…debunks report of name change from Evbueka to Oyemwen
By Simeon OSAJIE
The Odionwere, elders and people of Oyemwen village in Uhunwonde local government areas of Edo State have said ‘Oyemwen’ has been the name of the village right from the days of Oba Adolo when it was founded by the great king.
Pa Godfrey Omoruyi Ogbomwan, the Odionwere made the clarification while debunking media report made by the Enogie of Ihonvbor, HRH. Fortune Igbinakenzua that they (people of Oyemwen) changed the name which originally Evbueka to Oyemwen village.
Pa Ogbomwan also used the occasion to passionately appeal to Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin Kingdom to come to their aid as a result of the alleged incessant arrest and attack on the people of Oyemwen village by the Enogie and his boys and also to help by inviting both parties to Oba Palace so that the truth can be trace and the issues settled once and for all.
Explaining further, the General Secretary of the village, Mr. Ikponmwonsa Omoregie said the problems been experienced in the village is not about the name change of the village because the Enogie HRH. Fortune Igbinakenzua has acknowledged several times through correspondence to them using the known name Oyemwen not Evbueka as being claimed by him, even as he has also said his biological grandmother came from Oyemwen village.
He noted that it is as a result of the presence of the multi-national company (NIPP) in the village and because of the interest of the Enogie, they have known no peace and anything accruing to them, the Enogie has always shortchange them, adding that one of the company once paid N18million through the Enogie and he only gave the people N60,000 only and so many others.
The alleged Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Oyemwen and Ihonvbor collapsed and the Enogie said it has to continue by force and which landed both parties at AIG Zone 5 Command and the decision was reached and signed by both villages that status quo should be maintained, while Oyemwen remain on their own, Ihonvbor as well should remain on its own and the Police insisted that the people of Ihonvbor pay compensation for damages done and it was accomplished, with the payment of the sum of N300,000 to Oyemwen village through their lawyer for the damages after much apologies.
Continuing, he said since they were not benefiting anything from the Azura Company, they wrote to Edo State government that was how the government became aware of their ordeal in the hands of the Enogie.
“We are in Oyemwen village because the Oba is our father and we will continue to abide by the rules and customs of the land. The Enogie even accused us before the police that instead of us paying homage to him we are paying homage to the Palace which is a taboo in Benin Kingdom;we have never heard such a thing.
“It is also on record that a year ago, the same Enogie came to meet the Odionwere of Oyemwen, Pa Godfrey Omoruyi Ogbomwan pleading that he should form an alliance with him against Orior Osemwende in the case that’s in court; if the two villages, Oyemwen and Ihonvbor can come together on a case which bothers on a particular drainage which was constructed by Azura into Oyemwen land and on that particular place there is a moat between Orior Osemwende and Oyemwen.
“The compensation for that act was about N17million and that issue has been in court since 2013 hence his coming to the Odionwere to form an alliance but the elders put head together and said he (Enogie ) cannot be trusted because of the way he has treated the people of Oyemwen, alleging that these are some of the reasons he has been against them and coming up with frivolous excuse and making efforts to change the name of the community”, he added.
The Assistant Secretary, Mr. Collins Aigbovoriuwa further added that all that is due to Oyemwen village, the Enogie has allegedly been collecting for the past 14 years and the people had to go Azura. Azura claimed that the village is not gazetted by Edo State government they cannot answer the people; hence they went for the process of gazette which is at the stage of completion.
He pointed out that, it of note that at the meeting with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, the commissioner urged both parties to embrace peace and harmonized adding that the reason the Enogie is not happy is that, if the village get gazetted and getting the entitlements from Azura, the Enogie will not be recognized and advised that a meeting should be called, but on the appointed day for the meeting, the Enogie allegedly brought police to arrest them and that meeting was cut shot till today.
Mr. Collins Aigbovoriuwa posited that the police even told him he does not have right over what he is doing claiming that we are his subjects and advised him to get order from the court or from the Oba Palace, and until that is done, both parties should maintain status quo.
“We are using this opportunity to appeal to the great Oba Ewuare II who is our father to call both the people of Oyemwen and the Enogie of Ihonvbor to the Palace so that the issues of name change and incessant arrest by the Enogie will be addressed.”
They call on the public to disregard the purported appointment of Okaighele in Oyemwen by Enogie adding that they already have their Elder Council led by the Odionwere and other executives on ground in the Oyemwen village and do not have any business whatsoever with so-called persons appointed as Okaighele.