Investigation: Oba Of Benin Visited Ile Ife To Collect Sacred Sword

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.”

Oba Of Benin Urges Aregbesola, Other Governors, To End Unwarranted Killings

 

The Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba N’edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II has urged the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to work with his colleagues in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum on to stop the incessant killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the country.

The monarch challenged the Presidency to surmount the national security challenges confronting the country by taking the necessary steps that would strengthen security in every part of the country.

Oba of Benin made the call on Saturday during a courtesy visit to Governor Aregbesola at Government House, Osogbo. He said it is necessary to promote peaceful coexistence among Nigerians and as well rescue the country from the shackles of insecurity that has daily become the lot of the citizenry.

The revered monarch lamented the level of insecurity in the country which he said has painted Nigeria in bad light in the comity of nations, hence the need for government at all levels to do the needful to end the menace.

According to him, “I want you to mobilise your colleagues in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to address the issue of insecurity in the country and do something to stop the unwarranted killings by Fulani herdsmen in Benue, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Edo and other parts of the country.

“It is unfortunate that this is going on in our land, we want something to be quickly done as soon as possible so that Nigerians can know peace because people are being swallowed by cattle in the land.

“We even learnt that there might be some international connections to it, we don’t know anything about that, all we want is for it to stop so that our people can know peace again.

“Nigerians cherish their comfort and a peaceful environment so much; so we are charging those of you at the helms of affairs in the country to do everything humanly possible to guarantee peace for Nigerians.

“The bloodletting is too much in the land and the nation is bleeding, we want a stop to this. The killing of innocent citizens has to stop in every part of this country. It is worrisome that the trending news in the country today is killing here and there, no day you will not hear the news that people have been butchered by herdsmen. Mr Governor, something urgent needs to be done about it.

“I want to use this opportunity to implore Nigerians on the need for them to be vigilant and security conscious more than ever before in our society, it is important for us all to know our neighbours for our own safety’, the monarch stressed.

The traditional ruler also condemned in its totality the prevalence of human trafficking in the country particularly in Edo State, describing the menace as modern day slavery that must be urgently confronted.

Oba Ewuare II said it is time for Nigerian government to be on top of its responsibilities, emphasizing that all hands must be on deck to put a stop to the ugly trend.

Describing human trafficking as crime against fellow human beings, the traditional ruler admonished Nigerians not to see it as an Edo State problem but a national challenge which everybody must rise against for the good of the nation.

Oba Ewuare II commended the British government and other members of the international community for being sensitive to Nigeria’s plights, saying ‎their impacts at recognizing the efforts of the royal stool in a bid to put an end to the scourge had yielded positive results.

The monarch called on Nigerians to ‎support the campaign against corruption in the country, noting that for a nation to grow, her citizen must detest any form of corrupt practices.

According the Oba, “The modern slavery in our land today is that of human trafficking and unfortunately many people see it as an Edo State problem, but I tell you it is far from it. We all need to come together and fight this menace that is staring us in the face or else we will all suffer for it.

“On our part we are doing all that is humanly possible to put an end to human trafficking in our land because it is a crime against a fellow human being, other parts of the country don’t need to stigmatize Edo State, we need to see it as a national issue.

“It now a national and international issue and I am happy to inform you that the British government has recognized our effort in trying to curb the menace and it is gratifying to note that the Ife and Benin kingdoms have agreed to work together on solving the problem”, he added.

In his remarks, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed that efforts are in top gear to eliminate all forms of insecurity in the country,

He described the spate of gruesome killings in some parts of the country as criminal and an act of lawlessness which is beyond the issue of farmers, herdsmen clash alone.

Arebesola held that the issue of Fulani/herdsmen killings have been extensively discussed at the last National Executive Council meeting held in Abuja, assured Nigerians that the unfortunate killings by the Fulani herdsmen will soon be a thing of the past.

He said the killings became worrisome for the government to the extent that last National Executive Council meeting was devoted to the discussion on how to tackle the menace, stressing that an end to the lawlessness is already in sight.

The governor who assured Nigerians that government is not folding its arms on threat to national security, charged Nigerians to always go about their lawful duties without fear as the government at the centre is doing everything possible to ensure that Nigeria continues to be peaceful.

“I want to assure that government is not folding its arms as to the security situation in the country, we are pained about what is going on and I want you to know that the last National Executive Council meeting was devoted to discussing a way out of the current security challenge in the country.

“The act is criminal and lawless and we condemn it entirety. I want us to begin to see it beyond just farmers and Fulani herdsmen clash but a monster that shouldn’t be allowed to grow.

“The cheering news is that I want Nigerians to know that we will be over this crisis in the next few weeks by God’s grace”. Aregbesola stated.

Aregbesola also assured the visiting monarch that all efforts will be put in place to mobilize the state’s traditional institution on the need to champion the campaign to completely eradicate human trafficking in Nigeria.

He therefore described the visit as the re-enactment of Yoruba heritage.

Earlier, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi expressed delight on the visit of Oba Ewuare II, saying it is an affirmation to the fact that Yoruba people remain united.

Oba Ogunwusi said the visit has demonstrated the huge love, unity and cohesion between the people of Benin and the whole Yoruba speaking States in Nigeria.

He called on Yoruba people to continue to love one another and always uphold the culture, heritage and values that the race is known for.

“Today, it is evident that we have made another history‎ by our common ancestry and cultural heritage through this visit.

“It shows that Yorubas are one and united, irrespective of place and location because there is no joy as joy of one’s origin, which we have felt through this visit”, Ooni stated

 

PHOTONEWS: Oba Of Benin, Ooni Visit Aregbesola

The Oba of Benin, HRM Omo N’oba N’edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II and members of the Benin Traditional Council accompanied by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II on Saturday evening paid a courtesy call on the Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola at the Government House in Osogbo.

The visit was on the heels of the visit of the Benin Paramount Traditional Ruler to Ile Ife, the source of the human race.

Dolapo Julius captured the event with the following photos

Ooni of Ife and Oba of Benin Urges Traditional Rulers to Support Buhari to Fight Insurgency

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) and the Oba of Benin Kingdom, Omo N’edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare Ogidigan on Saturday in Ile-Ife tasked traditional rulers, across the country to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his efforts at ending the spate of killings and violence in the country.

He maintained that monarchs and heads of communities at the grassroots level should not sit on the fence by collaborating effectively with nation’s leaders to find a permanent end to incessant killings by suspected herdsmen and other militant groups, threatening the peace and tranquillity in Nigeria.

Receiving the Oba of Benin at his palace, located in Ile Oodua, in Ile-Ife, Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi said “we must come together to support our politicians and our leaders in their efforts to tackle the current insecurity challenges, confronting our nation. This is our country and we are one big family”.

According to him, “if you mention the security challenges we are having in Nigeria, the way forward is community policing. It is very important that we traditional rulers should support the efforts of our government. We should not leave them to do everything. This country is ours and security is of high paramount. We need to work towards how our subjects’ welfare will be intact”.

“It is indeed a great honour to have you in Ife today, we are very excited and our excitement has been in the air since 24th of this month. We are so interrelated and we also have the common ancestral background. We are so linked by virtue of blood and our two kingdoms have a very common ancestral history. I am very happy for the amiable love you have extended to Ife and the entire Oduduwa House

“On this note, I am extending hands of fellowship to you. I am extending love, peace, good relationship, long life and more prosperity from the throne. Your coming to Ife today is significant”, Oba Ogunwusi posited.

In his remark, Oba Ewuare called on Buhari to intensify efforts aimed at a proferring lasting solution to incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country, stressing that concrete steps must be taken urgently to halt mass killings by herders in the North East and parts of the Middle Belt region.

He stated that “we should explore what unites us rather than what divides us for the advancement of our cultural heritage and socio-economic development. I want to use this occasion to raise three major issues that are of national concern. These include herdsmen and farmers’ clashes and their attendant criminal activities in the country, human trafficking and illegal migration”.

“Suffice to say that these problems, plaguing the nation are unacceptable. These problems are further complicated by our porous borders, particularly in the North Eastern parts of Nigeria and dire need to improve our security infrastructure”, Oba Ewuare asserted.

While commending the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in tackling the insurgency in the North, the monarch said: “I want to on behalf of all traditional rulers appealed to Mr President to as a matter of urgency intervene in these problems, considering the unity of our country”.

Oba Ewuare Establishes Academy For Art And Culture In Edo

Benin kingdom in Edo state has resolved to formally kick-start an academy for art, culture, and tourism to revitalize the Benin cultural heritage which was in systematic decay.

Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku-Akpolokpolo Oba Ewuare II announced the plan when he played host to some various theatre groups in his palace on Tuesday in Benin.

According to Oba Ewuare, works are near conclusion at the site of the academy which would be named “ Benin Royal Academy of Performing Art “.

The Oba said aside from the teaching and learning of various Benin cultural heritage, the academic would also teach deeper proverbial and interpretations of Benin traditional heritage in rhythms and arts.

He said the academy would also serve as a learning center to all categories of persons, especially the young, who are almost veering out of the traditional norms of the society.

Oba Ewuare emphasized that reputable individuals who are well grounded in Benin history, culture and heritage would serve as tutors in the new academy.

He pointed out that the refurbishment of Oba Akenzua cultural center to an international standard would rake in more revenue to the state.

The Oba added that the palace authorities were joining efforts with well-meaning individuals and stakeholders to project Benin art and culture to the rest of the world.

Prayers were offered to ancestors for the smooth take-off of the academic and the nation at large.

Speaker Dogara Congratulates Oba Of Benin

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has congratulated the Oba of Benin, His Royal Highness, Oba Ewuare II, on his coronation as the ruler of the great Bini Kingdom. The Speaker, in a statement said 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 stated.

He urged the monarch to, in collaboration with the government of the state, ensure that programmes and initiatives 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 concluded.

Buhari Mourns Death Of Oba Of Benin

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said he received the news of the passing away of the highly revered traditional ruler of Benin Kingdom, Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, with sadness and an immense feeling of great national loss.

Buhari, on behalf of the Federal Government, extended condolences to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the people of Benin Kingdom and Edo State on the passage of the beloved monarch, who had ruled over his people since his ascension to the throne in 1979.

The President, in a statement by the special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, also extended special commiserations to Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa and other members of the late Oba’s immediate family.

He assured them of the fullest sympathy and solidarity of the Federal Government and all Nigerians as they mourn Oba Erediauwa, who he said will always be remembered as one of the most outstanding traditional rulers of his era.

As the late Oba goes to join his very illustrious royal ancestors, President Buhari believed that his place of honour in the history of the Benin Kingdom and Nigeria has been assured by his long and highly successful career as a public servant, administrator and chief custodian of the much-celebrated culture and traditions of his people.

The president prayed that God Almighty will receive the late Oba’s soul and grant him peaceful repose.

He also prayed that God will grant Crown Prince Erediauwa the wisdom and courage he will require to build on the laudable legacies of Oba Erediauwa.

OPC, Lambasts Benin Chiefs Over Comment On Oduduwa History

The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has accused Benin palace chiefs of distorting Oduduwa history, saying their comments were capable of triggering discord between the Yoruba and people of the Benin Kingdom.

The group also said the research being relied on by the chiefs to deny the relationship between people of the two races lacked credibility.

The National Coordinator of the congress, Gani Adams, said in a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that the comments credited to the palace chiefs about Yoruba origin were unhistorical and unreliable.

Mr. Adams said such poorly researched claims lacked historical credibility, could be inflammatory and could set the two noble race against each other.

He said the relationship between ”the Yoruba Omo Oduduwa and the Edo was rooted in history and shrouded in mystery in other to keep the two vibrant nations together and oil the chord of communal relationship for ever.”

“Even, though some writers of historical documents about the relationship and chord of brotherhood between the two have allowed personal sentiments and pecuniary consideration to overrule their sense of judgement, clarity, fairness, objectivity and harmonious cohabitation. And the purported statement from an high chief of Benin belong to this trend,” the OPC leader said.

“We should not indulge in diluted information coined by agents of destabilization which emphasised those things that divide us instead of talking of those things that unite us.”

‘Whatever angle or point of view any writer come out with in this discourse, the fact remains constant that there is a bond of relationship which is not fleeting but fundamentally essential between the Yoruba Omo Oodua and the Edo Omo Eweka the Great.”

He appealed to the traditional institutions in Benin and Ile-Ife to be wary of palace chiefs who he said were only out to pitch the two noble royal houses against each other by their sheer impetuosity and face service.”

Mr. Adams commended the royal sagacity and visionary posture of the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, not only for remaining calm, but for refusing to “dignify the sender of those ill-researched statements with any response”.

“I must also commend the political maturity and sagacity being displayed by the Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, who has been consistent in his peace diplomacy shuttle among the traditional Obas in Yoruba land which has kicked – off a brand new era of harmonious relationship among the Obas in the south – west,” Mr. Adams said.

He warned those he described as ”scripters of divisive statements, the procurer of false history and the spreader of ill -researched historical fallacy to put a stop in their unholy act and allow peace, unity, harmony and era of brotherly interaction take control among the traditional rulers in the South West including their sibling in Edo State.”

”We are warning them to stop sowing seeds of discord among the Omo Oduduwa and their siblings in Edo State,” the OPC leader said.

The Ooni of Ife had on Tuesday said Benin Kingdom in Edo State remained part of the expansive Yoruba race, a pronouncement that may spark fresh rivalry and altercation between people of the two ancient kingdoms.

The monarch made the comment in reaction to a statement credited to the palace of the Oba of Benin challenging the claim by the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, that the Ooni of Ife remained the pre-eminent spiritual leader in Yorubaland and environs.

Oba Ogunwusi, via a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Moses Olafare, had said he was not interested in any supremacy battle with anyone but that he would continue to put the records straight and avoid distortion of history from any quarters.

The monarch said going by historical evidence detailing the Oduduwa lineage, Benin Kingdom remained part and parcel of Oduduwa House.

“We in Oduduwa land have always seen and regarded our people in Benin kingdom as part and parcel of Oduduwa House. They are our brothers and sisters, coupled with historical facts to back up this position,” Ooni Ogunwusi said.

The Alake had, while hosting the Oba Ogunwusi in his palace on February 7, rated the Ooni as the number one monarch in Yorubaland and other territories considered part of the Oduduwa House.

In his rating, Oba Gbadebo said Oba Ogunwusi was number one of the five principal Obas in Yorubaland, followed by the Alaafin of Oyo, then by the Oba of Benin (in third position), the Alake of Egbaland (fourth) and the Awujale of Ijebuland (fifth).

But in a swift reaction on Tuesday, the Esogban of Benin and Odionwere of the Kingdom, David Edebiri, rejected the ranking, saying the Ooni of Ife was a son of the Oba of Benin and that the Oba of Benin stool has no relationship with the Yoruba race.

The Esogban said, “We wanted to discard this report as something that was not necessary at all. We do not see how the Alake of Egbaland suddenly woke up to think that the Oba of Benin is also a Yoruba Oba.

“There is no basis for such classification; Oba of Benin has nothing to do with the Yoruba Obas. It is simply unnecessary, unless they simply want to stir up an unnecessary controversy.

“We are not in Yorubaland. To be frank, it is because many of them are not willing to come up with the truth, the word Oba is alien to Yoruba monarchy; it is not part of their title from time immemorial.

“For instance, the one they call the Oba of Lagos, these are recent adaptations. In the 50s, there was no Oba of Lagos, what we had was the Eleko of Eko. That is the title of the King there. In Ibadan, you have the Olu Ibadan. You come to Abeokuta, you have the Alake of Egba land. You come to Oyo, you have the Alaafin of Oyo. In Ilesha, you have the Owa-Obokun of IIesha. So no Yoruba monarch had as part of his titles the word Oba except the Oba of Benin.

“That word Oba is indigenous to Benin. It is only in recent times you find everybody bearing Oba. When the Western Regional conference of traditional rulers took place in Benin City in 1942, go and check the attendance, there was no other monarch in the whole of the Western Region then that bore the title of Oba, except the Oba of Benin.

“So it is an unnecessary excursion, an unnecessary attempt to turn history upside down by the Alake by classifying the Oba of Benin as third in the hierarchy of kings.

“Our own traditional history says that the Ooni of Ife was a Benin Prince who wandered from here to Ife, settled there and became the ruler there. That is the position, if they don’t know, they should send people here; we will teach them.

“We will show them landmarks. So this is unnecessary misrepresentation of history. Maybe the Alake wanted to mention a different place and not Benin.

“The monarchical rulership in this part of the world started from Benin during the era of the Ogisos. It was the son of the last Ogiso, Owodo, that wandered from here to Ife and he became a ruler there, carrying everything about the Benin monarchical system to that place. There is no basis for such classification.

“The Ooni of Ife, by historical facts, is a son of the Oba of Benin, so they are not in the same class. The Oba of Benin is the only one that answers Oba, the rest don’t. But today, we hear Oba here and there, they are all recent adaptations. I am saying categorically that the word Oba is indigenous to Benin and not to Yoruba nation.”