LETTER OF PROTEST – CREATION OF FUGAR CLAN to the Executive Governor of Edo State

Motto: United For Progress
10TH Day of March 2024.

His Excellency,
Godwin N. Obaseki
The Executive Governor of Edo State,
Edo State.
Edo State Government House
Benin -City, Edo State

Your Excellency, Sir,

We write to bring to your attention the recent act of the Government in the inchoate creation of the Fugar Clan from the Avianwu Clan, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State.

Ogbona is a legitimate entity of the Avianwu clan as created and gazette by the then Bendel State Government. Ogbona Youth Forum (OYF) is an association of sons and daughters of Ogbona extraction by birth, marriage, and paternal and maternal affiliation. Members of OYF reside across Nigeria and the diaspora. Ogbona Youth Forum was founded in 2003, and incorporated Under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matter Act (CAMA)1990 in 2017. Currently, OYF has 7 branches across Nigeria and a diaspora branch. OYF currently has a membership of over 700 Sons and Daughters of Ogbona.

OYF would like to bring to your Excellency awareness, that Ogbona is an integral part of the four villages (namely Ivhinone; Ivhiarua; Ogbona; and Iraokhor) that make up Avianwu Clan in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State. These villages co-existed peacefully and successfully with a shared history and culture dating back over 500 years since the migration from the Benin Kingdom in the 15th Century.

Your Excellency, it is on record that Edo People all over the world are always proud of you as a Governor with a difference. Stemming from your professional background and a peace-loving Governor with eyes for detail.

However, we believe that the Edo State Executive Council has been misled in initiating and subsequent creation of the Fugar Clan. That led to the Edo State of Nigeria Gazette NO.7 VOL 4 Published on 7th March 2024 for the following reasons:

OYF wishes to bring it to His Excellency’s notice that as a peacefully co-existing people, we acknowledge the right of a group of people to seek change and development. However, we strongly believe that such change or growth must be done by the relevant laws and customs of the people as contained in this instance THE TRADITIONAL RULERS AND CHIEFS LAWS OF 1979. Most cohesively, when there has been a shared heritage, history, culture, and tradition for centuries as instituted and passed down by our forefathers.

Your Excellency, we believe that the Edo State Executive Council was not transparently led into creating a Fugar Clan. In full accordance with the legal guidance of Section 23 of The Chiefs Law of 1979; the Executive Council is empowered to make a “declaration.” in respect of an existing Clan. The Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law of 1979 presupposes the existence of a Federated Clan based on the custom existing and published in an official State Gazette. The only Clan that satisfies that requirement in this instance is the Avianwu clan. Fugar clan was not created by custom law or legal act of the Government before the 21st of February 2024. Fugar clan does not exist and therefore does not meet the requirement of Section 23 of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law of 1979.

However, if His Excellency would like to believe otherwise, the OYF, here representing the entire Community of Ogbona, would contend at this point, that the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law of 1979 was breached in its entirety in the creation of the Fugar Clan. The law was completely disregarded in the creation of the Fugar Clan.

Fundamentally, it may interest your Excellency to know that the Oghievianwu of Avianwu, the Clan Head of Avianwu who is the Custodian of Avianwu Custom and Tradition including the Okpe Ukpi of Ogbona and Iraokhor, with their respective Palace Chiefs and elders of both Villages were not consulted in any form or manner before the purported creation of Fugar Clan.

The Edo State Government Gazette published on the 7th of March 2024 referenced earlier is silent on the shared heritage and Customs of the Avianwu Clan. The Gazette did not amend or repeal the Bendel State Government Declaration, Stating the Existing Customary Law Regulating Succession to stool of the Oghievianwu of Avianwu.

The Published Government Gazzette fails to address the crucial issue of the Oghieavianwu’s authority in the continuity of our long-standing critical traditional facets in various dimensions that affect the daily co-existence of our people.

Critical to this fact is that the Edo State Gazette published on the 7th of March 2024 is ominously silent on the delineation of shared ancestral sites. This raises multiple primary concerns on potential limitations, strategic marginalization, and political undermining of Ogbona and Iraokhor, clearly limiting, and denying access of both villages to previously shared traditional heritage, resources, and sites located within the newly designated pre-supposed territory.

This unilateral decision by a group of people has the potential to disrupt the agelong peace and cohesion that had existed amongst the people of Avianwu. OYF believes that any creation of a clan from the existing Avianwu clan should be done inclusively, appropriately, and cohesively, following the Avianwu Customary Law with the necessary ambit of consultations amongst all villages, the Clan head (Oghievianwu of Avianwu) and all other democratic stakeholders of Avianwu clan. To promote continuous peaceful co-existence, democratic equity, and fairness to foster a strong society.

The action of the promoters of the creation of the Fugar clan is tantamount to a few selfish political hawks who do not represent the people but set out to infuse division amongst the people for their self-interest. As expected, a section of the indigenes of Ivhiarua Village has vowed to resist and protest the creation by embarking on an organized protest. OYF fears that this will lead to a breakdown of law and order with the propensity of spiraling into other communities as this is preserved as abominable in the land.

In light of the aforementioned concerns, OYF urges His Excellency to:
Immediately Set Up a Special Investigative Panel of Inquiry to look into all the circumstances, procedures, and correspondence leading to the purported creation of Fugar Clan from Avianwu Clan in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State.
Kindly make Clarification why the Edo State of Nigeria Gazette No.7 Vol 4 published on 7th March 2024 was copiously silent on the Authority, Territory of the Oghievianwu of Avianwu.

Rescind and Repeal the Declaration Contained in the Edo State of Nigeria Gazette No. 7 Vol 4 Published 7th March 2024 stating Customary Law Regulating Succession to the Traditional Stool of the “Okugbe” of Fugar since Fugar Clan was never created under the relevant Customary Law and Processes as required by law and therefore does not exist.

While we wait for your Excellency’s timely intervention and necessary action, please kindly accept the assurances of our highest esteem and regards.

Sincerely yours,

Paulinus Eleta
National President OYF National Scribe

Christopher Itsuokor
OYF National Scribe
On behalf of the Ogbona Youth Forum (OYF)
(Representing the Entire Ogbona Community)


1. Hon Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Benin City, Edo State

2. Executive Chairman, Etsako Central Local Government Area, Fugar Edo State

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