Alexander Okere, Benin
Irked by the challenges of human trafficking and insecurity in Edo State, the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, has placed a curse on trafficking cartels and criminals in the state.
Oba Ewuare II on Friday also broke the oath taken by human traffic victims in the past, adding that they were free to expose the perpetrators behind the crime.
He spoke at a meeting with palace functionaries, including all senior and junior priests of Okhuaihe, Ovia, priests of Benin traditional religion in Iyekogba and Isi, priestesses of Benin traditional religion and native doctors of “different spiritual manifestations.”
Also at the meeting were officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.
Those to be affected by the curse are sponsors of human trafficking, native doctors who administer oaths on the victims, cultists and persons flouting the ban on community development associations.
The monarch noted that the curse was also binding on persons planning to engage in such acts outside the state.
He stated, “You native doctors whose businesses are to subject people to the oath of secrecy and encouraging this evil act in the land, you have to repent; stop doing it. This is not a joke and if you do not repent, you have to wait for the repercussion.
“We want to use this medium to tell those who are under any oath of secrecy that they are now free. We revoke the oath today.”
Oba Ewuare II noted that though the palace was not against native doctors, it would not tolerate those who used it to perpetrate evil in the land by aiding and abetting human trafficking in the state.
According to him, the interest of the palace was to support the development and progress of the state and urged citizens of the state to work towards that direction by doing what was right.
The monarch stated, “What the palace stands for is peace and the development of the state. I want to use this medium to tell you that the act of using charms to aid trafficking; the palace seriously frowns on it. We want us to join hands together to fight against human trafficking in the land.”
In a related development, Governor Godwin Obaseki has called on the House of Assembly to expedite work on the bill for a law to prohibit human trafficking and establish the Edo State Task Force against Trafficking in Persons.
Obaseki, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said that the bill, which was sent to the House in January, was part of measures legalise the fight against human trafficking in the state.