A Group, Ozalla Patriots and Elites Worldwide, yesterday passed a vote of confidence on the Edo State Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism, and Diaspora Affairs, Mrs. Uyi Oduwa-Malaka and Mr. George Ohiomah for their immense contributions to the development of community.

Recall that the traditionally ruler of the community in Owan West Local Government Area of the state, His Royal Highness Nathaniel Igelugbo Omogbai, the Onotare was last week reported to have stripped the duo of the chieftaincy titles conferred on them.

The vote of confidence by the group was contained in a statement titled “Ozalla Patriots and Elites Group” condemns the purported withdrawal of chieftaincy titles on Chief Dr. (Mrs) Uyi Oduwa-Malaka, the Edo State Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs and Chief Barrister George Ohiomah”.

The statement was signed by its president, Tony Aidelojie, and its secretary-general, Adebayo Agbonifo, respectively and made available to journalists in Benin.

The Group said the vote of confidence became necessary following the so-called stripping-off of the chieftaincy titles conferred on two of their illustrious children.

They said, at an emergency meeting of the Ozalla Patriots and Elites Group held on the 19th day of April 2024, members extensively deliberated on and x-rayed all the issues and concerns regarding the public humiliation of a serving Commissioner in Edo State Government by one Obaze Osumah who claimed to be the Speaker to the Onotare of Ozalla Kingdom as well as the unauthorized stripping of chieftaincy titles given to her and that of Amb. (Barr) George Ohiomah, both of whom are proud indigenes of the kingdom.

They said sequel to the widely circulated publication in the press and social media on the unauthorized stripping of the chieftaincy titles, it has become expedient to make necessary clarifications and put the records straight.

They said the statement credited to the said Obaze Osumah that Mrs Uyi Oduwa-Malaka asked the Onotare to meet her in the car was a figment of his imagination, as such a scenario never occurred.

They said the Onotare of Ozalla Kingdom, His Royal Highness, Nathaniel Igelugbo Omogbai, was not at the palace on that fateful day and therefore, it is not true that the Commissioner did not pay obeisance to the Onotare on the 13th of April, 2024.

They added that the spoke person on traditional matters to the Onotare of Ozalla Kingdom is Chief Irivboa Evbodaghe and not Obaze Osumah as he claimed, adding that official communications from the Palace are signed and released by the Secretary to the Palace, Mr. Ehikioya Ujuanbi.

The Group submitted that the action of Obaze Osumah did not only undermine the traditions and customs of their revered community but also serves as an embarrassment to the individuals concerned, their families and the Ozalla Kingdom at large.

They however said that based on the humiliation meted on the two of their children, the Ozalla Patriots and Elites would mobilise all sons and daughters of the kingdom to protect their sacred traditional institution before Obaze and his likes will use their antics to destroy the community.

They further called for an immediate retraction of the said publication, and Obaze Osumah sanctioned accordingly.

They also said that the so-called striping of the said titles is null and void and of no effect, and therefore, the said publication should be disregarded.

They maintained that a town hall meeting would be held at the community’s town hall to calm the frayed nerves of their illustrious sons and daughters who have been embarrassed and disappointed by the several actions of the said Obaze.

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