered monarch.
“Government will invoke the relevant sections of the Traditional Rulers and Chieftaincy Law, 1979 which prohibit any person or group to proclaim self as a Chief or Traditional Ruler, a breach of which is a criminal offence.
Government will not tolerate any act calculated to disturb the peace of the State or any part thereof.”