Saturday, 30 April 2016
Oba of Benin Kingdom is Dead
The Oba of Benin, Omo n’Oba Erediauwa Akpolokpolo I, is dead. A native chalk was broken within the palace to signify his passage to join his ancestors.
His death was announced by the Prime Minister and Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, in company of other traditional Chiefs and Enigie (Dukes), with the traditional braking of native chalk at the entrance of the palace.
While announcing his death, the Iyase said: “Osorhue Bunrun. Oba Erediauwa of Benin Kingdom, the Prince if Peace, Ebo, Ayemwirhe, emini mini mini, has returned with his ancestors. May he find perfect peace with God.”
Following the breaking of the native chalk at the main entrance of the palace, all the chiefs and enigie broke doen in tears and wail for the departed monarch.
In accordance with the Benin traditional mourning rites for a late Monarch, every male in the kingdom is expected to shave his head throughout the mourning period that may last for up to three months, while all markets in the kingdom are to remain closed for about seven days.
The Benin Crown Prince and Edaiken of Benin, Eheneden Erediauwa, who arrived at the palace at about 1:10n from his Uselu resistance, was formally informed of the death of his father, before it was publicly announced.
The late Monarch was crowned Oba of Benin in March, 1979.
Reacting to the announcement of the transition of the Monarch, the Obadolagbonyi of Benin Kingdom, Chief Omon-Osagie Utetenegiabi, said:
“Yes, it is traditional. It is customary that when a sitting Oba becomes an ancestor, goes to a greater glory. The Oba of Benin does not die because he is an institution; he mainly transites to a high glory as an ancestor.
“The news is first broken to his eldest son and the immediate family which was done earlier today. And the Iyase of Benin, as the highest ranking Chief now breaks the news to the people of Benin Kingdom and the world. Iyase is the traditional Prime Minister and the bridge between the people and the royalty and that is what he has done today.
“From today until the expiration of ‘Emwinekhua’ all Benin Chiefs, all chiefs that have been entitled by the Oba to wear the round bead round their necks, which is two, will now wear one. It is customary because when you see a Chief wears one bead, it shows that we are in a state of mourning. After today, we are awaiting further instructions on what to do.
“Oba Eredia uwa is the Oba of Peace, the Oba who brought prosperity to his people, the Oba who understands his people. He makes sure that no one was offended, the Oba who could sit in judgment and give judgment against his own son for a commoner. It is rare. Oba Erediauwa is the best that has happened to Benin Kingdom in the last 1,600 years.”
The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has also eulogised the departed Benin monarch, Oba Erediauwa. The diminutive governor expressed his profound reverence for the departed Monarch in a press statement he issued and personally signed.
“Our hearts are heavy, laden with pains and grief, at the announcement of the passing on to glory of Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa of Benin, our highly revered Oba, a distinguished Edo numero uno, an accomplished Nigerian, a seasoned bureaucrat, quintessential unifier, unique personage and exemplary Omo N’Oba, whose reign brought distinction, immense class, finesse and integrity to traditional institution in Edo state and the country at large,” Oshiomhole said.
Life and times of Oba Erediauwa
The Leopard left for the forest at the heat of the campaigns for the 2015 general elections. Born in 1923 to Oba Akenzua 11, he was crowned the 38th Oba of Benin on March 23, 1979. Prior to his ascension to the throne, he was Prince Solomon Igbinoghodua Aisiokuoba Akenzua. As tradition requires, he relinquished his name Solomon immediately he became Oba.
He attended Government College Ibadan (939–1945), then Yaba College before he proceeded to King’s College, Cambridge to study law and administration. He joined the Eastern Nigeria Civil Service in 1957 as a District Officer, later moved to the Federal Civil Service where he retired as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health in 1973. For a short period he was the regional representative of Gulf Oil. In 1975 he was appointed Commissioner for Finance in the then Bendel State during the military administration of Major-General George Agbazika Innih. Ascending the throne on 23 March 1979, he celebrated his 30th anniversary in 2009.