Friday, April 29, 2016 4:12 pm
The Benin Traditional Council has announced the translation of the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba n’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, to his ancestors.
The announcement was made Friday 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 the translation, the Iyase said: “Osorhue Bunrun. Oba Erediauwa of Benin Kingdom, the Prince of 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 down in tears and wail for the translated Monarch.
In accordance with the Benin traditional mourning rites for a translated 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 translation of his father, before it was publicly announced.
The late Monarch was crowned Oba of Benin in March, 1979.
Oba Erediauwa’s profile (Wikipedia
Erediauwa was born on June 22, 1923, son of Oba Akenzua II. Before being crowned he was known as Prince Solomon Aiseokhuoba Igbinoghodua Akenzua.
He attended Government College, Ibadan (1939–1945), then Yaba College, before going to King’s College, Cambridge to study Law and Administration. He joined the Eastern Nigeria Civil Service in 1957 as a District Officer, later moving 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 Bendel State during the Military Administration of Major-General George Agbazika Innih.
Ascending to the throne on 23 March 1979, Erediauwa celebrated his 30th anniversary in 2009. During this period, he several times acted as a peacemaker between politicians. For example, he intervened in a dispute between Abia State governor Orji Uzor Kalu and Tony Anenih, Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party Board of Trustees, and resolved another face-off involving Anenih and former Edo State Governor Lucky Igbinedion.
Apart from the ceremonial aspects, his 30th anniversary festival was a week long carnival and a showcase of Benin arts and culture, with numerous performances of traditional music and dance, as well as an art exhibition and food fair. He died on April 29, 2016
The author, Jethro Ibileke, can be reached at [email protected]