Tension In Edo Community As Indigenes Reject New Chief Priest


Palpable tension has engulfed Ebelle Community in Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State as indigenes took to the streets to protest in condemnation of what they called, ‘forceful imposition and planned installation of one Anthony Okojie as the new Chief Priest of their ‘Eguare Juju Shrine.’

The protesters, who seemed unwavering in their stance, maintained that Okojie family has no ancestral link or whatsoever to the origin of the ‘Eguare Juju Shrine’, therefore to allow someone from such lineage to assume the priesthood is an abomination and would smear doom for the entire indigenes.

The aggrieved indigenes explained that only a descendant from the family of the late former Chief Priest, Ebito Uwadiae has the traditional right to ascend the Priesthood of ‘Eguare Juju Shrine.’

They further narrated that since their former Chief Priest passed on they are yet to get the right person from Uwadiae family to ascend the Priesthood as the right persons like Ebito Stanley and his brother, Ebito Idemudia, eloped to unknown destination shortly after the demise of their father to avoid being forced or compelled to ascend the Priesthood which they claimed is fetish and against their Christian doctrine.


The protesters emphasised that they embarked on the protest to ameliorate their predicament as they hinted that since the emergence of Anthony Okojie as their temporary Chief Priest, the community have been marked with mysterious and evil occurrences.

“Anthony Okojie does not have any ancestral lineage with ‘Eguare Juju Shrine’, so its an abomination for him to ascend the Priesthood. The descendants of Ebito Uwadiae family are traditionally the rightful people to ascend the Priesthood but the two sons rejected the position on the ground that they are Christians and absconded from the community and in the community elders’ wisdom, Anthony Okojie was temporarily delegated to ascend the Priesthood to avoid a vacuum but since that decision was taken, things have never been the same again; strange, mysterious and evil things are now the order of the day in the community”, they complained, “over twenty indigenes have mysteriously died while some others got missing without any trace. More so, on our farm roads, we always experience all manners of mysterious animals and reptiles such as lion, bushbaby, bush dog and tortoise just to mention but a few. And most painful is that, youths now take to abominable crimes. We now live in palpable fear everyday in our land.”

They called on both the Igueben Local Government Area administrator, Itua Amos and Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki to urgently wade into the matter and ensure their elders did not install Anthony Okojie as full fledged Priest of ‘Eguare Juju Shrine’ as they claimed that the spiritual consequences will be too much for the indigenes to bear if allowed.

Meanwhile, Officer of the Edo State Vigilante Network (ESVN) team, Igueben branch who provided security and protection to ensure the protest was peaceful, recalled he was also among the team of ESVN team that went to carry the corpse of Ebito Uwadiae’s son that mysteriously died in the farm for the same Priesthood matter.

The Officer who asked for anonymity asserted, “the remaining Ebito children ran away because they didn’t want to die like their elder brother.”

He frowned at the tradition of Ebelle community as he called it, ‘archaic’. He continued, “since the children are Christians and they don’t want to ascend the Priesthood, they can be killed if they are seen in Ebelle or its environ. So, I won’t blame them for their action. This modern day, nobody should be forced into any religious practice. I just hope they are safe wherever they are.”


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