- As Benin goes agog for 40th Oba
- Oba of Benin’s coronation historic – Oshiomhole
Right Honourable Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has congratulated the Oba of Benin, His Royal Highness, Oba Ewuare II, on his coronation as the 40th traditional ruler of the great Bini Kingdom. The Speaker expressed that his ascension to the great stool of powerful Bini rulers will consolidate on the peace and progress his father and his predecessors brought to the Bini kingdom.
“We are all aware of the conquests of Obas of Benin from time immemorial. As you ascend this great throne, I pray the Almighty gives you wisdom and guidance as you begin your reign over the great Bini kingdom. May your reign be long and may it bring peace, joy, equity and justice with it,” Dogara declared.
He urged the monarch, in collaboration with the government of Edo State, to ensure that programmes and policies that will better the lives of people in Bini kingdom and the state in general, are initiated.
“By this, you will be leaving a legacy that will pass the test of time and leave a lasting impact on the lives of your people,” he summed up.
Oba Ewuare II, 39th Oba of Bini Kingdom, was formally crowned at about 2.00am on Thursday by the Usama N’ Ihiron known as the Edion led by Chief Oliha. Other members of the Edion include Edohen, Ezomo, Ero, Eholo N’ Ire, Oloton and Edaiken.
The former Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa was crowned at a private ceremony inside the Usama Palace, a temporary building purposely erected for the coronation ceremony.
The name of the new Oba was kept from the public until he was presented to the public at Urhokpota Hall.
It was revealed that after the coronation ceremony was performed in the inner chambers, the new Oba will be presented to the people of the kingdom.
Unlike before the coronation that the Crown Prince moved about without covering his mouth, it was disclosed that as soon as he wears the crown, he must use a white handkerchief to cover his mouth.
There was wide jubilation and great fireworks around the Usama palace immediately the crowning was performed.
A large crowd accompanied the new Oba from the Usama Palace to Urhokpota.
Among those present were Chief Omohor of Benin Kingdom, bearer of the ancient sword carried by the Oba, the Ikpakohen group (royal drummers) from Ikpema responsible for beating the royal drum, Ekassa dance group, Isienmwenro guild, amongst others.
A bridge was constructed at the dried up Omi River and Chief Omoruyi Isekhere waited there to receive the Oba and accompany him across the bridge.
On his way to Urhokpota, the Oba passed through Isekhere, performed some ceremonies at Iwehen Street under the watch of Ewaise N’ Iwehen before proceeding to cross the bridge.
Meanwhile, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State expressed that the coronation of Oba of Benin is historic as it will be the first time an elected governor and an indigene of the state will perform the formality of presenting the staff of office to His Royal Majesty, the Oba of Benin, explaining that only military administrators and foreigners had done so in the past.
Speaking while receiving the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, at the Government House,on Wednesday, Governor Oshiomhole said, “Before this Oba, the other Obas but one, I believe Oba Akenzua, was the one who had to be presented the staff of office, according to him, by the Queen of England a couple of years ago in 1933. Since then, the next Oba was crowned in 1979, and then, Nigeria was already an independent country and the state was under military rule and the staff of office was presented by a military governor.’
“Thursday was the first time that an elected governor had the pleasure, and somebody from Edo State, to formally present the staff of office to His Royal Majesty, the Oba of Benin,” Oshiomhole noted.
He said, “I’m sure you probably already know that this is one of the very few states, particularly, in the Southern part of Nigeria where the issue of the paramount traditional ruler is not in dispute, where the chairman of the council of traditional rulers and chiefs is permanent and is the Oba of Benin, whereas in some states, particularly, in the West, they rotate, and there are issues as to who comes before the other.”
“Every Edo person, including those who may not be directly under the Kingdom geographically, we all see the Oba as our paramount traditional ruler, which is why we have declared a public holiday for tomorrow.”