Nigeria's centenary celebration- BNC fault exclusion of Oba Ovonramwen

By Benin Congress

Arising from an emergency meeting on the state of the nation, with particular concern on the list of the awardees announced by President Jonathan, whom he referred to as heroes of Nigeria; we find it appealing and utterly regrettable that Oba Ovonramwen of Benin Kingdom who resisted colonial annexation and western imperialism, which led to the ultimate price where mass genocide was unleashed on the kingdom, the massive looting of our shrines and kidnapping of women and children, amongst other afflictions could be misplaced in a list for meant to honor the living and dead patriots of Nigeria.

It is in fact, an unprovoked psychological attack on the psyche of our people and indeed all students and lovers of the history of pre-colonial Nigeria. Given the number of months that the centenary committee lasted, it is unthinkable that the legendary Oba Ovonramwen did not attract the spotlight of the committee, in spite of open letter to the committee where we drew their attention to the relevance of the Benin Kingdom, (as the last territory that was annexed before Nigeria was declared) to the national jamboree. We call on Mr. President to urgently correct this impression in the interest of posterity, and to avoid a palpable conclusion that Mr. President harbors dislike for our people.

We call on the centenary committee to tender an unreserved apology to Edo people this anomaly and reconcile same byutting up a befitting posthumous award on Oba Ovoramwen as well as other heroes who were deposed by the invading colonial forces. This is an injustice to Edo people and Nigeria's historicity, and everyone should rise in unity in condemning this distortion of facts and records.

Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, President. Benin National Congress.