Nigerian High Commissioner Godson Echegile has stated that “the Ogboni is not a Nigerian show.”
The Commissioner explained that Nigerians have besieged the High Commission to protest against the fraternity, as they were alleging that their lives are in danger, because Sierra Leoneans are threatening them as if they are all members of the society.
Speaking with journalists after a meeting with the protesting Nigerians, High Commissioner Echegile said that they have resolved the issue and the head of the Ogboni Society [Dr Valentine Akpati] is going back to Nigeria.
The Nigerian High Commissioner explained that he had a meeting with the society’s Head and they have agreed to leave Sierra Leone.
The High Commissioner averred that he was taken aback by the prominence giving to Ogboni- “Ogboni is not some thing we take seriously in Nigeria.”
Reacting to the allegations of ritualistic practices, he said, “I’m not a member so I wouldn’t know much about Ogboni [practices].”
He explained that Ogboni is not a popular society in Nigeria “it comes from a particular section; it is found mainly in the Yoruba ethnic society, but it is not a thing that is found all over Nigeria,” Commissioner Echegile stressed.
“The issue of secret society is not limited to Nigeria, it’s everywhere, but what we are trying to say is that it should not generate the kind of crisis and tension that is building as if every Nigerian is a member of Ogboni. Nigerians have being living here before the arrival of Ogboni,” the High Commissioner said.
The High Commissioner commended the Sierra Leone Government and Authorities for averting a crisis and assured Nigerians of peace and security in the country.
In another development, the Nigerian National Union in Sierra Leone has issued a press statement condemning the Ogboni Society in order to avert crisis.
Francis Onyekwue, Secretary General union reiterated, “total commitment of all Nigerian Nationals to ideals for peace and harmony in Sierra Leone. We must respect the laws of the land,” he added.
Nigerians he noted are peace loving nationals and would continue to promote harmony in the country.”
He said the Sierra Leone Police is addressing the crisis; hence it should not degenerate into hostility.
He stressed the need to maintain peace and cooperation between Nigerians and Sierra Leoneans.
He assured Sierra Leoneans that Nigerians would continue to promote peace and development in the country and the West African sub-region.
The release states, “Nigerian pastors also denounced the group, describing Ogboni as an evil group that should not be permitted in Sierra Leone.”
By Ophaniel Gooding