MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Charles Nwabardi
Rising tension has been doused on Friday in Bini Kingdom as the proposed ‘Sultan of Shuwa Arab in Edo’, Alhaji Idris Addano, succumbed to the mounting pressures and pledged his loyalty to the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II.
It would be recalled that Addano, in a widely circulated programme of the event, was pencilled to be turbaned as the ‘Sultan of Shuwa Arab in Edo on Saturday, August 21, at a hotel at Enyean axis of the ancient city.
The event has elicited controversies, with the Edo State Government coming hard on Friday with a threat to take decisive actions against the planners of the event, which the government described as sacrilegious.
The development has thus forced Addano, the man in the eye of the storm to clear the air on the controversy, declaring absolute loyalty to the Benin monarch and the Edo State government.
Speaking to journalists in Benin City on Friday morning, Addano said that the whole issue was grossly misinterpreted due to the language employed in the programme of event in circulation, stressing that the Oba of Benin is a father to all northerners in the state.
“The whole issue was misunderstood because of the language used. All the tribes from the north who are resident in Edo State are all under the Sarkin Hausawa but we all now have our individual sarkin like those of Kanuri, Nupe and others. In our Shua language, sultan is our own sarkin and we only wanted to celebrate my appointment as the head of Shua Arab in Benin because we are the second-largest local ethnic group from the north.
“We are all under Sarkin Hausawa of Benin who gave us an introductory letter which we submitted before the governor of the state, the Oba of Benin and the Secretary to State Government.
“We are all law abiding citizens and under the laws of the state. We are also loyal to our royal father, the Oba of Benin who is father to all of us. We apologise to the state government for the mix-up and as law-abiding citizens, we have also cancelled all the activities we wanted to do as directed by the state government,” Addano explained.
Reacting to the development, the Sarkin Hausawa of Benin, Alhaji Adamu Isa, said the whole incident was misunderstood because of the choice of language.
“They are a community resident in Edo and they have a large percentage of their people here too, they are into cattle breeding and other businesses. The thing is a misuse of language from them.
“About five months ago, they came to me that since they are large, they want to have a traditional head so I told them to go and look for someone among them who is going to be their leader and so they came with one Idris and then some issues came up then I asked them to go and resolve it and I gave them a date to come back.
“And then we did the turban of their leader so that in case we have issues concerning them, we know who to hold responsible. You know our culture up, it is easier for you to regulate the activities of people using the traditional heads, that is why anytime we have a large set of people from the same place, we look for a traditional head.
“The whole issue was misunderstood. I was born and bred here in Benin, my father was born and bred here in Benin so I understand the tradition and custom of the land and the laws of the state. It was just a misuse of language. Sultan in their own language means sarkin,” Isa further explained.