Human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has said that the secret behind the level of development the country had attained so far is its traditional institution.
Ozekhome made this known in Benin, shortly after completing the ceremonies and rituals needed to become a palace chief in Benin Kingdom.
He commended the fatherly role being played in the country by the Oba of Benin, noting that the nation’s democracy would have crumbled but for the solid traditional institution which, according to him, had been able to stop overzealous politicians in their tracks.
“This is what Chinua Achebe will call growing like a yam tendril in the rainy season. I am grateful to the Oba of Benin Kingdom, Oba Erediauwa, for giving me this honour, a non-Bini person, deeming me worthy not just to be a son and scion of Benin Kingdom but to be a high chief and belong to the highest group in Benin Kingdom that represents the Oba anywhere in the world as an ambassador,” Ozekhome said. The lawyer hails from Etsako East Local Government Area in Edo North senatorial district.
“I will continuously remain grateful to our traditional institution because without traditional rulers such as our Oba of Benin, we don’t know where Nigeria would have been today,” he said.
Ozekhome had December last year been conferred with the title Eno-bakhare of Benin Kingdom, meaning Oba’s word is final.