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Benin Oba Is Sick, Traditional Council Says
By Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin
The Traditional Council in Benin Kingdom on Monday announced that the Benin Monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Erediauwa, is “indisposed”.
The announcement came after several weeks of speculation over the health of the respected monarch, with media reports indicating in February that he might have passed on.
In a statement issued and signed by its secretary, Frank Irabor, the council said “the Leopard is ill in the Savannah bush,” in line with the cautious language used when talking about the traditional ruler’s health
The council said that “the explanation is that Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Erediauwa, CFR, Oba of Benin is indisposed.”
It stated further: “Public engagements including courtesy visits, hearing of complaints from individuals, families and communities and in particular, complaints over inheritance and land disputes, are therefore suspended until further notice.”
The council, however, said that palace chiefs and other officials are expected to continue to perform their routine traditional duties.
There were rumours weeks ago that the monarch had passed on and the traditional council had to issue a statement dispelling media reports to that effect.
The rumours heightened when the monarch failed to personally receive the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, and President Goodluck Jonathan, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who visited him on January 29 and February 4 respectively.
But the council dismissed the rumours, observing that they had been circulating for over six months.
“If there is anything like that, there is usually a statement from the palace or from the Benin Traditional Council,” the council stated in a statement equally signed by Irabor.
He added, “The fact that he has not been coming out, even when the President came last week, does not mean that there is anything like that.”