- Will the coronation hold despite outcry?
The announced and well-advertised coronation and turban of Alhaji Idris Addano as the Sarkin Shuwa and Sultan of Edo state did not hold in Benin city after all.
The event was scheduled to take place at Rialto Hotel, Eyaen, Benin city, on Saturday 21 August 2021 at 1 pm.
The said 'Turbaning' did not hold because the government and people of Edo state resisted the move to install or crown another king in Benin city.
On Wednesday, 18 August 2021, a strange invitation card that announced the coronation of Alhaji Idris Addano as the Sarkin Shuwa/Sultan of Edo state flooded the Internet.
The invitation specified that the event would hold at Rialto Hotel in Benin city, Edo state, at 1 pm.
The invitation led to a serious outcry that almost resulted in a breakdown of law and order in Benin city.
The situation forced the owner of the hotel, who is the Enogie of Eyaen, Enogie Osazuwa Iduriase Aiwerioghene, to issue a public statement denouncing the organisers of the event.
In the statement, the enogie said, "The people approached me that they want to use Rialto hotel for a party and later turned it to a coronation ceremony of Sultan of Shuwa Arab of Edo state without my consent. I hereby dissociate myself and Rialto hotel from the said coronation ceremony, and the publication of such event is malicious and in 3bad faith".
The statement, however, warned against the use of the hotel for such an event, and the management of the hotel was directed to shut the doors of its facilities against the organisers.
On Thursday, 19 August 2021, the Edo state government issued a statement and warned any person or group of persons planning to carry out the coronation of a Sultan in the state to immediately cancel such plan or face the full weight of the law.
A statement signed by the Secretary To Edo state Government Osarodion Ogie Esq. described such ceremony as a potential threat to the peace and security of Edo state with the capacity to cause a breakdown of law and order as citizens of the state are likely to be provoked by the obnoxious ceremony.
According to the statement spotted and obtained by standard Gazette crime correspondent Festus Alenkhe, the state government said, "Under the Edo State Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law, it is an offence for anyone to proclaim himself, or allow himself to be proclaimed as the holder of any traditional title not recognised under the said law or without the approval of the appropriate authorities.
"The state government hereby wishes to assure all concerned that firm and decisive action will be taken to prevent the actualisation of the illegal and sacrilegious act and that all persons found to have been involved in the conception and execution of same would face the full wrath of the law".
A visit by this reporter to the said Rialto Hotel in Benin city on the announced day of Saturday 21 August 2021 at the earlier specified time of 1 pm authoritatively confirmed that the ceremony did not hold after all.
Some youths and other concerned persons were spotted milling around the hotel to peep if the organisers still went ahead with the said coronation.
The hotel premises were calm as there was no event of any kind in the area.
One of the persons interviewed in the area, Mr Johnson Omorowa, said, "I came to spy this hotel to see if they still went ahead with the sacrilegious ceremony.
"I can assure you that my friends and myself will keep on monitoring the situation to see if they will shift the venue. We respect and revered the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11 and other Traditional Rulers in Edo state as we will not allow strangers to desecrate our traditional institution".
For now, Benin city is calm and peaceful as the people went about their lawful activities.
On Saturday, the usual weekend parties and other social events also went on peacefully and unhindered in most parts of the city.
The question remains, will the unknown organizers continue with the event despite public outcry and violation of Edo State law? Will, the government go after the violates before they hatch their plans? Who are the organizers? What is the implication of a Sultan in a Kingdom?
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