Sunday, October 23, 2016 1:59 pm
Some members of a family in Isi village, Uhunmwode local government area of Edo state, have been arrested and dragged before the newly crowned Oba Ewuare II of Benin Kingdom, for allegedly violating traditions of the land by holding a burial ceremony for their late father.
Benin tradition and custom stipulate that no burial rite and ceremonies are to be held during and while coronation activities of the Oba of the Kingdom lasts.
Announcements were made by the Benin palace before the commencement of the coronation activities of Oba Ewuare II, prohibiting all burial activities till further notice.
It was gathered that Chiefs from the Benin palace stormed Iguodala Primary School, venue of the social dance for the deceased and tied ‘Umehe’ leaves (palm fonts) on the foods, drinks and canopies, a message of no trespass from the Oba.
The musician hired to entertain the guests who was said to have claimed that he was informed by the family that some Chiefs at the palace gave the family the permission to carry out the burial, was sternly warned to pack his musical equipment and leave, after pleading with the Chiefs.
One of the family members who gave her name as Josephine Ehimwenma, said she was not aware that the prohibition on burial ceremonies was still in place, adding that they were told by some Chiefs at the palace to go on with the burial arrangements since the actual coronation has been concluded.
“Three days ago, I reached the palace and I met some Chiefs and told them that I have buried my father that I just want to entertain friends and well-wishers. They said I should go ahead and demanded for ‘chop money.’ I gave them N500,” she said.
She however claimed she could not identify the Chiefs she met.
Angry youths who attempted to beat the woman were prevented by a palace Chief, the Ayobahan of Benin, Chief Osamade Adun.
A member of the Iwebo Palace society, Chief Sunday Okhiokpamwonyi, told journalists that fines would be imposed with the family and the burial postponed.
“Ewaise and Ogbelaka will tell her what to do to cleanse the lands to save the family.”
A source at the Benin Palace said the family were asked to buy some sacrificial items to cleanse the land.
It was learnt that members of the family who remained at the venue of the burial ceremony, looked downcast and gathered in clusters, discussing the issue.