Crisis is brewing in nine communities in the Egbema Ijaw Clan of Edo and Delta States, which host oil exploration activities of multinational oil giant, Chevron Nigeria Limited. Already, the Egbema Ijaw Clan has urged government agencies, communities and traditional institutions, as well as the public, against dealing with the ex-militant commander, Mr. Henry Binidodougha, as the traditional ruler of the area. This was as the representatives of the nine major communities, making up the Egbema Clan, said in a joint statement issued yesterday that Binidodougha was never installed by the traditional institution as king of the clan.
They stressed that the ex-militant could not be a king since he is not from any of the existing and known ruling families in the communities. Those, who signed the statement on behalf of the Egbema Traditional Council of Chiefs, are Chief Johnbul Adaun (Opuama/ Polobubo), Chief David M. Bubor (Ofunama community), Chief Inspector Sele (Ajakurama community), Chief W. B. Igbiriki (Ogbudugbudu community) and Chief Joseph Fedisegha, (Abere community.) Others are Chief Goddey Omokenitu (Abadigbene/ Bolou Jamagie 1), Chief Ebi Eyenmi (Ogbinbiri community), Chief Simeon Igbedikuro (Jamagie 2), and Chief J. P. Owilly (Gbeoba/Ugbolukanga community).
They said that the title of Ojuaga 1, which he ascribed to himself, was an aberration and unknown to the traditional institution. The statement added: “The Egbema kingdom is an ancient kingdom, which bestrides the present day Edo and Delta States of Nigeria with nine traditional Communities namely; Opuama/ Polobubo, Ofunama, Bolou- Jamagie, Abadegbene/ Tu-Jamagie, Ogbinbiri, Ogbudugbudu, Gbeoba/ Gbolukanga, Ajakurama and Abere.
“The title of Ojuaga I is alien and repugnant to the customs and traditions of the ancient kingdom of Egbema. For the records, Mr. Henry Binidodougha will never be enthroned as a traditional ruler of Egbema Kingdom because he is not from any of the ruling houses in Egbema Kingdom gazetted with reference No. B.S.L.N.148 of 1979 based on the approval given by the then Military Administrator of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria. “Members of the general public, particularly governmental agencies and neighbouring kingdoms are, therefore, urged to refrain from having any dealings with the said Mr. Henry Binidodougha and his followers in relation to the ancient Egbema Traditional Stool.” The Egbema Traditional Council called on members of the neighbouring communities to avoid the impostor and urged all sons and daughters of the kingdom to be on the alert in the face of the grave assault on the traditional institution.