Indigenes of Obateru village, near Ughoton in Ovia North-East local government area of Edo state, have petitioned the Oba of Benin over the planned installation of Mr Afona Aimuamweran Otasowie as Priest (Ohen) of Obagbeni village in the same council area.
In their letter of protest, signed by the Uzukpogieva (second most elderly man), Mr. Emmanuel Uwagboe and secretary, Mr Kevin Okunzuwa on behalf of elders of the village, they claimed that there was neither a shrine nor a priest (Ohen) in Obateru village to warrant such position.
According to the petition: “Otasowie and his cohorts, in their deceit and desperation to claim affinity to Obateru, a village they had earlier claimed does not exist, clandestinely chose another name, Obagbeni, to refer to the same Obateru village to deceive the palace”.
The Obateru people,who described themselves as the original settlers of the village, with affinity to Ughoton, said only one Priest, (Ohen Okun), was recognisable even by the palace.
They appealed to the Royal father to investigate Otasowie’s “deceit and sacrilegious activities.
In the petition to Oba Ewuare II, the people appealed for the suspension of the planned installation, alleging that Otasowie, in connivance with some influential individuals in the palace, had manipulated facts to also deceive the palace and drag Obateru’s name into controversy, which is currently a subject of litigation before an Appeal Court in Benin.
The petitioners wonder why Otasowie, who has been parading himself as an Ohen Oriaza, as contained in several documents in public domain, now wants the palace’s approval for something he has imposed on himself?