By Sodiq Lawal
Omo N’oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin recently travelled to Ile Ife where he visited the Ooni of Ife on Saturday, April 28. Before this historical visit, the last time an Oba from Benin visited the Ooni was 36 years ago.
According to a popular saying in Benin kingdom: “Oba no dey go transfer,” which simply means that Oba of Benin rarely leaves his palace where he sees to the day-to-day running of his kingdom. That is why Benin monarchs hardly go around.
However, our correspondent on a recent visit to Ile Ife, went to the Oranmiyan groove and learnt that there is more to the Oba of Benin’s visit to the ancient city.
It was gathered that the Oba of Benin actually went to collect a particular sword which all kings of Oranmiyan descent come to Ile Ife to collect. It is called the sword of victory and every king who is a descendant of Oranmiyan must come to the groove to collect the sword.
It was also learnt that while being given the sword, the king visiting will be prayed for that any war he wages he will conquer unless he decide to wage war against Ile Ife then he will lose the war. This is because no son is expected to wage war against his father.
It was also gathered that while coming to the groove to collect the sacred sword, any king coming must change from the regalia he is adorned with to a specially prepared outfit before he can step his feet into the Oranmiyan groove for prayers and collection of the sword.
This particular ritual was alleged to be one of the reasons the Oba of Benin went to Ile Ife and also seized the opportunity to visit the Ooni of Ife who was present during his coronation in Benin.
During the historical visit, Ooni, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, and the Oba of Benin confirmed the common inheritance the two ancient cities have in Oranmiyan, the last son of Oduduwa who was said to have migrated from Ile Ife to become the first Oba of Benin. Oduduwa was also said to be the first Ooni of Ife.
On leaving Benin back to Ile Ife, Oranmiyan was said to have installed his son as the king of Benin thus the title Omo N’oba which when translated means the son of the king.
The Ooni was quoted to have said during the historic visit that: “Those of you that know the history know that the then Oliha came to Ife to ask that Oranmiyan be brought to Benin. There are details in history books. I am cutting out the details. It’s all in the history books and you can research that. He (the then Oliha) was the one that successfully won the right to escort Oranmiyan to Benin to become the first Oba of Benin.”