By Mr. Odeh, president of BARCO.
How impossible to put the blame of the British army invasion of Benin Kingdom on the behavior of the Benin king and his empire.
According to history and the account of event that led to the invasion by the Benins, the British were from the beginning never show any interest in fair trade with the Benin empire, they were only interest in the annexation of the empire.
The long existing trade agreement between Benin Kingdom and the Portuguese government, including the bilateral relationship between both countries were rejected by the British government, their interest were centered only on palm oil and other natural resources, most especially in the Benin Artefacts.
The Benin Kingdom could have avoided that war if the British were not having the pre-plan tendency to invade Benin Kingdom, kill the king, burnt down the whole city and loot the Artefacts. This premeditated attack on the people of Benin Kingdom and eventual burnt down of the whole city has given every reasonable mind the opportunity to exonerate Oba Ovonramwen and his Kingdom from the blame that led to the 1897 war.
During and after the invasion Benin was under siege, executions were carried out with impunity. The whole city was set ablaze, a deliberate house to house arson was carried out throughout Benin city, people running out of the burning houses, trying to escape fire were shut and killed while women were brutally raped. High ranking chiefs and other private citizens suspected of harboring Artefacts were arrested and their houses ransacked, any Artefacts found in their various houses were looted according to our fathers.
As Benin Kingdom and the entire Edo citizens lives continue to advance towards normalcy, 124 years after the infamous invasion many unanswered questions continue to surface.
Why did the British army invaded Benin Kingdom?
Why do they burnt down the whole Benin city?
Why do they looted the Benin Artefacts?
Organisation of Great Benin Kingdom Worldwide.(OGBK)./ BARCO.
Benin Artefacts Repatriation Campaign Organisation.