Benin Traditional Council Clarifies Traditional Hierarchy in Benin Kingdom

The Benin Traditional Council (BTC) has moved to clarify the hierarchical structure of the Benin Traditional Institution, emphasizing that the Oba of Benin holds the singular traditional ruler status across the seven local government areas encompassing the Edo South Senatorial District, constituting the Benin Kingdom.

In a statement issued by its solicitors, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George, SAN, and Prof. Edoba Omoregie, SAN, the Benin Traditional Council highlighted the necessity for clarity due to widespread misunderstandings regarding the true nature of the traditional institution in the Benin Kingdom.

The Council specified that within the Edo South Senatorial District, which comprises Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Ovia South West, Ovia North East, Orhionmwon, and Uhunmwonde local government areas of Edo State, the Oba of Benin remains the sole traditional ruler.

The statement emphasized that while there are other traditional title holders across these local government areas, they hold positions no greater than chiefs appointed by the Oba of Benin. This includes the Enigie, who are chiefs representing the Oba of Benin within various communities or domains, acting on the authority of the Oba and adhering to the traditional hierarchy.

The Benin Traditional Council affirmed that the Enigie are subordinate to the Oba of Benin and are required to communicate with the Oba through the Palace Chiefs, who serve as the official channel of communication. This well-defined traditional hierarchy is rooted in Benin Customary Law and supported by the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of 1979.

The BTC’s statement served as a firm admonition to the public to recognize and respect this traditional structure. The Council reiterated that the Oba of Benin is the singular traditional ruler in the specified region and that the dissemination of misinformation regarding the status of traditional title holders should be disregarded.

Ultimately, the Benin Traditional Council emphasized that the hierarchical framework of the traditional institution in the Benin Kingdom is deeply rooted in both cultural practices and existing laws, dispelling any ambiguity surrounding the subject.

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