Oba Of Benin Exiles Isekhure

For the suspended Isekhure of Benin Kingdom, Nosakhare Isekhure, afflictions indeed come in multitudes. The erstwhile chief priest of Benin was suspended from his traditional duties January 17 by the Benin Traditional Council, BTC, on the orders of Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare 11, the Oba of Benin on sundry allegations, including abuse of his position, pronouncing himself the head of the royal family and deliberate refusal to perform his traditional duties during and after the burial obsequies for the late Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa, as well as the subsequent coronation activities.


Nosakhare Isekhure

Nosakhare Isekhure

But on Wednesday, the travails of the 67-year-old Isekhure were further compounded when he was ostracized by the Oba. The magazine gathered that the BTC may have been provoked to move against him following the perceived effrontery by his family, Ihogbe N’Ore to threaten the palace with legal action if within 14 days it did not prove the allegations leveled against the Isekhure. Isekhure’s family had spurned his suspension, stating that “the reasons given to support the purported suspension are facts that have been distorted” and if not corrected, were capable of misleading his admirers.


The banishment of the Isekhure was announced at his No. 9, Sokponba Road traditional palace and residence by a high-ranking palace chief when the Oba’s emissaries, including palace chiefs, chiefs priests, and some rugged youths swooped on the palace to execute his orders of sealing it up in order to safeguard the shrines and traditional items that had hitherto been in his custody, including artifacts, relics and other paraphernalia of the office of Isekhure. Scores of passers-by, neighbours, and residents of Benin watched in awe as the life-size statue of the Isekhure was pulled down, along with other structures. As at the time of going to press, bricklayers were busy erecting a fence to seal up the entry points to the palace even when the embattled Isekhure was inside the house.  He had advised relocating to his personal residence following his suspension.


A Benin chief who did not want his name mentioned, said it was unheard of that an individual would threaten a court action and even give an ultimatum to the Oba of Benin. According to him, “the Oba owns the Isekhure. The important part of what he fails to understand is that he has to be humble”, stressing that sealing off the palace was part of the process of ostracizing him. The Ihama of Benin had been reassigned the duties of the Isekhure which historically, according to the BTC, he originally performed. Efforts to reach the suspended Isekhure were unsuccessful as his phone had been switched off.


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