Tag Archives: Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA)

Edo ppl to Lagos leaders-call Aworis to order, it’s ignorance to threaten Binis to leave Lagos

Frontline Edo group, Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA) has called on Yoruba leaders, traditional rulers and statesmen to caution the leaders of the Aworis over a threat against Bini Indigenes in Lagos State.

Recall that Awori group under the leadership of Egbe Omo Yoruba in Lagos last week issued an ultimatum of 14 days to Bini people living in Lagos.

The group had described Bini people as ingrates whom the Yoruba accommodated in Lagos for centuries, and has no meaningful contribution to the development of Lagos other than prostitution, cultism, and robbery.

EPIA leader, Chief (Dr) Bishop J.O Enoyiogiere Edokpolo while speaking to journalists in a telephone conference from Canada said its unfortunate that such an ultimatum was given, despite the contributions of the Binis in the founding and development of Lagos.

“We hereby call on all the Yoruba leaders in Lagos to quickly intervene in this act by the Awori people.

“The should be cautioned because what they are about to embark on is dangers. Edo and Yoruba people historically, have always referred to one another as brothers.

“Some people who do not have an idea of history should not jeopardize that relationship that we have enjoyed for decades.

Yoruba leaders in Lagos including traditional rulers, statemen, and politicians, should stand up and condemn the call as its capable of stirring the embers of hate and violence among our peoples.

He also argued that historically, Edos played a very pivotal role in the establishment of Lagos.
The Edo Indigenous Leader,
Edokpolo stated “it is unfortunate that the Aworis would allow such an ignorant statement to see the light of day. Does it mean that no single person among them is conversant with history? How can the Awori secretary, Chief Ajisefini Adeola sign his name to this document? I don’t want to believe that they all do not know the origin of Lagos, unless they are being mischievous. This is why History is important as a subject to be tight in our schools because it would have saved us a lot of embarrassments.”

On the reference that Bini people were into crime, Edokpolo stated that the issue of crime is a universal phenomenon, and it’s a dangerous trend to refer to as a tribal issue “You cannot pick out a single people in Lagos and make such a statement that they are into crime, unless you are tribalistic, with a vendetta in mind. Is there any one tribe you know who engage in armed robbery, Yahoo business, prostitution, cult criminality in Lagos? Why pick on Bini people? Picking out just one group, who also happen to be the founders of this business capital of Nigeria is like an agenda with an ethnic undertone. The Aworis must desist from this and any other such moves which is capable of dividing this country.

“Before the 20th century, the Akpe, Akure, Awori, Egba, Ekiti, Ijebu, Ilesha, Ijesha, Ijebu, Ilaje, Ondo, Owo, Oyo etc., never referred to themselves Yoruba. Michael Crowder in his book, ‘Story of Nigeria’, stated that before the nineteenth century there was no one common term for the peoples now referred to as Yorubas. According to him, the word ‘Yoruba’ is a corruption of ‘Yaboo’, the Oyo people’s dialect. The Europeans of Christian Missionaries Society, the vanguard of the British Colonialist, in Abeokuta used this word to describe the other ethnic groups in the area of their sphere of influence. The Ẹdo people referred to the Oyo people as Olukumi, the Ondo people, as Emwan N’Udo and Akure and Ẹkiti peoples as Ekhuẹ. Since the 15th-century Owo, Akure and Ekiti have been vassals of Benin Empire.

“Until 1917 there were many Benin merchants and settlers (Ẹdo N’ Ẹkhue), including Benin palace officials, Baale, in many Yoruba communities such as Atigiere, Ado Ekiti, Akure etc. Omo N’Ọba Ọrhogbua founded a military garrison, Eko on an island now known as Lagos and Badagry in the 16th century. The cities remained Benin colonies until the mid 19th century. Ashipa the first Eleko of Eko, (king of Lagos), was a son of Orhogbua. The first Alani (king) of Idoani and Awujale (king) of Ijebu Ode, according to Edo narratives, were sons of Omo N’Oba Ozolua. Ondo was established by Osemwenughe, the Iyase of Udo, in the 16th century after he lost the last Benin/Udo war.

“The word, Ondo, is from the Edo word ‘Emwan N’Udo or fugitives from Udo. Also, the title of the Ondo king, Osemawe, is an altered form of Osemwenughe. Ikale (Eko Alile) and Akotogbo(Ago Otobo) were military camps established respectively by Alile and Odobo, two Benin war Chieftains, during the Benin/Udo war. Iken, a Benin war Chieftain and the overlord of Uselu, conquered the city-state of Owo in the 15th century. Owo remained a vassal of Benin until the late 1880s. Many communities in present-day Ondo/Akure states such as Itaogbolu, Ikere-Ekiti, Atigiere to mention a few, were founded by immigrants from Benin City during the reigns of the 15th and 16th century Benin warrior kings. Indeed the ruler of Itaogbolu is referred to as ‘Odionwere’ and their communal diety is known as ‘Edugie’.

“During Omo N’Oba Ehengbuda’s reign, the Owa (king) of Ilesha, Atakunmarha sought refuge in Benin City after his subjects dethroned him. His son was a renowned leopard hunter for the Benin king. He later became the first king of Akure to be addressed as Deji, a word from the Edo phrase Udezi or leopard killer. During, this period Osogboye, the crown prince of Owo, was an Omuada, royal sword-bearer, in the Benin king’s palace. The Ekiti saying ‘Oba Ado ngbogun lodo ile, Ogbomudu ngbe li orun, (The Oba of Benin makes wars on earth while Ogbomudu (thunder) makes war in the heavens testify to the overwhelming influence and supremacy of the Benin kings.

“Those who claim and argue that the word Oba is a Yoruba word should make references to history books about Nigeria, and Nigerian Federal and regional governments gazettes before the 1950s. The British Colonial Authorities up till the 1920s referred to the king of Lagos as Eleko of Eko and not as the Oba of Lagos. Also the sane British Colonial Authorities and even the people of these ethnic groups that refer to themselves today as Yoruba never called these rulers or kings as ‘Oba’ prior to the 1940s. These kings were known and addressed as Oni of Ile-Ife, Olowo of Owo, Awujale of Ijebu, Onikoyi of Ikoyi, Alake of Abekuota Alaketu of Ketu, Alafin of Oyo, Deji of Akure, and Timi of Ede, Olu of Ibadan, Alani of Idoani and Onisabe of Sabe, Osemawe of Ondo to mention a few. The appellation of Oba was unique to the king of Benin.

“The word, Oba, is an abbreviation of the Edo phrase, ‘omo no be uwa’, the child who builds prosperity. It was the praise name of Omonoyan(Oronmiyan) son of Ekaladerhan whom the people of Uhe (Ile-Ife ) referred to as Oduduwa”, Edokpolo quoted in his treatise to the Awori people.

‘Don’t provoke us by marginalising Edo indigenes in NDDC board appointments’-Edo Indigenes

Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA), otherwise known as Edo Indigenous Movement Worldwide (EIM) has warned the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) against alleged plans to marginalise the state in its appointments.

EIM in a message said Edo indigenes deserve to get choice appointments, as a result of the state’s contributions to the oil sector.

The statement, signed by the Indigenous leader and founder of the group, Chief (Dr) Bishop Omogiade Enoyiogiere Edokpolo, said that Edo is an active member of the NDDC, having the largest gas reserve in West Africa, apart from its numerous crude oil reserves across the state.

He stated: “It will be tantamount to calumny if the stories we are hearing is true, that our Indigenes are being systematically begging denied positions we ordinarily deserve. For the records, Edo is an active member of the NDDC, having the largest gas reserve in West Africa, apart from its numerous crude oil reserves across the state. Edo people are therefore qualified to play a major role in the community development commission.

“No one should take us for granted because of our peace living nature, and try to take away our rights and give it to another. We will fight it, we will resist it, and we will get back what belongs to us.

” We have been marginalised by the NNPC, and the oil giants, and because of our demure nature, its given that we cannot act. That is far from the truth.

“The days of darkness is over. The days of marginalisation is over. The years of neglect of our communities and people, despite our numerous contributions to the wealth of the country is over.

“Those in charge must ensure that the right thing is done or else, expect our response in a way they will not like at all. Our peaceful nature must not be mistaken for cowardice”, Edokpolo said.

Govt, trad institutions, security agencies, clergy must tackle insecurity in Edo now – Edo Indigenes

The leadership of Edo Indigenous Movement Worldwide (EIM), also known as Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA) has said that the issue of insecurity in Edo State has become a clear and present danger.

EPIA in a Press Release signed by its leader, Chief (Dr) Bishop Enoyiogiere J Omogiade Edokpolo stated that the issue must be treated as an emergency, and not with kid gloves as it has become a thrwta to the overall existence of Edo people.

He called on the various arms of government- legislators and the state government to convoke an emergency security town hall meeting and come up with a solution immediately.

His words “It’s high time the government, politicians, traditional rulers, security outfits, and religious leaders should take insecurity more seriously than ever in Edo State, and bring long lasting solution to this clear and present danger we face.

“As we have said before in EPIA, the issue of law and order is the priority for EPIA/EIM.

” It is clear that development can not strive anywere there is insecurity. Edo has been making progress in other sectors, but now there is even an urgent need for this government to act fast in tackling insecurity in our state.

“The governor and lawmakers need to introduce a state cleansing on this negative energy and put a permanent solution to it as this has been persistent since the past decade now.

“As a matter of urgency, a Security Town Hall meeting needs to be held for us to deicide the way forward and nip this problem in thr bud. Please, its time to act, and act fast”, he stated.

A worthy birthday celebration for Edo Indigenous leader, Edokpolo, the November Man

*middle of November birthday loading

Edo Indigenous leader and founder of the Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA), Chief (Dr) Bishop Omogiade Enoyiogiere Edokpolo has added a new feather to his cap.

Edokpolo is the founder of EPIA, which is better known as Edo Indigenous Movement and started the movement for the uplifting of the people and Indigenes of Edo land.

As a November born, he deserves to be celebrated for his contributions to humanity in general, and the Edo nation in particular.Edokpolo’s life journeys have taken him through nations, and professions, as he is a motivational speaker per excellence, physical fitness trainer, and hotelier.

As such, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Canada World Conglomerates, owners of Canada World Events Centre and Canada World Hotel.

As the year begins to round off, as the eleventh month of November ushers in a great son of Edo land, let’s celebrate our own, Chief (Dr) Bishop Omogiade Enoyiogiere Edokpolo!

Listen to Edo indigenous youths, EPIA tells IGP

The Edo Progressive Indigenous Association (EPIA) also known as the Edo Indigenous Movement (EIM) has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu to listen to the plea of Nigeria youths, especially Edos, and scrap the State Anti-Roberry Squard (SARS), saying the unit has caused more harm than good among Edo youths.

This was contained in a Press Statement signed by Edo indigenous leader and President of EPIA, Chief Dr Bishop Omogiade Enoyiogiere Edokpolo. He said EPIA is a voice to the voiceless and the vulnerable.

“Edo Indigenous youth have spoken with respect to SARS. They want the federal government to terminate the SARS unit in the Nigeria Police Force, as they have been perpetuating more harm than good and their operations not in tandem with their primary purpose.

“We use this opportunity to send a clear message to the other security agencies like the DSS, the NSCDC, the Nigerian Army, to focus on their primary duties and avoid the oppression of Edo Indigenous youths. Edo Indigenous people has been taking note of this intolerable habit of oppression by security agencies who also goes around with a POS machine to extort their victims, thereby inflicting them with psychological violence.

“Many of Edo indigenous youths are now afraid of moving with their smart phones whenever they step out of their house, for fear of being intimidated by men of the Nigerian Police. SARS has caused perpetual fear in the heart of Edo indigenous youths”, Chief Dr. Edokpolo said.

Recall that some days ago, some youths in Benin City protested against the retention of SARS in Edo State, saying their existence is detrimental to the mental well-being of Edo indigenous youths.

Edo Indigenous Movement gets working Committee Chairman for  Global Festival

As part of preparations for the Edo indigenous home coming global festival, a Working Committee Chairman has been appointed. He is Mr. Ben Owens Ifionayi, who is from Edo South Senatorial District of Edo State.

This was revealed to newsmen in Benin City by the Edo Indigenous Leader and President of Edo Progressive Indigenous Association (EPIA), also known as Edo Indigenous Movement (EIM) Worldwide, Chief Dr. Bishop Omogiade Enoyiogiere Edokpolo.

According to Edokpolo, “the responsibilities of the Chairman working committee include helping EPIA/EIM to plan and organize or put the right modalities in place for the Edo indigenous home coming global festival bid for January, 2020”.

The EPIA leader urged Ifionayi to comply with EPIA/EIM guidelines and directives in carrying out all his duties in this regard.

According to EPIA boss, Mr. Ifionayi will be assisted by Engr. Tomi Ayannuga, and the Women Festival Committee Director, Mrs Comfort Osifo and the Women Chairperson, Mrs. Edith Westergard.

Responding, Mr. Ben Owens Ifionayi said he wholeheartedly accepted the offer to be the Chairman of Edo Indigenous Global Festival working committee charged with the responsibility of putting in place an action plan towards hosting a very successful festival that is scheduled to hold on January, 2022 in the glorious city of Benin.

“My name is Ben Owens Efionayi, CEO of Benowens Investment Nigeria Limited in Benin, CEO Bambie Multimedia Nigeria Limited in Benin & Abuja and also a Director and Board member, Triple E Estate Management Nigeria Limited. I also function as a legal forensic analyst in the Justice Department in Geneva, Switzerland. I am very honoured and proud to be part of this project going forward. It’s been long over due.

“I would also like to express my profound and deep appreciation to our President for his insightful, courageous and visionary work with the EPIA movement ably supported by very smart and positive minded people as members of the executive team. May God grant him more wisdom to pilot the affairs of the movement”, said Mr. Ifionayi.

NIGERIA/GHANA: Retrace your steps for the sake of Africa, Edo Indigenes tells Ghana

Edo Progressive Indigenes Association, EPIA has appealed to Ghana to retrace its steps over the draconian laws its making against Nigerian business owners in the country.

EPIA said its high time Ghana president, Nana Akufo-Addo realize that whatever policies are made against Nigerians will breed bad blood and mess up the much needed unity of African nations and people in the long run.

The Ghanaian government had imposed a $1million levy on traders in the country, who are mainly Nigerians, claiming that its action was due to the border closure policy of the Nigerian government.

Ghanaian Foreign Minister, Honorable Shirley Ayorkor Botchway had cited the border closure policy by President Buhari as having very badly affected the revenues of Ghanaian exporters.

But in reaction to the policies EPIA founder and Edo indigenous leader, Chief Bishop J.O.E Edokpolo stated that this is not good for Africa, while addressing newsmen in Benin City.

He said “We expected Ghana president to be civilized, given his past speeches and presentations. It’s sad that he has a disunity mindset. The act of levying such a huge tax on Nigerian businessmen is condemnable. Should there be anything Africans should expect, he should show leadership qualities.

“We expected him to be an African leader. We call on him not as Nigerians alone but as African Indigenes to please stay away from his discriminatory and condemnable act. What he is doing is not different from what apartheid government did-marginalization, oppression, and this is doom for Africa.

“Nigerian leadership and Ghana must come together now and know where each has erred and retrace their steps. We must return to our brotherliness as soon as possible. Ghana and Nigeria must play a good role as leaders and show example”, the Edo leader advised.

2023: Edo should produce president after Buhari – Edo Indigenes

The umbrella body of Edo indigenes, Edo Indigenous Movement(EIM) /Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA) has said that the next president of Nigeria should be an Edo person.

EPIA in its argument, wondered why there is so much hullabaloo over Nigeria’s presidency when the Edo people, despite their contributions to national development, have never been considered for the position.

Chief Bishop J.O.E Edokpolo who is the Edo Indigenous leader and president, in a message to journalists at the weekend, said its the turn of Edo State to produce a president.

“In all fairness, Nigeria should be led by a president of Edo extraction in 2023. Given its historical role in Nigeria and as a kingdom that has been seen as one of the most historically civilized class of people in Africa, we feel very marginalized for not having a president from Edo Kingdom. It is our turn and not our fault, Edo is able and capable”, he stated.

Edo Indigenous Movement congratulate over Olumide Akpata NBA National Electoral Victory

An Edo Indigenous Movement known as Edo Progressive Indigenous Association (EPIA) has commended Olumide Akpata who emerged Presidential winner of the Nigerian Bar Association’s (NBA) national elections, after defeating two other contestants who are Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). This victorious win makes him the NBA’s first non-SAN President in years.

This commendation was made in Benin by the leader and President of EPIA, Chief Dr Bishop J.O. Enoyiogiere Edokpolo. He said the overwhelming solidarity that the Benin Branch of the NBA drummed up for Akpata could as well earn him the well deserved victory at the International Bar Association’s cadre.

“This result represents a sudden change in the order, as Akpata is now the first non-SAN to lead the Nigerian Bar Association in years. Feedback from members of the NBA indicates that there has been a long-standing hunger for a paradigm shift. And now it appears many of the association’s members have a good reason to be excited.

“Patriot Olumide Akpata-For us, members and trustees of the Edo Progressive Indigenous Association Worldwide, your eminently deserved victory at the NBA presidential election polls did not come to us as a surprise. ‘Owamagbomwan – oresetin’ is an esoteric Benin maxim, which espouse the unbreakable power of home support.

“In the spirit of ‘Evbuomwan aro ne amen ro yi’, we rise in altruistic felicitation, for your resounding victory, while wishing you a landmark tenure. We beseech you, to be humble in victory, and extend a sincere hand of fellowship to your co-aspirants.

“Additionally Mr. President-Elect, put on the toga of a statesman, and not that of a politician. While politicians think of the next election, statesmen think of the next generation.

“We are praud of our son and brother, a bonafide Edo Indigene to be the president of NBA. You have made us proud. Be assured of our prayers, now and always. Once again, congratulations. Kindly endeavour to make Edo nation proud of your tenure. Barrister akpata Ose- nobla re- kpaee Ise. Obagha to kpere ise “, Chief Edokpolo said.

Recall that Akpata won the election with a total of 9,891 votes of the total 18,256 ballots cast, while his closest rival, Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) polled 4,328 votes and Dele Adesina (SAN) polled 3,982 votes.

The election commenced at exactly 11 am on Wednesday, July 29, and ended at 11 pm on Thursday, July 30. It was a virtual voting process where registered members of the association logged into the National Officers Election webpage with their Supreme court numbers and cast their votes. About 29,636 eligible voters were registered, and the election committee sent the voting link to the registered members via emails and sms.

EPIA to host 1st online debate with Edo governorship candidates August 9

The Edo Indigenous Movement Worldwide(EIM) under the aegis of Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA) says it has concluded all necessary arrangements to host all governorship candidates in the Edo Governorship election 2020.

EPIA revealed that it will be anchoring a debate, where the 14 candidates will appear and tell Edo people what they intend to deliver to the citizens, if they win in the coming election.

The founding president and leader of Edo indigenes, Chief Bishop JOE Edokpolo who stated this in Benin, announced that they have concluded their arrangement for the debate which will be virtual, and monitored across the globe.

“We have completed the invitation process to have all the 14 governorship candidates to participate in the debate, as Edo indigenous people are very interested in knowing what the candidates have to offer.

“Edo people all over the world will be watching the show for them to tell us how they intend to implement their agenda or manifesto. These are the things that matter to our people, whom these candidates shall serve, if they win the election”.

He also said that more information about the debate will be made public as they come.