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*Says He Has Unprecedented Records of Development Strides of The Kingdom
By Sunday Apah
Following a publication in social media by a group Egbema Monitoring Group, dated 7th November, 2022, were they made unprintable assertion against Elder Edmund Tiemo, the Egbema Traditional Council has described the publication as worthless and signed by faceless (Ebibotei Johnson) who doesn’t exist in the kingdom.
The Egbema Traditional Council in a reply signed by High Chief Cyrus Olopele on Tuesday, said the heading of the publication seem to create the impression that at the time of their fruitless effort to deceive the public, there existed an Agadagba-Elect in the person of Mr. Napoleon Egin.
It reads: “this is a great deception and falsehood that should be ignored. Egbema only had an Agadagba-Elect from Saturday November,11,2022 when the entire Kingdom, represented by The Regency Council, Senior Chiefs and the leadership of the Egbema Traditional Council, Egbema Leaders of Thought, youth bodies and associations gathered to proclaimed Amb Meschack Eseyoutiegha Ubabiri as a concensus candidate from the Ogbudugbudu Ruling House.
“The allegation that Elder Edmund Tiemo is constantly attacking the chairman and the Traditional council and have made it impossible for peace to be brokered is false because when truth is turned upside down, it does not have enough support to stand firm. Arising from the state level meeting summoned by the State Director of DSS Asaba, ELOT was mandated to join hands with others to reconcile various interest to have a united house in the selection process of an Agadagba.
“ELOT under the leadership of Edmund Tiemo contacted chief David Bubor and agreed on a date for a meeting. Also a meeting was scheduled with the regency council, and Chief Tax Agbaibor, Chairman Egbema Traditional Council. While we were able to hold the meeting with the Regency Council and the traditional Council, Chief David Bubor later called off the meeting we were to have with his faction of the Traditional Council.
“In the same vein, ELOT leadership provided ample opportunity and volunteered our services at the disposal of the local government chairman to play a role that would have made him a hero in this process, but inordinate ambition blind-folded him to tow the path of dishonour. It will also interest you to know that his emergence as Hon Smart Asekutu as a local government chairman was also a fruit of ELOT commitment to equity and fairness.
“ELOT had expected that he would have used his position as the first local government chairman from Egbema to strengthen the unity of the Kingdom, but he choose to align with few individuals whose motivation and commitment is their belly. In paragraph 3 of your publication you alluded to the fact that “we wanted a united, peaceful kingdom to enable the Agadagba rapidly develop, hence several attempts were made to reach aggrieved persons, only few with the likes of Edmund Tiemo vowed to deploy all their resources to inflict chaos, ”we are tempted to ask who are the ‘we’ you are referring to and who did you contact.
“Is the ‘we’ here referring to the faceless Ebibotei Johnson or the larger shadow interest you represent who is not bold enough to come out in the open and state their case? You continue to refer to Agadagba-Elect insinuating that Bar Egin is an Agadagba-Elect, an assertion that Bar Egin himself as a young promising lawyer knows that he cannot attribute to himself.
“As an ELOT member, Bar Egin worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices as the Secretary of the ELOT Transition committee to defend the Egbema traditional institution when there was an attempt to divide the Kingdom. As a lawyer, he also knows that he did not meet the minimum requirement of a non-egbema maternity contained in the gazette, but he allowed himself to be fleeced by few chiefs who are driven by infrastructure of the stomach.
“They deceived him and made him believe that they are the sole kingmakers, a claim not supported by the gazette and out age long tradition and custom that clearly defines roles and responsibilities to individuals and communities in the king making process. The proclamation of an AGADAGBA-ELECT is a serious business not meant for a few family members and some greedy Chief at the exclusion of the regency council who have statutory function to oversee the kingdom till a new Agadagba is selected.
“Also some responsibilities in the selection process are communal and can only be performed by the community concerned, not individuals as some greedy chiefs and alleging. We are still pained that Bar; Egin allowed himself to be used by self-seeking individuals bent on causing disafection and division in the Kingdom. God will not alllow them in their evil enterprise. In paragraph six, you and your cohort attempted to disparage the sterling and impeccable character and personality of Elder Tiemo, a man who has an unblemished career in Banking and service to community.
“You stated that” “Edmund was a banker based in Lagos who at a time was kicked out of employment”. As a chartered banker, he rose to the peak of his career and retired into private business that has afforded him great opportunity to be of service to humanity, his community and Egbema in general.
“If you have any evidence to the contrary, please let the reading public know. When Elder Edmund became the secretary of Egbema/Gbaramatu Community Development Foundation (EGCDF), he provided intellectual support to the foundation and when he became the Chairman, he ensured that the IOCs fulfilled their obligation to their host communities as contained in the GMOU document.
“To his credit, he introduced the Foreign Scholarship programme that most of our people benefitted from as masters degree scholars, including members of the faceless group. Most of the Chevron staff employed from Egbema/Gbaramatu were at his time as chairman of the foundation. These staff and others are witnesses to what Edmund did when he was at the helm of affairs at the time. The late Adagagba, in his life time, knew what Edmund did to advance the kingdom. When Egbema had crisis with the Binis and the government of Edo State took sides with the Benin Traditional Council, it was Edmund Tiemo who spoke on behalf of the delegation led by Prof Dime of Oloduma kingdom, that met with Godwin Obaseki, the Governor of Edo State.
“Where was this faceless group and the self-acclaimed kingmakers? Again, in 1992, at the Boundary Adjustment Committee meeting in Benin, Edmund spoke on behalf of the kingdom. He used his resources, including time and money to advance the interest of the kingdom. A story was told, how Edmund helped a young lady who came to him for job, to work as a casual staff with the Excravos Gas Plant. Twice he denied her the job in two years, instead, he gave her money to buy jamb form and go to school. Today, that lady is a lawyer. Who then says that Edmund is not a lover of education or not having the interest of the kingdom at heart?
“That person must be dreaming or hallucinating. In fact, Edmund was amongst prominent Egbema leaders that ensured the emergence of the late king and defended his stay on the throne.If Edmund and ELOT is insisting that the proper procedure be followed, I do not see anything wrong with it. If the gazette was violated in the past by the emergence of the late king, Bini Pere the III, nothing stops us in the 21st Century in doing the right thing.
“The maternity of an AGADAGBA is an issue that is prominent in the gazette. Those who do not want this clause would have taken time to amend it during the life time of late AGADAGBA. How many of these chiefs contribute financial resources to advance the course of the kingdom? How dare they now want to select a leader without the knowledge of all or, even at the very least, to exclude critical stakeholders?
“You alluded a supposed offence of the person of Bar Egin against Elder Edmund and a seeming vendetta in what is going on. It will interest to know that Bar Egin was a trusted ally in ELOT and for his competence and dedication was entrusted with greater responsbility by ELOT under Elder Edmund Tiemo’s leadership.
“You also stated that “Edmund is not from Ogbudugbudu ruling house. He has no right whatsoever to object to the choice of the Agadagba-elect.”. The truth is that the Ogbudugbudu ruling house has since told Egbema people that they had no hand in the Bar. Egin’s process. Some of the elders also apologised to the Ogbudugbudu ruling house that they were wrong in their failed adventure.
“This was the reason the Ogbudugbudu ruling house made a public presentation of their choice Agadagba-Elect on the 11th of November at Ajakurama and standing by him firmly. If you don’t know the process of installation of the Pere of Agadagba is not something that is done in the family house of an individual as was the case in chief David Bubor’s house in Ofunama.
“I am sure you are aware that the Ofunama community condenmed the act and summoned the Amaokusuwei and others to a meeting where they were openly childed and made to pay fine for providing the access to allow the cohort commit sacrilege against the community and Egbema in General.
“The king that will emerge from Ogbudugbudu Ruling House will be king and a leader to Egbema who will reign over all including Edmund. Therefore, the making of a king cannot be from the ruling house only. When a king emerges the whole of the kingdom becomes his home.
“The fact that Ogbudugbudu sheltered the late Bini Pere III does not preclude anyone from questioning a process that is fraudulent. I do not speak for Elder Edmund and ELOT, but no one person, family or a caucus can install a king for the kingdom if it is not supported by majority of the Traditional Council.
“On the local government chairman, Hon. Smart Yomi Asekutu, considering where Egbema is coming from, a responsible government official of Egbema origin would have been circumspect in the way and manner he has shown interest in foisting a king on the kingdom without the input of critical stakeholders. He failed both in his response to the issue and the role he has played.
“You also also raised the issue of Edmund being the mastermind of the alleged kidnapping of Egin. These mischievous elements in their bid to ridicule the kingdom went on social media and the print including electronics to say, Egin has been kidnapped by militants. Bar Egin being a lawyer and a son of Egbema has in a recorded video stated that he was never kidnapped, yet Smart Asekutu was warning supposed kidnappers to release Bar Egin, not knowing that their alleged concocted plan and ploy has failed, another misadventure by this faceless group.
“Character is everything in life. Respect for elders, leaders and the fear of God is an hallmark of a leader. Does the so-called AGADAGBA-elect have these qualities even to allow this sponsored attacks on Elder Edmund and the rest of Egbema leaders who dare to oppose a flawed process of choosing a ruler for our dear kingdom. Time shall tell”, it added.