The traditional ruler of Egbema Kingdom, HRM King Gold Oro Tiemo, Bini Pete III, the Agadagba of Egbema, has called on the Federal Government to merge towns and villages of Egbema kingdom in Edo State with their other towns and villages in Delta State.
The monarch, who made the call in an address at a ceremony, said the call was necessitated by the position of the incumbent Oba of Benin, the Edo State government and Local Government Area, that they (Egbema Kingdom) could not have a king of their own.
He said: “Our Bini neighbours are claiming that we do not exist based on the A. F Marshall intelligence report, which states that they, the Binis fought against the Bini River Ijaws at about 1234 and 1334 and defeated us. Though this is not true that we were defeated, it quite established the fact we were a force to reckon with at that time, and it further confirms that we have been in existence for centuries.”
According to him, there was no historical record, even till date, which shows that the Bini River Ijaws have ever been defeated in battle by any force. Although, the Bini River Ijaws are not warlords but have never been captured and made slaves by any group or tribe in the Nigerian Federation, rather, like all other Ijaw City-States, towns and villages across the Niger Delta.
“The Egbema people dealt in slave trade in those days and in such cases, our hinterland neighbours were our material for trade with the slave buyers.
“In some cases, some slaves were left behind for domestic purposes who were isolated from our main towns, hence, we have habitats as Isorbema, Okonga, etc. But, when I became king in 1988, I abolished the old method and freed the slaves,” he added.