Shaibu commissions Imeke palace, assures 22 villages in Uzairue of befitting palaces

By DADA AYOKHAI

The old and derelict palace buildings that dot the entire length and breadth of the Uzairue kingdom are receiving top attention as a group of eminent Uzairue citizens, led by the deputy governor of Edo State, Hon Phillip Shaibu have taken it upon themselves to give the palaces a modern touch

The group, the “Palace Restoration Committee”, is banking on the support of wealthy Uzairue sons and daughters in its desire to embark on the construction of eye-popping modern edifices as an abode for the royal fathers.

All over the world, especially in Africa where the traditional institution is held in awe, the royal fathers play a key role in the propagation and promotion of culture as the custodian of the people’s heritage.

And, in a clear desire to show that it meant business, the Committee members, led by Hon Shaibu, stormed the Imeke community in the Uzairue clan. They were there to commission the newly built palace for the traditional ruler of the community, on behalf of the Oba of Benin, who is also the chairman of the Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers.

Hon Shaibu disclosed that the Committee he’ heads has s far secured the commitment and the cooperation of eminent Uzairue citizens, adding funds raised for the project will be used to build befitting palaces for the royal fathers across the 22 communities in the Uzairue clan.

According to him, the palace renewal project aims to accord the royal fathers their “due honour”, stressing they deserve to be housed in modern edifices to be able to discharge their traditional duties and functions in a changing world.

In order not to give room to those who might want to accuse the Committee of using government funds to execute the palace renewal project, Hon Shaibu said no single kobo of the government money was involved, stating the desire to restore both the aesthetics and the beauty of the royal palaces in the Uzairue is the result of the efforts by eminent Uzairue sons and daughters who felt it is a thing of a shame to find such derelict palaces in Uzairue

By the commissioning, the Imeke community becomes the first in the long list of others yet to be completed, to benefit from the ongoing palace renewal project. The choice of Imeke is particularly striking and historical in that it is the oldest of the kingdoms of the 22 communities that make up the Uzairue clan.

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Listing the benefits to be derived from the “self-sponsored” palace renewal project, Hon Shaibu stated it will help to enhance the status of the royal fathers and also strengthen their authority, noting the Committee will not relent until the goal is achieved.

He noted, “I have mobilized our people for this ambitious project to build 22 modern palaces across the Uzairue clan. Our royal fathers deserve the best. They deserve to also enjoy the dividends of democracy because of the exalted positions they occupy. We must make deliberate efforts to remodel and refit our traditional institutions and to give them a modern touch to continue to serve our people in a changing world.

“I am excited about the steam the project has gathered in the two years since it came on stream. We discovered that we do not have befitting palaces across the Uzairue kingdom. Yet, we are endowed with natural resources and notable citizens who have risen to the apex of their respective vocations whether in Edo State or even beyond. Sadly, our royal fathers reside in archaic palaces to discharge their traditional duties and functions. We are desirous of changing the narrative and that is why we elected to build ultra-modern palaces so that our royal fathers can perform their duties in style and comfort. We intend to replicate the Imeke experiment in the other 22 communities

An enthused Hon Shaibu, feeling triumphant at the commissioning ceremony, on the feat his Committee has so far recorded, made a very passionate appeal to be allowed to handle the construction of the palace of the Ogieneni as part of his modest contributions to the development of the Uzairue kingdom.

With the completion and commissioning of the new Imeke palace, attention will shift immediately to that of the Ikhabigbo community, which is next on the ballot.

The old and decrepit palaces that dot the Uzairue landscape are receiving the topmost attention from a group of eminent Uzairue patriots, led by the deputy governor of Edo State, Hon Phillip Shuaib, who have taken it upon themselves to give the palaces a modern touch

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