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Bomb blast at my palace prevented me from welcoming Buhari, Ohinoyi of Ebiraland replies Kogi govt

The monarch was responding to a query by the Kogi government accusing him of bringing disrepute to the state during a December 29, 2022 state visit of president Buhari.

• January 12, 2023
Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Ado Ibrahim
Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Ado Ibrahim

The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Ado Ibrahim, has explained that he was preoccupied with caring for the casualties and survivors of the “earth-moving bomb blast at the rear entrance of his Palace” during President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Kogi state on December 29, 2022.

Mr Ohinoyi gave the explanation in response to a query from Enimola Eniola, Director of Chieftaincy Affairs, who had accused him of bringing disrepute to the land by being absent to welcome the president and threatened to take disciplinary actionsagainst him.

“I had just concluded preparations to receive Mr. President when I heard an earth-moving bomb blast at the rear entrance to my Palace close to the new Mosque across the street at 9:00am,” explained the Kogi monarch in a letter dated January 9, and addressed to the state commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs.

Mr Ibrahim said he learnt of the president’s departure from Okene while he was still tending to persons injured from the unprecedented and unfortunate bomb attack. 

“While I was in the Palace ensuring that the casualties of the unfortunate incident were being attended to, I was informed that the President had concluded his programme and departed to Lokoja,” he added.

The monarch further explained that he later realised that his palace had been breached. He asserted that all entry and exit points to and out of his palace had been “barricaded,” making it “impossible” to even access the venue where Mr Buhari was being welcomed.

“I also discovered that the main wall of the entrance to my Palace had been breached and all entrances to the Palace had been barricaded to make access to and fro impossible,” the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland stressed. 

The traditional ruler noted that asides the less than 13 hours short notice he had gotten to prepare for Mr Buhari’s visit, he was also not officially informed that the president would no longer be coming to his palace to pay him a “courtesy visit” as previously communicated. 

Two hours before the scheduled visit was when he found out Mr Buhari would go to a different location to commission a new palace, a building he was not even aware existed.

“I am not and have no intention to ‘exhibit deliberate attitude and actions regarded as bringing Kogi State and Ebiraland in particular to grave disrepute and regarded therefore as quite unbecoming of a revered Royal Father of my status,” emphasised the monarch who added the allegations were “unfair” to his age, ripe experience and royal dignity.

The respected monarch acknowledged the query to be the first correspondence sent to him by government officials since the bomb attack, as they had yet to enquire about the number of casualties or even commiserate with the bereaved.

“It is noteworthy that since the unfortunate incident on the 29th of December, 2022, this Letter of Query is the first communication, written or otherwise from any official of the State to me, without any commiserations or enquiries about the unfortunate bomb blast that led to the intended disruption of Mr. President’s programme, loss of lives of innocent Ebira people, massive damages on my Palace and rancour within my domain,” the traditional ruler said.

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