The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II has extended a hand of fellowship to the Ndigbos in Edo state with regards to the development socio-cultural activities in the state.
The Oba who was overwhelmed when the entire Igbo community in the state stormed his palace to pay homage to the traditional stool the Benin Kingdom assured Ndigbo that the kingdom is a peaceful home for all to coexist.
Describing the visit as surprising Oba Ewuare, urged all ethnic communities to feel at home and contribute to the development of the host communities in the state where they find themselves and the state in general.
The Oba promised to look into the challenges they are facing with a view to preferring solutions to them.
He commended the Igbo community for recognising and deeming it fit to pay their respect to the traditional stool and urged them to support the state government in realisation of the Gelegele project which would bring economic fortune to people of the state.
The Oba thanked the Igbo community for their support during the coronation activities and welcomed them to the kingdom which he described as a home for all.
“On behalf of the royal family, the chiefs, the Benin people all the functionaries in the palace, we welcome you all here today. We are indeed very grateful and delighted that you are here with us to take a day to come and celebrate the post coronation event with us.
“When I got the message that the Ibo community in Edo state was coming to pay a courtesy visit, I was surprised and overwhelmed and delighted that the entire Ibo community deemed it fit to come and pay their respect, give us the honour of ascending the throne of my ancestors today.
“For the entire community to shut down their businesses to come and honour us, we are particularly grateful and appreciative of this gesture.
“We want to assure the communities amongst us of our hospitality. “We want to express our gratitude to all the communities in our midst. We want to expresses our gratitude to communities and ethnics groups in Nigeria that recognise Benin Kingdom and that show a lot of respect for our culture.
“They have shown a lot of understanding for their host communities and within the ethnic group which they reside, and in retrospect, we would reciprocate to accommodate all the ethnic communities within our group.
“You should all feel at home. We are aware some of you were be born here; many of you probably will speak Bini by now.
“We remind you of our commitment to develop the state, for you to give support to the state government to continue to respect the culture of the people.
“You must have heard of our desire to develop the gelegele free zone area, whatever consideration the Igbocan make will be well appreciated. The invitation is open to all the communities residing in our kingdom and in our state to present their proposals and contribution to how we can actualise what we have made commitment about”
Source – The Authority